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integrate music and reading

How to Integrate Music and Reading for Kids

Have you ever wondered how to integrate music and reading for kids?  Believe it or not, there are several ways to integrate music with reading.  There are books about composers, famous singers and dancers, rhyming books, books about different genres and books about music from around the world.  Reading to and with your children is so important, and when reading about something related to music, they are forming connections between music and reading without even realizing it.  To learn how to integrate music with every subject, take my 5 day email course.  So, how do you go about integrating music with reading?  Here are some helpful suggestions to get you started.



Rhyming Books

Try reading rhyming books like a rap, then discuss how the lines have the same numbers of beats just like a poem does.  Have the child track the story with their finger and point out the rhyming words.

These are some of my favorite rhyming books that my kids enjoy read-singing with me.


Movement Books

Read books about literally anything. Have the children act out with creative movement to the words they hear read.  It is so fun to see how expressive they can get.  Examples are dinosaurs, cars, superheroes, ballerinas, or any other book that they can use their imaginations.

One of my all time favorite movement books is

Books about Composers

Stop to talk about the unknown vocabulary from the time the composers lived and children will learn new words.   Reading books about the composers will help develop new vocabulary since there will be lots of new words from those time periods.

One of the most heard about books that is presented in the form of written letters is

Music Scores

If the child is learning to play an instrument, they will begin reading the notes on the staff, otherwise known as a music score.  Children will form a connection between reading and music when they read the notes on a score.  In beginning piano music, not only are they reading the notes, they are also reading the words to the song.

In my beginning piano course, student’s will learn how to read notes on the staff.


Story Books

Show children the pictures in the book you are reading. For example… if it is about a jazz composer, they will form connections with what you are reading, and musical genre, time periods, and different artists and composers.  Children learn so much just by hearing us read aloud to them.


“Reading and music go hand in hand, and both can be introduced to children at very young ages. Reading books about music, instruments and composers helps to build background knowledge for kids and helps them to make connections to their world. At 18 months old, my daughter, who is obsessed with Disney’s Little Einsteins, recognizes that the violin in her alphabet book is a musical instrument because she saw them play it on Einsteins. Even looking at picture books, her background knowledge in music was able to help her figure out what she was looking at. Singing and listening to music allow kids to increase their rhythm and fluency which will help them to become better readers. They are better able to understand the rhythm of words and the way words string together. Music can also help kids to internalize information they need to remember. My sister and I can still name all 50 states in alphabetical order because we learned the “50 Nifty United States” song over 20 years ago.”

Vicki Wilkinson with Babies to Bookworms


Have you already implemented some of these music and reading integration ideas?  What are other ways you can think of integrating music into your home or classroom?



If you are a parent, student, or teacher who wants to learn more about music, connect with other musicians, or wants to post their latest videos of what they’ve been working on, I would love for you to join my Facebook group Music Education Connection. Collaborate, learn from each other, and grow new friendships. This is a place to receive encouragement, positive feedback, and to ask questions.



integrate music and reading

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Jessica Peresta

Music teacher and music education blogger who helps parents and teachers by providing online music education lessons for kids.

32 thoughts to “How to Integrate Music and Reading for Kids”

  1. Such great ideas! I was an elementary music teacher, and now stay home with my 3 boys, and we love making sound stories with our favorite story books. I think our very favorite is The Napping House, but we’ll have to try creative movement books, too.

  2. This is such a great idea! My kids love music.. it would be a good way to help them get more excited about reading!

  3. These are all really great. My daughter has a favorite book called Shake Dem Halloween Bones, whenever I read it I always feel like i am trying to rap. I don’t do a very good job at it, but we always have fun when we read!

  4. I come across a lot of composer bios for kids and I’ll have to remember to pick one up for my son. He wants to start learning some instruments and has become very interested in music.

  5. I’m going to check out that course. I have been trying to figure out ways to integrate music reading into my son’s learning. I played flute by ear and wish my mom would have spent more time teaching me how to read music.

  6. I am loving this….. I taught Language Arts for 5 years, and I incorporated music a LOT!! The kids loved it and learned so much…. I used a rap and had the students analyze the text and find figurative language.

  7. Fun ideas! We have a few rhyming books and my babies (almost one year olds) bop their heads, just to the rhyming alone!

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