Perfect for either novices or lapsed performers who want to embrace music but aren’t sure how.



Making music isn’t just for professionals, according to this guide that aims to make the joys of playing and singing accessible to adults.

Nathan (The Young Musician’s Survival Guide, 2008, etc.), a prolific author of books for children and their parents, turns her attention to adults who want to incorporate music into their lives. Unfortunately, she writes, “many people aren’t aware of the range of music-making options that are available for people who choose not to pursue music professionally.” In this encouraging, engaging volume, she quickly dispels the notion that being musical requires innate talent or years of rigorous training that must begin in childhood. To discover how “avocational” musicians manage to make time for playing, singing, and composing, she assembled a panel of 363 amateur performers who either completed open-ended questionnaires or shared their experiences in interviews. This trove of diverse, real-life stories helps turn this book from what could have been a ho-hum, how-to manual into an inspirational guide. Readers can easily see how people of wide-ranging ages, backgrounds, and levels of musical expertise have found outlets for their creativity and passion. After a brief overview of the advantages of “Keeping On with Music,” which include cognitive benefits, social connections, and reduced stress, she discusses how three broad categories make it work. First are those who began playing as children and never stopped. Though dreams of performing professionally have been abandoned, these individuals have joined choirs, amateur ensembles, and semipro orchestras. There are also those who played in the past but gave it up for a time only to return, as well as adults who are new to making music (or at least new to their chosen instruments). She touches on the unique challenges each of these groups faces, from poor teachers and time constraints to lack of practice space and the belief that one is simply not good enough to play or sing. Throughout, the emphasis is on the pleasure that can come from making music, whatever one’s skill level.

Perfect for either novices or lapsed performers who want to embrace music but aren’t sure how.

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-19-061158-3

Page Count: 292

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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