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 University Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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