About the Holiday
The National Association for Music Education sponsors Music in Our Schools Month each March to promote greater awareness of the benefits and enjoyment high-quality music education brings to students and the community. Beginning in 1973 as a single Advocacy Day in New York, this celebration grew to include the entire month in 1985.
During the month special music programs, education, concerts, and classes take place to get kids and adults excited about the joys of music in schools.
Music Class Today
Written by David Weinstone | Illustrated by Vin Vogel
A little boy and his froggy toy join a music class full of other boys and girls led by a guitar-strumming teacher. The class starts with a song welcoming everyone by name and a verse inviting all to shake their musical eggs high and shake the eggs low. “One rolls away—where did it go?”
The new boy peeks around his mom’s back to watch the action, and when it’s time for a song he says, “I think I’ll just watch…But I’m listening!” The teacher gently sings, “That’s all right, that’s okay. / Whenever you’re ready, / come on over and play. / That’s all right, there’s no rush. / Whenever you’re ready, / come play with us!” These verses become a chorus repeated throughout the book, reassuring the little boy that he’s welcome, but that his own speed of acclimation is okay too.
The class continues with the kids kicking up their feet, drumming, and moving around the room in time with the music. The little boy comes out from behind his mom to sit on her lap and watches the fun. The teacher’s chorus brings the boy a little closer—to the edge of his mom’s feet—while clinging tightly to his froggy. He giggles as the kids swirl with scarves, getting dizzy, and falling down.
Now everyone’s dancing, being silly, and having a ball. Froggy joins in, dangling and wiggling at the ends of the boy’s hands. As dancing evolves into free-play time, the little boy accepts the teacher’s invitation to “come join the fun,” and leaves froggy at his mom’s feet with one more request for assurance—“Wait here till I’m done!”
“Good for you, that’s the way. / Everybody’s in the band!” the teacher sings as the little boy takes up the cymbals and leads the parade behind him. All too soon it’s clean-up time and class ends with a good-bye song. The boy is having so much fun that he tells the teacher he and froggy want to stay. The instructor knows just what to say to his happy, excited student: “That’s all right, that’s okay. / We’ll see you soon another day!”
In this cross-genre picture book, David Weinstone brings the musicality and movement of a toddler and preschool music class to the page. His song, also available as a free download, serves as the text of the story about a reluctant joiner who overcomes his apprehension to become a member of the group. The repeated chorus, that calmly and sincerely explains that it is okay for children to wait and watch until they feel comfortable, can be used for many situations and is a welcome message.
Vin Vogel’s sweet illustrations of a wide mix of kids kicking up their heels (literally, as a flying shoe bonks the instructor on the head in one giggle-inducing scene) and having fun are inspired in their focus on the children. The kids play instruments, dance, and cavort across the pages, filling the white space with joy. The view of the classroom changes from page to page to show other mother-child pairs, which helps emphasize that hesitant children are common, as well as baby siblings, toys, instruments, storage bins, and other sights familiar to children.
Ages 1 – 4
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015 | ISBN 978-0374351311
Music in Our Schools Day Activity
It’s Instrumental! Game
Play this fun game to gather all the instruments you need to create a music group. The first person to collect all 6 instrument cards is the winner!
- Printable Paper Cube Template
- Printable Musical Instruments Cards—print one page for each player
- Print the Paper Cube Template, cut it out and assemble the cube die.
- Print the Musical Instruments cards, cut out cards, and separate the instruments into piles
- Players take turns rolling the die cube to collect musical instrument cards
- The first player to collect all 6 instrument cards is the winner