Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Learn to Speak Music: A Guide to Creating, Performing & Promoting Your Songs

Kulak, Jeff (Illustrator)
Owlkids 2009. 96 pages
First published: 2009
Series: Learn to Speak
ISBN: 9781897349656 (paperback)
Original language: English
Dewey: 781.63
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

layout, multimodal, recurring patterns, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

So you want to be a musician in a band? This in-depth resource will walk you through the process, step by step. Written by musical talent John Crossingham from Broken Social Scene, the conversational insider tone makes creating music accessible and exciting. Packed with encouraging tips and practical information, readers learn about choosing an instrument, forming a band, playing live, recording music at home, promotion and marketing, making a music video. There’s even a “Style File” at the back of the book with tips on how to approach your instrument.

With retro graphics and a palette of cool-toned oranges, blacks, mint greens and mustards, the look of this densely packed volume is easy on the eye. Text is well organized with headings and graphics breaking up longer paragraphs. Sidebars – playlists with song examples and their history – are there to inspire readers. Flowcharts, checklists and quotes from industry leaders are placed throughout the rich text.

The information is divided into six chapters with titles like “Making Music,” “Form a Band,” “Write On!” and “Spread the Word,” and into sub-sections such as finding a teacher, how music works, naming your band and finding a space to rehearse. With the encouraging voice of the author, budding musicians are initiated into the world of music: “The one thing that always saw me through wasn’t tons of talent, it was just a love of music. You get where I’m going with this? If I can do it … Exactly, so can you.”

  •  Discuss your favourite songs, giving reasons for your choices. Begin a list of features that make a song appealing. As you read, make connections between the music-making process and the appeal of the finished product.
  •  

    Listen to some of the suggested songs (or other songs you like). Use the information about song formats on pages 32-33 to analyze and discuss how the songs are organized.

  •  Use a graphic organizer to summarize the music-making process. Use pictograms to describe the steps.
  •  Try a suggested activity, such as writing a song or forming a band. Keep a journal to record the process.
  •  

    Each section follows a similar structure to offer guidance and to demystify various aspects of the music industry. Consider ways to read the text using its features.

  •  

    In small groups, discuss what makes a good song. Use information from the text to back up your ideas. Make notes and compare with other groups.

  •  

    Using your discussion ideas along with this and other related texts, put together a Guide to Creating Music for a familiar audience of teens.

  •  

    Who in the class plays an instrument or sings? Start a class list of words and concepts related to music. Select entries for a music glossary for the book.

  •  

    Explore the structures, features and content of this book. What strikes you as similar to or different from other books about music?

  •  

    Choose some of the suggested songs or other English songs that you like. Use pages 32-33 to discuss and understand how the songs are organized.

  •  

    In foursomes, follow the steps in the book to create your own band. Plan the type of music, the instruments and songs you will play. Plan a set, a logo, a poster and a T-shirt. Record a video to promote your band. Hold a Live Launch Day for your class or others.

  •  

    Listen to several songs (only for a minute or so) taken from the various proposed playlists. While listening, write descriptive words evoked by the music. Discuss the activity as a class.

  •  

    Use a semantic map to break down the parts of a song. Check out one of the songs in the book and fit the lyrics into each corresponding part. Does the formula for songwriting work? Explain.

  •  

    Select a song produced by different artists. Write a short opinion text explaining why one version is better than the other(s).

  •  

    Create a poster or online invitation to attract a large audience to a concert. Be both creative and informative.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Media Literacy
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Career Development
  • Music
  • Visual Arts