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Burst into Music Review by Teri Lucas

Jennifer Townsend
J & S Publishing
1832 Adams Street
Prescott, AZ 86305-1310
(520) 445 - 0487

Burst into Music is a delightful little book written to give elementary students a fundamental understanding of music. The author believes that "singing" is second nature to children, therefore, the strength of this program is centered on just that. From the very beginning of the text, she suggests building a workable and knowledgeable song base with the students. Almost all of the lessons center around "making music" and "making learning about music" enjoyable to children! Best of all, the text is written so that anyone, even those (like me) with no previous musical instruction (or talent), can instill a love for music in their children!

Burst into Music is broken into eight parts. The first part consists of musical aides such as "boys sing," "girls sing," "hum," "stop," and "go." These may be duplicated, colored, and cut out for use while singing. There are suggestions and pictures to make musical games. They are designed primarily to add fun and variety to your singing experience. The next section covers some fundamental musical concepts like fortissimo, presto, and legato along with a few others. A brief explanation of each term for the teacher is followed with a picture for the student to color. These could be made into "props" and used during the song/game time, as well.

The next section gives suggestions for having students "make" their own instruments with comments on ways to incorporate their use into the music time. Musical notes are taught through the use of a simple matching game that may be copied and laminated. There are various color by note pictures sprinkled throughout the text as well. Moving onward to the four families of instruments, there is an opening guide highlighting various teaching methods, a general discussion of instruments, and approximately 19 pages covering different instruments explaining their history and use. Again, these are suitable to copy and color.

Finally, Burst into Music, concludes with 31 ideas to make music special to young children. Some of these activities could even double as your phys-ed time! Students will enjoy singing while building on those fine motor and gross motor skills, which makes this program highly adaptable to special needs children. Coupled with a varied listening experience, perhaps a little music history, and lots of singing, Burst into Music is sure to delight most children!

-- Product Review by: Teri Lucas, Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine