Five Music Books You Need on Your Summer Reading List

Headed for the beach this summer? Or is an Adirondack chair your lakeside destination? If you want to take along a good book for company, NAfME has you covered with books that cover a wide range of topics.


summer reading list
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Rowman & Littlefield Education (RLE), a division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., of Lanham, MD, co-publishes NAfME’s books. Some of NAfME’s authors will also present sessions at NAfME’s 2015 National In-Service Conference, October 25-28 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Here are the authors, their books and their sessions.


music education


Minds on Music: Composition for Creative and Critical Thinking

By Michelle Kaschub and Janice Smith, with foreword by Bennett Reimer 

Whether you are a preservice or practicing music teacher, this provides ideas you can use to engage your students in music composition. It provides the validation for including composition in your classroom along with a review of what we know about children’s compositional practices. Minds On Music offers a solid foundation for planning and implementing composition lessons with students in grades PreK-12.

  • Sunday, October 25, “What to Do with an Idea: Encouraging Young Composers to Revise,” presented by Janice Smith and Michelle Kaschub
  • Monday, October 26, “Composing for Adventurous Characters,” presented by Janice Smith and Michelle Kaschub
  • Tuesday, October 27, “Beyond Sound Effects: A CRASH Course in Film Scoring for Beginners,” presented by Janice Smith and Michelle Kaschub
  • Tuesday, October 27, “From Imagination to Notation: Keeping Composition Creative,” presented by Janice Smith and Michelle Kaschub


music class


Engaging Musical Practices: A Sourcebook for Instrumental Music

Edited by Suzanne L. Burton and Alden H. Snell II

This compilation of best practices for instrumental music education includes practical and pedagogically oriented entries from leaders of the field. Topics include: beginning an instrumental program; motivating students; selecting repertoire; marching band pedagogy and techniques; integrating technology; and more.

  • Sunday, October 25, “Improving Instruction through Improvisation,” presented by Suzanne L. Burton and Alden H. Snell, II
  • Monday, October 26, “A Playful Approach to Improvisation,” presented by Suzanne L. Burton




Music in Prekindergarten: Planning and Teaching

By Mary Palmer and Wendy L. Sims

This book is designed to help prekindergarten teachers, music specialists, and others working with young children help all children reach their musical potential. It includes chapters on long-range goals for prekindergarten music; guidelines for music activities and instruction; music for children with special needs; and information on developing music concepts and vocabulary.

  • Monday, October 26, “Turn Up the Heat: Make Arts Integration STEAM!” presented by Mary Palmer


music teachers


Great Beginnings for Music Teachers: Mentoring and Supporting New Teachers

Edited by Colleen M. Conway

Mentoring new music teachers makes a big difference in their success in the classroom. This helpful guide covers the challenges faced by beginning music teachers, district and state-sponsored mentoring and induction programs, alternative certification, and ideas for ongoing professional development. It a state-by-state list of mentoring policies and programs.

  • Tuesday, October 27, “Innovative Approaches to Music Teacher Professional Development,” presented by Colleen Conway and Ann Marie Stanley


music students


Reaching and Teaching All Instrumental Music Students, Second Edition

By Kevin Mixon

Mixon shares successful techniques for recruiting and retention, garnering program support, teaching for diverse learning styles and exceptional students, classroom management, and teaching notation, composition, and improvisation. This expanded second edition adds practical advice on reading rhythm notation, teacher feedback, home visits, community building, and establishing positive relationships—with even the most challenging students.

  • Tuesday, October 27, “Building Your Instrumental Music Program in Urban and Rural Schools,” presented by Kevin Mixon
summer reading list


Keep Reading

Need more for your summer library? Here is a great list of selected titles on everything from high school band to world music education. Or, for a complete list, visit the RLE website and select “Other Imprints & Co-Publishing Partners,” or call RLE Customer Service at 800-462-6420. 

You can also browse the 2014-2015 NAfME Digital Catalog. NAfME members receive a 25 percent discount on NAfME books. Make sure to provide your membership info.

Roz Fehr, NAfME Communications Content Developer, June 4, 2015. © National Association for Music Education (