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3 Reasons You Should Teach Storybook Lessons

Feb 22, 2022 | Adding Literacy to the Music Classroom, Music Teacher Activities

3 Reasons You Should Teach Storybook Lessons in the Music Classroom

Lots of music teachers are talking about storybook lessons. You may be wondering what’s all the hype? Why should you teach storybook lessons. I’ll let you in on the secret. It’s because you’re tired, you’re overwhelmed, and you’re stressed out. I get it, because I am too. As a general music teacher myself, I know that you’re constantly juggling all the things, and still trying to actually inspire my students to want to learn and participate. Doesn’t everything seem like a constant challenge lately? And forget about learning something new!

Don’t worry, I’ve got you. I find that storybook lessons are one of the best ways to engage your students and keep them excited about coming to music class. I’m about to share my secret sauce, and it won’t take more than a few minutes to learn the details.


Storybooks are, in my opinion, the best way to change your classroom culture. They create a sense of peace and unity. They teach social skills and morals organically. They are entertaining while also being a great way to teach basic music skills. In short, they are their own complete party. Today, I’m going to share with you 3 reasons why you should add storybook lessons to your curriculum.

Reason #1:

Storybooks are peaceful & naturally engaging – We are living in a time where our kiddos have more than they can handle. Being a kid can be stressful. You’re not in charge of anything and there are lots of expectations you are supposed to meet. Do well in school, be kind to others, participate in hobbies, make friends. I mean the list goes on and on. Add to that any problems in the home, and the current pandemic, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Imagine dealing with all this at 8.  We, as music teachers, are responsible not just for their musical needs, but also for their social and emotional needs. We have the unique ability to do just that. Music can be the peace, love, and happiness that helps children forget about their everyday problems and just enjoy

If you’re still not sure, just read your students a story that you love, and watch their faces. You’ll be amazed at the expressions of joy and tranquility that even your big kids will have (yes, I read to my big kids too).

Kids are always engaged when you are reading to them

Reason #2:

Storybooks are a great way to teach basic music concepts organically – Storybooks are a natural way to teach basic music skills. You can add a storybook lesson to introduce or practice any music skill. Here are some examples:

  • Storybooks have repeating patterns. These patterns can be used to create rhythmic phrases and tiny melodies that repeat throughout the story.
  • Storybooks have sound words (words that you can use to add instrument play).
  • Storybooks have movement words (words that you can use to add movement to the story).
  • Storybooks can be used to create a musical program.

Reason #3:

Storybooks add fun & silly to otherwise every day, basic music skills – Storybooks are full of funny, silly, and colorful characters, illustrations, and tales. They teach good life lessons with creativity and ingenuity. When you add a musical activity to the storybook, you’ve created something really special. Here are some elements you can add:

  • Unpitched Instrument Play – the absolute BEST way to teach your students how to play your classroom instruments.
  • Orff Instrument Play – the repeating patterns in many storybooks are the perfect way to create/compose ostinatos.
  • Composition skills – Stories have a sequence, so music composition is made easy when you use a storybook.
  • Dramatization & Movement – Storybooks have naturally occurring movement and drama and are a natural extension to teach when reading a story.
  • Vocal exploration – Characters, animals, and everyday household items sometimes speak in a storybook. Vocal exploration is a natural extension in these types of stories.

Now that you know how effective storybook lessons can be in teaching basic music skills, you’re going to need to know more right? That’s why I’m sharing this free list of storybooks designed to give you some ideas about what storybooks to use. Simply click the image to the right to download your list.

That’s not all! I’m also planning a special course designed to teach you all the steps you’ll need to take to design your own storybook lessons. At the time of this blog post, there is a waiting list for this course. Want to learn more? Simply click here.

Download a FREE list of storybooks to use in your Music Classroom!

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