Music @ my House: Playing a Story

Today is the first in a series I will be doing on the first Monday of each month.  I hope that reading some ideas here will inspire you to share a few minutes of music-making with your kids too!

For my youngest piano students (and my own kiddos) one of the first things we do is to play stories on the piano. Anyone can do it-you don’t have to be a piano teacher! 

 To start, just choose one of your favorite children’s books. 

 I’ll show you what I mean:

One of our favorite stories to play on the piano is
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

I should also mention that you can use any instrument with this activity, but I will share how we have been doing this at the piano.

First we make our hands into bear paws and then we play all five fingers on the piano. First left hand then right hand-like we’re walking. We do this steadily as a beat while I/we say, “We’re going on a bear hunt….”

Each thing that we come to in the story is a chance to make different sounds:

Loud (“Oh no!”)

Short (“Splash”)

Low/high (“running/in the cave”)

Long (“mud”)

Quiet (“tiptoe”)

Quick (“quick, back!”)


With a little imagination, you can do this kind of thing with almost any children’s story.

We like to put the storybook right up on the music stand and turn the pages as we go.

Pretty soon the kids know the story and the “music” that goes with it and will tell the story and make the music sounds all on their own. I love it when I am in the other room and hear Kay “playing” one of our stories. It’s so fun!
Try it!

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