With plenty of lockdown home-schooling going on here I feel so fortunate for my huge collection of vintage Ladybird books. With only one laptop between two school age kids, there have been plenty of occasions where I’ve needed a second information source that isn’t screen based. Luckily my Ladybird collection covers most subjects in enough details that it fill an information gap caused by not being able to access google. That’s certainly what happened with A Ladybird Book of Musical Instruments.
My 9 year old (Year 5) daughter’s music homework the other week was to think about the four different sections in an orchestra (strings woodwind, brass and percussion) and try to list all the different musical instruments in each one.
She made a first stab with knowledge that she’d picked up from school, but after that drew a bit of a blank. I could fill in a few more gaps, but it’s over 20 years since I last played in a school orchestra and so I too couldn’t remember everything. No problem once I’d laid my hands on this book.
A Ladybird Book of Musical Instruments starts by explaining how we hear sounds, and a little bit of biology about the human ear. It then goes on to talk about how wound are generated in wind and stringed instruments, before going on to talk about all the different instruments in those categories.
As well as talking about the physical attributes of each instrument, the book also talks about the sounds they make and the styles of music that are most often played with them.
After using the diagram of where everyone in an orchestra sits to do the first part of her homework she then went on to read about all the instruments. The final part was listening to Peter and the Wolf and trying to identify the instruments used in each section. Thanks to the book she was a musical expert by the end.
Ladybird to the rescue for this particular bit of homework, although I’m not sure that when the book was first published in 1966 they ever imagined it being used in a situation like this one!
Ladybird Tuesday is a regular feature here on Penny Reads where I delve into my Ladybird book collection and choose a title to share with my readers. The weekly series originally started on my old blog, Being Mrs C, and this post originally appeared on there. I’m now in the process of moving all those posts over to Penny Reads and also adding titles that I have acquired since then. A list is currently being compiled here of all the titles I have in my collection.