composer bios : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

Does anyone know of any books about composers (series or otherwise) for kids. I'm looking for short bios on composers the kids would study (bartok, kabalevsky, bach, mozart, burgmuller, etc). are there any well-written, not too babyish, interesting books out there that people know about. I'm thinking more of a book per composer, not just a book with lots of composers in it, though that might be helpful too. The books should be geared towards 9-15 year olds.

-- Julie2 (, March 08, 2001


Dear Julie, I bought a collection of books entitled "Getting to Know the Worlds' Greatest Composers", written and illustrated by Mike Venezia, published by Children's Press Chicago. They were recommended by a homeschooling family I teach. They are full of animation as well as famous portraits. I circulated them among my students last year and everyone enjoyed them. I asked each student to read the books and bring a list of at three things they didn't know about the composer to the next lesson. Students were anxious to discuss the books, finding much more than three facts that interested them. I have Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and Hayden, but there are many more in the collection.

-- Becky (, March 08, 2001.

I was kind of wondering the same thing myself, Julie2, only that I want to study the composers thoroughly next school year, learning all I can.

Becky, what grade level is that collection of books you mentioned? I'll be in 10th grade, so if anyone knows of any composer books around that level or whatever, can they please let me know? Thanks.

-- Julie (, March 10, 2001.

Dear Julie, The books are mid to upper elementary level, so they probably wouldn't interest you too much. I do have a teenage student who is also looking for books on composers. I am starting to research the libraries in my area. If I come across something I'll let you know.

-- Becky (, March 12, 2001.

Okay, thanks, Becky!

-- Julie (, March 13, 2001.

Becky, thanks!

-- Julie2 (, March 17, 2001.

I don't know what they're like, but there are numerous composer bios written for children available from Friendship House. They also have books for teachers, full of reproducible activities (about composers, music history, etc.). Visit

-- Music Educator (, March 20, 2001.

Have you seen Alfred's MEET THE GREAT COMPOSERS series (books 1 & 2)? Each comes with an optional CD or cassette. These are great to have in your library! Along with Friendship House, it's good to have catalogs by MUSIC IN MOTION and MUSIC TREASURES CO.

-- John Bisceglia (, March 24, 2001.

John, Do you have the addresses for Music in Motion and Music Treasures Co., so I might request a catalog? Thanks ~


-- Julie (, March 24, 2001.

For music students who are involved in preparing for their piano or other music instruments RCM (Royal Conservatory of Music, Canada) certificates in history suggested readings are: Machlis, J. "The enjoyment of Music" 5th Edition, New York: Norton Other recommendations are: Ringhofer, J.J. Romantic Music, A study guide. Toronto Gordon Thompson Ringhofer, J.J. Early music, A study guide. Toronto Gordon Thompson

Some of my personal collections include: Living Biographies of Great Composers by Henry Thomas and Dana Lee Thomas, Published by Garden City Publishing Company INC NEW YORK 1940 edition

Also Volumes one and two of The Milton Cross New Encyclopedia of the Great composers and Their Music By Milton Cross and David Ewen, Volumes 1 and 2 Doubleday and company Inc Garden City, New York

Hope this helps

Music Web Site Piano, Music Teaching resource and research site

-- Bryon Tosoff (, July 24, 2001.


Maybe you should try The Mitlon Cross New Encyclopedia of Composers and their Music. It's a two volume collection. I had to do a report on Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn, and it was extrememly useful and it also had some of the other composers you mentioned.

-- alex (, December 16, 2004.

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