The best children’s books on classical music

Who am I?

I am an award-winning composer, author, and educator. Since 1990 I have had the privilege of teaching others about music through my concerts, children’s books, academic books, lessons, and online courses. 

I wrote...

Meet the Orchestra: A Guide to the Instruments of the Orchestra Through Star Constellations and Greek Myths

By Jonathan Peters,

Book cover of Meet the Orchestra: A Guide to the Instruments of the Orchestra Through Star Constellations and Greek Myths

What is my book about?

Meet the Orchestra teaches children about the instruments of the symphony orchestra in a very fun and unique way. Each instrument plays the part of a character from Greek mythology connected with a specific star constellation. After a short narration of the Greek myth, the instrument performs a musical portrayal. Children can read along as they listen to the narration and music on the downloadable CD. Following each piece of music is information about each instrument and interesting facts about the constellations.

Includes a free CD download, a teacher’s guide for optional classroom use, 70 full-color images of instruments, mythological characters, star constellation diagrams, and stunning pictures from outer space!

The books I picked & why

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My First Classical Music Book: Book & CD

By Genevieve Helsby,

Book cover of My First Classical Music Book: Book & CD

Why this book?

This is a great little book for introducing younger readers to their first pieces of classical music. Although it is meant for a younger audience, there are many anecdotes that slightly older readers will also enjoy. The accompanying music is available in both a CD and an online version. The recordings are from Naxos which has an excellent music library of top-notch performances. A great value!

Johann Sebastian Bach

By Mike Venezia,

Book cover of Johann Sebastian Bach

Why this book?

This book is from a series of books entitled Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers, which features many different composers. The books are easy to read and will be enjoyed by both younger readers and older readers alike. The cartoon-style artwork may look silly, but the material is informative. Music education would not be complete without some information on the composers who wrote the music. A great series!

Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition

By Anna Harwell Celenza, Joann Kitchel (illustrator),

Book cover of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition

Why this book?

In the Once Upon a Masterpiece series, author Anna Harwell Celenza tells the stories behind various classical music masterpieces. She does so in an engaging way for children ages 6-9. I love how she is a musicologist and uses documented evidence to tell the story behind the piece. The illustrations incorporate folk art and symbols from the composer’s country. The author includes multiple links so that readers can listen to each masterpiece.

Listen to the Birds: An Introduction to Classical Music

By Ana Gerhard, Cecilia Varela (illustrator),

Book cover of Listen to the Birds: An Introduction to Classical Music

Why this book?

Listen to the Birds is part of the series An Introduction to Classical Music. Author Ana Gerhard chooses a different theme for each book and then puts together a collection of songs by various composers which is related to that theme. What a great idea! The included CD only gives you excerpts from the pieces, but that is probably because it is meant as an “intro” to classical music for a younger audience with a shorter attention span. I would recommend despite this downside, since further listening can always be done separately from the book if the readers are interested to hear more.

Teaching Music to Children: A Curriculum Guide for Teachers Without Music Training

By Blair Bielawski,

Book cover of Teaching Music to Children: A Curriculum Guide for Teachers Without Music Training

Why this book?

This is a nice resource for teachers to have at their disposal. The book encompasses various grade levels. It was nice of the author to give permission to teachers to make copies for their classrooms. I love that besides the lessons, games, worksheets, and puzzles, it also includes a listening CD and PowerPoint presentation.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in classical music, Russia, and Germany?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about classical music, Russia, and Germany.

Classical Music Explore 27 books about classical music
Russia Explore 234 books about Russia
Germany Explore 291 books about Germany

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Allegro, Because, and Itzhak if you like this list.