12 musical books for early literacy teachers and parents

We agree with Lloyd Moss: “It’s music that we all adore.” At Kindermusik International, we love music for music’s sake and for its ability to touch the hearts, souls, and minds of young children and families. Music can support early language development, increase phonemic awareness, and even profoundly impact children with special needs.

So make a resolution to gather your children together—whether at home or in the classroom—for musical story times that will support early literacy development and their love of music! Below you will find some of our favorite musical stories, including a Caldecott Winner, Reading Rainbow selections, audio story, and even a book written by a Kindermusik educator.

12 musical books to support early literacy and language development

  • Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! By Wynton Marsalis
  • Listen to My Trumpet by Mo Willems
  • The Animal Boogie by Debbie Harter
  • In the Fiddle Is a Song by Durga Bernhard
  • Tuba Lessons by T.C. Bartlett and Monique Felix
  • Hand, Hand Fingers Thumb by Al Perkins
  • Bearful Bear and His New Moves by Anna Lee Everhart
  • Freddy Flamingo and the Kindertown Five by Kindermusik (Story download)
  • Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss (The Reading Rainbow video with Gregory Hines includes a good introduction to the orchestra with children explaining musical terms.)
  • I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello by Barbara Garriel
  • Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney
  • Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson

Music as the vehicle for early literacy development

After more than 30 years of experience creating early childhood curricula, Kindermusik International developed ABC Music & Me. This research-based and standards-aligned early literacy curriculum uses music and movement to teach young children early literacy development and early language development. Plus, research shows that music classes improve phonemic awareness in young children.

ABC Music & Me also increases parent involvement in early childhood education by providing families each month with the music from class as well as a Family Activity Guide (available in English and Spanish) that includes the story from class.

For more information about using ABC Music & Me to support early literacy development while also increasing parental involvement in early childhood education, email us at info@abcmusicandme.com.

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