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My Family Plays Music
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My Family Plays Music

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  124 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
A girl finds a percussion instrument to play along with the members of her musical family.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Holiday House (first published September 2003)
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Laura P
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse
The story, My Family Plays Music, is a delightful picture book that won the John Steptoe New Talent Award in 2004. It is a story about a young girl whose family members play differing musical instruments. Though each member plays a different instrument, she always finds a way to play an accompanying part. The musical instruments can be thought of as diverse cultures, and how individuals can always find a way to "play in harmony."
May 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Grades Pre-K-2, and possibly students beginning to learn to play instruments.

Part of me wants to give this book ZERO stars, the other part wants to give it a four. I’m honking mad, but I wonder if the illustrator is equally as irritated.

RANT: As a music teacher and a musician I CANNOT STAND WHEN PEOPLE ARE PORTRAYED HOLDING AN INSTRUMENT INCORRECTLY!!!! I know some people restring guitars so that they are strumming with the left hand, and I can buy that maybe some people will restring a banjo as
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This story involves an African American little girl showing the reader the different instruments she plays with her family. At the end of the story, she tells the reader that she is a percussionist, (which is perhaps why she was able to play alongside a variety of instruments). It introduces the young reader to a variety of instrument and music genres.

This book relates to my topic of families by showing an accurate, positive, and diverse representation of an African American family. It also high
Feb 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
This book is a music teacher's dream. It's about a little girl whose family is very musical. Each family member plays a different instrument for a different style of music, and the narrator plays a different supporting instrument to accompany each one. The illustrations are simplistic but nice.

This is not a story. There are plenty of characters, but there is no problem or solution. It would be hard to get excited to read this book over and over again.
Bonnie Tesch
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
This read much more like a list than a story, but was too much detail for a good "list" book.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
Good book to teach children about different instruments.
Gabrielle Blockton
Date: September 29th, 2014

Author: Judy Cox; Illustrations by Elbrite Brown

Title: My Family Plays Music

Plot: A young girl introduces her immediate and extended family (including herself) and their loves for various types of music.

Setting: No Setting Specified; Most settings involve music venues and settings involving music.

Characters: Main Character (Little Girl); Mom, Dad, Emily (sister), Paul (brother), Saffron (aunt), Woody (uncle), Grandma, Grandpa, Great-Grandmother, Dean (cousin), Sadie (
Oct 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jenna, catalog
The music of bongos, cowbells, maracas, and even pots and pans fills the air. In this introduction to music, a spunky girl finds the perfect percussion instrument to play along with each member of her musical family. This story ids a charming tale of a families love of music. -Anon.

Potential Audience (Reading level): Early (K-2)

Genre: Children's Picture Book / Music/ Family

Topic: Family who plays music together is able to bond over the experience

Specific Curricular uses: Read Aloud as pa
Ting Zhang
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is appropriate for ages 4 to 8 in early childhood classrooms. The book “My family plays music” talks about a young girl’s family all love different kinds of music. For example, her mother plays fiddle in a country-and western band. When the little girl plays with her mother, she plays the tambourine. Her dad plays cello in a string quarter. When she plays with her father, she plays the triangle. Her sister plays clarinet in the marching band. When she plays with her sister, she plays t ...more
Taryn Vogel
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction: I really enjoyed My Family Plays Music! It was a really fun book that talked about the different types of instruments that every family member played, but how all of those different instruments are what brought the family closer.

Purpose: I think this book is great for students in 1st or 2nd grade. This book is a great story of a family of a different race and how they are all connected, and what they have in common. On every page there is a different instrument that is being t
Jesicca Welch
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
The author, Judy Cox, wrote this book to describe all of the musical traditions that have been carried through the family of a young girl, who is narrating the story. She develops each character by introducing each family member and describing the musical talent that each person has. In this family, it is their tradition for each family to play a musical instrument or possessing a talent of the arts, whether playing the drums or reciting poetry. The message and plot that is being developed throu ...more
Kristen Lindsay
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is an easy read children's book. The book introduces a African American girls musical family. The book reveals all the instruments the girl’s family plays including fiddle, cello, clarinet and cymbals etc. Throughout, the book tells of different instruments and how important these instruments are and what they symbolize in her family. The family comes together through music. The end of the book ends with a celebration of the whole family playing all musically. I feel that music in the ...more
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
My Family Plays Music, written by Judy Cox and illustrated by Elbrite Brown, is a story about a girl and her musical family. Two pages are dedicated to each family member, the instrument they play, the type of music they play, and what instrument the little girl plays when she joins in the fun. I believe that musical education is such an important part of school, but unfortunately, many schools don't have the funding for a music class. This book would be a great addition to any classroom to teac ...more
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Through bold colorful illustrations and simple text, a young girl introduces the reader to her musical family. Each family member plays a different instrument and enjoys a different music genre. Whether it's her father playing cello in a string quartet or her niece playing on pots and pans, the narrator always join in with a different percussion instrument.

