Since last September, I’ve been working diligently to bring you the first book in a series designed to help parents teach their children music… even if they don’t know music!
While most children begin school with a head start on letters, numbers, colors and even words, they’ve had little or no exposure to reading music or learning music theory. This unfortunate trend shouldn’t be surprising as there are almost no resources that enable parents, especially non-musical parents, to teach their children music. Often, it isn’t until a child is enrolled in private lessons or takes a class at school (if their school is fortunate enough to even have a music program) that they have any music learnin
The answer! “Monkey C Counts 1, 2, 3”
I set out to meet that need… resulting in a unique book series that uses stories to teach musical concepts!
1, 2, 3 Come with me… to the carnival or circus! “Monkey C. Counts 1, 2, 3” is the first book in this groundbreaking series. In “Monkey C.”, readers take a trip to the local carnival/circus and learn about time signature while riding the Yo-Yo swings, eating too much fried food and trying to win a giant stuffed bear.
“Monkey C. Counts 1, 2, 3” teaches readers how to identify the time signature 3/4 and what it means. Then, the lesson is implemented and reinforced in a song/story written in 3/4!
What’s cool about “Monkey C. Counts 1, 2, 3” is that this kind of book simply didn’t exist… until now. There are music lesson books and there are storybooks, but I’ve combined the two in such a way that kids can learn music theory on their own, with a parent or with a teacher. The lesson learned can be applied on an instrument butdoesn’t have to be.
Who is Monkey C. Counts 1, 2, 3″ for?
This book is for anyone who wants to start learning music but was specifically designed for preschool and elementary age children. It could be used by teachers as a supplemental teaching tool or parents who want to start introducing their children to music, thus giving them a head start in learning music theory.
What about other books in the series?
I’ve already finished writing my second book, “Elvis the Elephant and the Clefs on the Left”! My illustrator is putting the finishing touches on the book even now and it’s estimated print date is April 2013. “Elvis the Elephant and the Clefs on the Left” is a rhyming “Suessical-esque” story teaching kids how to identify the treble and bass clefs, and what they mean. Book 3 is also written but needs illustrations. Over ten other books are outlined for the future.
I’ve been teaching private music lessons for kids and adults (guitar, piano, voice and sometimes violin and mandolin too) since 2002. I earned my Bachelors in Music and was able to spend significant time developing my songwriting, poetry writing, performing and teaching skills in the process.
From 2003-2008, I performed as a solo acoustic singer-songwriter and was later the keyboardist and occasional guitarist in a rock band (find Harmony LaBeff on iTunes). Meanwhile, I led music therapy groups at a rehabilitation center near Chicago where I also conducted a choir for adults with disabilities.
Currently, I am a guest performer at local playgroups, schools, birthday parties, libraries and churches in the greater Chicago area and teach lessons in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. I write an inspirational and instructional blog for teachers and parents. My passion is teaching kids how to love and learn music!
What sparked the idea for the book/series?
Several years ago I was working as a music teacher and nannying 2 little boys. It was during my time nannying that I was inspired with the idea for the book series. It was a hot summer and I was often outside with the boys watching construction guys work on the road (because that’s what the kids begged to do everyday).
When the book idea struck me, I literally started drawing/writing my ideas as fast as I could on construction paper using crayons (because that’s all we had in the stroller), hoping none of the ideas would be forgotten before I immortalized them. Every afternoon, I’d try out whatever new story/music concept I was considering on the boys and, later in evening, I’d test them on the kids in my classes and lessons.