Blog

On Musical Books and Distance Learning

Tell me quickly the more agreeable topic: children’s books or presidential elections? This month, I am thrilled to appear on the cover of Story Monsters Ink, a digital children’s literature publication distributed to schools and libraries across the country. The cover (above) contains zippy insect drawings by

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Choosing Just the Right Names for Story Characters

Choosing just the right names for your story’s characters sounds like it would be easy enough. Usually, though, it isn’t, at least not for me. In an interview for the National Association for Music Education, the columnist/ editor Tom Amoriello questioned me about that exact challenge. To

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The Long Tail of a Teacher’s Positive Impact

Here’s a true story to lift the spirits of anyone devoted to nurturing young people. We cannot foretell exactly how, but the activities you present to children today may leave a positive impact for 50 years! Recently, Debbie Clark Anders, front row, fourth from left, posted on

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Two sticks, a drum pad and an author’s journey

This summer, I was honored to be interviewed for the National Association for Music Education. The editor, Tom Amoriello, a guitarist and educator, described himself as a longstanding fan of the Jazz Fly books. So he chose that focus for his “Yay, Storytime!” column. He asked lots

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Permissions to share my books in the Covid era

Since school closures began due to the Covid pandemic, I’ve received scores of emails from teachers asking permission to share my books with their home bound students. (Music teacher Jen Meyer of Iowa was the first to contact me with this timely idea, but thank you, EVERYONE,

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How to create an original call and response chant

 ZLOH…ZLEE…ZLOH-ZLEE-ZLOO! Create an original call and response chant to instantly focus children’s attention–in the classroom, library, over the intercom, or at home! Greetings teachers (that includes principals, librarians, parents and grandparents), With the start of school, it’s time to put an extra bounce in our step. Before we

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On Beyond Dr. Seuss for Read Across America Day

Children's Poetry

Much as I love Dr. Seuss, elementary schools would do better on Read Across America Day to focus on poetry with more wide ranging vocabulary like Falling Up (Shel Silverstein) and It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles (Jack Prelutsky). I just re-read both, and they’re terrific! The problem

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