Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Welcome to the Symphony: A Musical Exploration of the Orchestra Using Beethoven'

Welcome to the Symphony: A Musical Exploration of the Orchestra Using Beethoven'

Carolyn Sloan
Illustrator:  James Williamson 
Novelty Nonfiction Book
For ages 5 to 7
Workman Publishing Company, 2015   ISBN: 978-0761176473

Take your seats, dear guests, because the concert is about to begin. The orchestra is on the stage and they are ready to perform Symphony No.5 in C minor by Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven is one of the world’s most famous classical music composers, and he lived in Germany more than two hundred years ago.

Before the concert begins, the concert master stands up and she helps the other musicians in the orchestra to tune their instruments. Once this is done, the conductor comes onto the stage. During the concert this person will make sure that the orchestra is playing at the right tempo and that the musician are using the correct dynamics.

Now that the instruments are tuned and the conductor is ready, the music begins, and what glorious music it is. The opening section of the piece is something many people, even people who do not know much about classical music, will recognize. This is the main theme that will appear and reappear many times in the music.

As we listen, we can pick out the various instruments that make up the orchestra. There are the stringed instruments, the woodwinds, the brass, and finally the percussion instruments. Together they blend harmonies and melodies to give listeners a memorable musical experience.

In this wonderful book children will learn about a singular piece of music and its composer. They will also get to know the instruments that are part of an orchestra and will be able to experience nineteen sounds clips from the first movement of Beethoven’s fifth symphony. The sounds clips help children to understand and appreciate the text and the art as they look through the book.

At the back of the book children will find further information about Ludwig van Beethoven, and there is also an article about how to raise a child so that he or she grows to loves classical music.