The School of Music

BOWEN, Meurig & . illus. by Daniel Frost. 96p. index. Wide Eyed Editions. Apr. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781847808615.
Gr 3–6—Using a format that lays out the material as if it were the curriculum from an actual school (complete with a zany cast of instructors who act as narrators), this large and colorful volume offers general and specific information for aspiring musicians of all ages. The book is broken down into three "terms" that build on one another and provide short tutorials for musical concepts. A broad scope of topics are discussed in the 40 lessons presented, from the different types of instruments and musical notation to the actual composition of music and even how to combat stage fright. Each chapter contains text boxes with activities to inspire engagement and further exploration, such as "make your own tissue box guitar." Whimsically cartoonish illustrations brighten up the content, which can feel overwhelming on some pages, but the volume is designed so that readers can dip in and out as they feel necessary. At times the tone of the narration is a bit advanced for the audience, but even if a few references go over their heads, readers will gain enough musical knowledge to compensate.
VERDICT This encouraging and practical selection will be beneficial to the next generation of trained musicians, no matter what genre they are interested in.

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