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Book Review: Jazzy Fairy Tales Resource Guide and CD by Susan Milligan and Louise Rogers

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I am not a teacher, but I play one at home to my four children.  I am always looking for fun ways to excite their natural love of learning and reading in particular.  Jazzy Fairy Tales Resource Guide and CD is written for teachers by classroom teacher and storyteller Susan Milligan and jazz singer and music teacher Louise Rogers as an aid to help teachers bring jazz music into the classroom.

The manual contains activities that can supplement a program that a teacher (or parent, as the case may be) already has in place or provide a “ready-made, easy-to-use, all-encompassing music curriculum” for those like me who are trying to figure out how to teach music with little to no previous musical knowledge. 

The book has an Appendix that explains music theory terms, jazz terminology, standard blues form and the melody with chords for the themes and songs.  A CD is included with the manual so that teachers and parents can familiarize themselves with the songs before teaching them to children.

Three stories, “The Three Little Pigs,” “The Three Bears” and “The Billy Goats Gruff,” can be told with actions and (jazz) musical accompaniment.  Each character is given a different beat and actions.  The repetition of the stories themselves allows for choruses and refrains to be learned and repeated in the telling of the story.  In this way, children can be taught music appreciation as well as encouraged to develop storytelling and early reading skills.

My six-year-old daughter enjoys listening to the CD on its own, but we have also had fun learning the motions and telling the story together as a family.  My one-year-old is now learning the motions that go with the songs in each story.

The Jazzy Fairy Tales Resource Guide and CD is a great option for parents and teachers alike.

(Photo by smithadri.)

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