A great book about family, musical instruments, music genres and music ensembles.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Family s
Kim Bennett
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the brightness of this book. It can definitely draw the attention of children. I also enjoyed the idea of it revolving around music. Everybody has heard music at some point in their lives. Music is a direct way we relate to cultures in society. While the story line also uses the music to join the family together. It is also enjoyable to see an African American family featured as the characters. The book focuses on each character and their specific instrument they play. I feel the importan ...more
Sep 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a great story about all the types of music that one family has with vibrant images of a family playing all of the styles. The one question that comes up for me, is that the images are of an African-American family and a lot of African-American musical styles are left off while some very un-black styles are included. For example, one family member plays in a Polka band and another plays bluegrass, but there isn't a blues musician, R&B musician, or hip-hop artist in the bunch. Odd but, ...more
A girl introduces readers to the members of her family who all play a different type of music. The main character plays a range of percussion instruments when she plays with each of the members of her family.

Papercut illustrations are truly a work of art. The care and precision that went into each small element is very impressive.

A great read aloud title for subjects ranging from family to music to instruments to different cultures.Following the story is a glossary that gives information about
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: children, 2016
Although the illustrations are filled with bright colors, they lack interesting details to help characters stand out in this book about a young girl and her family of musicians. It introduces children to a wide variety of instruments in a family atmosphere, which some will certainly appreciate. Recommended.
Jan 25, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a story about a black culture that is about a black little girl that introduces the reader to her family that all have an interest in music. She talks about how the whole family have an interest in different types of music, but they all really love each other. It would be a great way to introduce different sounds in your classroom (Science).
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-books, music
Great book to read to children who have very musical family members or really enjoy music. In this story, a girl talks about all the different types of instruments her family plays or how they sing. In other words, music is a great part of her family.
Sep 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kiddie-lit
A young girl joins in her family's love for music. Each member plays a different style, exposing the reader to a variety of instruments and styles. A wonderful book of sharing and celebration. I read this book as part of a unit on family.
Trisha Stragand
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is about how a girl belongs to different musical groups within her family. I thought our Music teacher could read this story to my students when he introduces percussion instruments to the them.
Amanda Hartley
This book would go great with any lessons about the different types of music. In the back of the book it explains the different types of music that the book contains. This book would be great to demonstrate fitting in.
Ashley Correll
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a story about a black culture that is about a black little girl that introduces the reader to her family who plays music. She talks about how the whole family has an interest in all different types of music and how they all love eachother.
Roxanne Lund
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
A girl plays a percussion instrument along with the music her various family members make. Nice way to integrate the subject of music into the classroom just as our music teacher tries to incorporate various concepts taught in the "general" classroom into his music classroom.
Different musical styles and instruments are highlighted as the child describes the bands and groups evach family member plays in. Would be great to use along with real instruments mentioned in the book (all percussion - triangle, wood blocks, cowbell, etc...).
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A young girl introduces us to the members of her family, who all play music. They all play a different style, from the concert hall to the polka band, but the love of music ties them together. And when they come together, they know how to celebrate!
Emily Graham
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderfully illustrated story about a family that plays music. They all play a different instrument and the main character plays a variety of instruments. It's great to teach students about family as well as culture and different types of instruments and musical genres.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-book
My Family Plays Music by Judy Cox and illustrated by Elbrite Brown. The diversity of the music describes the differences in the family. The glossary in the back will help further explain the types of music to young readers. The illustrations were colorful.
Tara Mensing
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a really neat book about a child who's family is very musical, but unique in their musical talent. They play instruments ranging from the cello to the saxophone and drums.
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