"Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature can not do without." ~Confucius

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"I See a Song" by Eric Carle

I was so excited when I found out about the book by Eric Carle, "I See a Song." I love Eric Carle's children's books (it all started with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?) and try to get at least one of them every time we get a bundle 'o books from the library. My boys are..... not such big fans (What gives??!). They seem to have this "Eric Carle" phase during their 1st-2nd year, then poof! It's gone!
So, I knew this would be a stretch for them to get into, but I had to try!

I love the idea behind this book! The basic premise is: a violinist enters on the first few pages. He begins to play and what results throughout the pages is a colorful depiction of his music with beautiful colors and creative artistic displays. as he says before he begins, "I see a song. I paint music. I hear color."
The book ends as it began, and the violinist exits.

So, go forth, ye, and giveth this book a try!

Here's what we did:
1. Gather kiddos at a good time of the day when they are up for creative thinking... not a cranky time of day like I do sometimes.
2. Open the book and show them the violinist, talk about what the man is doing.
   When music is played, we can see colors and pictures in our minds depending on what the music sounds like.
3. Go through the book pointing to the pictures, imagining what the music is like, singing what it might be like, describing if it looks loud or soft, fast or slow, happy or sad.
4. When the violinist exits, applaud for a fine performance! :-)

You can give your child instruments to play; like a drum, shakers, etc. and they can describe the pictures on their own through instruments if they're not quite into vocalizing a description.

Or, if you are savvy on an instrument, you can go through the book with them as you have your own piano/guitar/violin/flute, etc. there to improvise a little on what the pictures make you think of. They will LOVE this. :-)

My boys liked the whole idea, but as I said, are not (yet?) so crazy about Carle's books. So, we tried this later with one of their favorite Robert Munsch books (Boo!) and they were much more excited and heartily made up songs about those pictures. What can I say? They're my silly boys.

There is also an official animated version on YouTube (Go here!) which is great, but I would save that for after your little one/s have done their own creating. :-)

So, go get this book from your local library or on Amazon/etc. and give it a try!

Have fun!


  1. Hi Marji, great post! I'm an early childhood music teacher. I've really enjoyed reading your blog for a while, and so I'd like to nominate you for a Liebster Blog award. It's for new bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. If you'd like to know how it works, you can visit my blog, linked in my signature, or you can visit Bailey's blog who nominated me. She is also in Early Childhood.

    Take care, and keep up the great work!

    The Learning Metamorphosis

  2. Thanks Jessica - I'll check it out and thanks for the kind words!

  3. I really love your blog! You have great ideas! I just joined your site and am excited to stay up to date on your posts! Check me out at staytunedmusicteacher.blogspot.ca

  4. Hey Steph! Great to have you along from all the way over there in Manitoba! (My hubs is from New Brunswick). It's so great to be able to share ideas across the miles - thanks for the link to your site!