Teachers of all subjects and grade levels are facing unprecedented times, but music teachers have had to be especially creative with lessons. Because studies suggest that singing and playing wooden instruments creates respiratory droplets, they abandoned lesson plans and tried to find new teaching methods on the fly.
That’s when Vicky Weber, a music and STEAM teacher at Lake Bluff and author of children’s books, came to a difficult time. His interactive musical book, Lazlo learns Recorder, has become a staple in music classes around the world to complement the teaching of the recorder.
Lazlo learns the recorder
“The book shows what it’s like to play the recorder,” says Weber, who created an animated version of the book that highlights each note when it’s time to play them. “When the children are at home, they can use the book to teach themselves. “
Weber, a resident of Gurnee who is due to have her first child this month, realized she was on to something and quickly pulled out more books.
The garden of songs
The garden of songs, released in May 2020, was another book that music classes relied heavily on. The book helps spark composition in young readers, but has a dual purpose.
“The main character has a lot of anxiety about the creation because she doesn’t want it to be wrong, but she realizes that there is no wrong answer when you express yourself,” Weber explains. . “With COVID and students learning at home, the anxieties have been exacerbated. Many music teachers have relied on this book to help students cope with generalized anxiety.
But Weber didn’t stop there.
In his success story and most popular book, Rescue rhythm, released in August 2020, the main character needs the reader’s help to save the day. Kids need to clap at the right pace to activate his superpowers and move the story forward.
“If I needed these books for my class, that meant other music teachers needed them as well,” says Weber, who notes that many teachers have successfully campaigned for administrators to use their existing instrument budgets to build their classroom libraries instead.
Tempo of the Tiger
Weber’s fourth book and most recent version (December 2020) – Tempo of the Tiger – helps the youngest to learn about music education in a fun and interactive way. Every page of the book says “Help the tiger win the race.” Hit the beat to keep it going ”and young readers are encouraged to clap at the designated tempo while learning musical vocabulary.
“My books give teachers some flexibility because they can use them anywhere, and they’re activities that don’t involve singing or playing,” Weber explains. “Children can applaud my stories, have fun and not realize that they are learning. “
When it comes to playing a bigger role in their children’s music education, Weber says the best thing to do is expose children to music.
“It is important to encourage children to create and expose them to different types of music. There are a lot of free educational resources online, but the most important thing is just to let them learn about music, ”Weber explains.
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