Classical 91.5

Musical summer reading for kids

Jul 9, 2018

Love music? Love books? Here’s a great way for kids to combine a love of reading and music this summer in Rochester.

WXXI Kids and the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, NY will provide free summer learning experiences for children and families in the Greater Rochester area with weekly Exploration Stations at the Central Library. Each event will provide educational and musical activities focusing on musically-themed kids’ books, all celebrating the summer reading theme “Libraries Rock”.

These events are scheduled for Thursdays (July 12-August 16th) from 11-3 at the Children’s Center of Central Library – 115 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604.  There is parking available at the Court Street Garage.  All events are free to the public, and remember to bring your library card!

Here are the list of books that will be featured each week – along with a Spotify playlist you can use to continue the fun and learning after each event. 

The Song of Six Birds by Rene Deetlefs
Music for The Song of Six Birds

Lindiwe has always wanted a flute to play, but the one her mother gives her has no music in it. Fortunately she knows how to find and collect the songs of six birds.

At the end of the book, the joyous sounds of Lindiwe's flute carry through her village, calling everyone to join in a celebration that lasts long into the night.

Musicians of the Sun by Gerald McDermott
Music for Musicians of the Sun

When the Lord of the Night looks through his magic mirror and sees that the world is gray and joyless, he commands Wind to fly to the house of the Sun and free the four musicians imprisoned there--Red, Yellow, Blue, and Green--to fill the Earth with color.

I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
Music for I Got the Rhythm

On a simple trip to the park, the joy of music overtakes a mother and daughter. The little girl hears a rhythm coming from the world around her- from butterflies, to street performers, to ice cream sellers everything is musical! She sniffs, snaps, and shakes her way into the heart of the beat, finally busting out in an impromptu dance, which all the kids join in on!

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
Music for Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin

When this book begins, the trombone is playing all by itself. But soon a trumpet makes a duet, a French horn a trio, and so on until the entire orchestra is assembled on stage. Written in elegant and rhythmic verse and illustrated with playful and flowing artwork, this unique counting book is the perfect introduction to musical groups. Readers of all ages are sure to shout "Encore” when they reach the final page of this joyous celebration of classical music.

Barn Dance by Bill Martin
Music for Barn Dance

In an old farmhouse, bathed in the light of the full moon, a young boy hears a voice calling to him. He sneaks out of the house and walks toward the barn, where he can hear the sweet sound of a country fiddler and the rhythmic thumping of dancing feet. But who could be having a barn dance in the middle of the night?

My Family Plays Music by Judy Cox
Music for My Family Plays Music

The music of bongos, cowbells, maracas, and even pots and pans fills the air. In this introduction to music, a spunky girl finds the perfect percussion instrument to play along with each member of her musical family.


Hope to see you at the library this summer to enjoy learning and fun with these books and music! And don't forget that you can tune in to WXXI Classical 91.5 and WRUR 88.5 for music to enjoy throughout the year.

Alexandra Deitrich is an intern with the WXXI Education Department this summer.  She is a junior music education major at the Eastman School of Music, and her instrument is piano.  Alexandra enjoys working with her school’s chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) to provide music learning experiences for the local community.