Glitched Screens. Decrescendos. Inspirations.
The background behind Lark Around the World: Intro to International Music for Kids.
The "otherization" of non-Western music is something that has bothered me for the longest time. From the education field to the core of the music industry, leaders of these sectors often discuss globalization, rhythmic origins, African and Indigenous music, but at the same time, use all of their influences in their music without giving credit. And it wasn't until one of my own students didn't know the mysterious "Mr. Tumnus instrument" in Narnia was in fact the sound of our very own Armenian duduk that I knew I needed to create something visual, memorable, and immersive, so kids can be introduced to international instruments, musicians, and genres.
From my seven years of teaching introduction to music history to kids, the most enlivening experience I've been lucky enough to see is my students' live reaction to hearing a great song for the first time. Their faces never disappoint. So eager to compare new sounds to things that are familiar to them, my students are always surprised to notice similarities between music from diverse countries all around the world. One of the many difficulties of quarantined Zoom classes was not being able to truly gauge their reactions via glitched screens and delayed audio. Thus, a project was born.
21 students of Lark Conservatory were able to draw connections between the evolution of music and the overlapping uses of instrumentation across cultures. Students chose their favorite pieces of music history and created illustrations to accompany my class notes. Those illustrations were then brought to life from paper drawings submitted through email and digitized, by myself, into graphic images for print and publication. You can learn more about the illustrators and which countries they visualized in the "Meet the Artists" section of this website.
After over 2000+ hours of work, squeezed between multiple jobs, I’m so excited for this tangible product to reach the hands of children willing to read about music from all over the world. Most children’s international music books cover one country or one continent (usually, Europe). After engaging in conversation with so many different people across our globe, I’m happy to say this book gives an introduction to 5 continents and 31 countries.
Enjoy the adventure!
Order for a curious mind, today!
Our local release has been going great, especially after selling out 125 books at the Book Launch Party in September!
So excited for large retailers and other bookstores to carry this book soon.
** 100% of proceeds from the book launch event were donated to the non-profit, Lark Conservatory.
If you would like to become a sponsor, please email us for details. Thank you.