“Welcome to the Symphony” by Carolyn Sloan. (Book Review)

“Welcome to the Symphony: A Musical Exploration of the Orchestra Using Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5”

“Welcome to the Symphony! Please take your seats. The concert is about to begin.”. Cellphone off and ears on! We have the best seats in the house, shared with 3 little mice who are also first-timers at the symphony! Together, we will learn the basics of classical music by listening to the orchestra. Starting with an introduction to one of the world’s most well -known composers, Ludwig van Beethoven, we learn about his composition, the movements, the role of the concertmaster and the conductor with the orchestra, the different aspects of music such as tempo, melody, harmony, and of course all of the instruments  that make up the orchestra, the strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. With commentary from our mousey little friends (not sure they paid for their ticket!) we explore the inner workings of each instrument, made even more special by the interactive panel of 19 sound buttons.

We realized early on that Dolly was a huge classical music fan so I was thrilled to see this book released! (I wore a music belt when I was pregnant and played it for her, maybe this set her off on the classical path?!) When she was a newborn, classical music lulled her to sleep, and we liked to play it for long car rides as she grew older, for relaxation reasons as well.  A few months ago, we made grilled cheeses and cuddled up to watch the Vienna Philharmonic Summer Concert 2015 on television. Surely a fidgety 2-year-old would not be interested in watching a concert on TV?? Wrong!! I wondered how Dolly would last. Answer: The entire concert.  She sat there enthralled!! She moved her arms up/down and practiced conducting, yelled out the instruments she knew (drums! violin!) when they popped on the screen, and clapped after each song! Point being, it is never too early to instill a love of classical music in your child, (they may surprise you if you think they won’t be interested!)!  If you are looking for a first, fun, interactive launching pad, this book, “Welcome to the Symphony” will do the trick. The story itself gives a great amount of knowledge (adults, you will learn a thing or two!), but is easy for children to enjoy thanks to the three little mice, as well as the interactive quality of this book. The sound buttons will keep your little one’s attention and interest! Several times, I have found Dolly alone with this book, carefully turning pages, pressing  (some buttons need to be pushed much harder than others, our only complaint) and listing to the music, happily entertaining herself, humming the notes that are tuned, and even bobbing along to the rhythm!

Dolly loves The Vienna Philharmonic almost as much as she loves grilled cheese!

If  an introduction to the classical arts is what you’re looking for, than this book must be music to your ears (pun intended)! What a way to draw in the next generation of concert goers! Using one of the most famous works in classical music, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the author has selected the ideal song for a novice to enter the world of classical music to! Pressing the sound buttons is the perfect sensory stimuli and great for little fingers to practice pushing. The sound board is accompanied by very knowledgeable and informative text.  Your child will quickly learn the names of the instruments (you’ll see!) and be able to recognize the sounds they make too!

Picking up this book is like getting free tickets to a concert! So don’t miss out!

Title: Welcome to the Symphony
Author: Carolyn Sloan
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Pages: 32