Tiny Owl Music & Storytelling campaign begins
Music is one of most emotional and enduring forms of storytelling; early cultures often share their stories through music. With the launch of our brand new series called Children. Music. Life, of which the first book of the series, The Drum, is coming out soon, we have started a campaign to explore the relationship between children, music and stories. You can keep up to date by searching for #TinyOwlDrum and #ChildrenMusicLife.
We contacted experts in all kinds of areas such as parents, illustrators, teachers, and librarians, and asked them:
What do you think about the role of music in children’s lives and its relationship to stories?
What song do you remember from your childhood?
To start off our campaign we have a few words from phenomenal author Philip Pullman, taken from an article on the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award website, and then a response from Pippa Goodhart:
Without stories and pictures and music, children will starve
Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. If you don’t give a child food, the damage quickly becomes visible. If you don’t let a child have fresh air and play, the damage is also visible, but not so quickly. If you don’t give a child love, the damage might not be seen for some years, but it’s permanent.
But if you don’t give a child art and stories and poems and music, the damage is not so easy to see. It’s there, though. Their bodies are healthy enough; they can run and jump and swim and eat hungrily and make lots of noise, as children have always done, but something is missing.
But that hunger exists in many children, and often it is never satisfied because it has never been awakened. Many children in every part of the world are starved for something that feeds and nourishes their soul in a way that nothing else ever could or ever would.
We say, correctly, that every child has a right to food and shelter, to education, to medical treatment, and so on. We must understand that every child has a right to the experience of culture. We must fully understand that without stories and poems and pictures and music, children will starve.
Philip Pullman is a bestselling British author famous for the His Dark Materials trilogy.
Music is a language we can all access
Just as with pictures, music is a language we can all access without having to understand a particular language. Young children have a natural need for rhythm, perhaps because they have spent nine months in their mother’s wombs with the constant beat of her heart all around them? Harness music in storytelling, and the story has instant appeal and becomes easier to remember.
Oddly, what comes instantly to mind is a French song I didn’t understand! My father brought a (red!) record of children’s songs back from a trip to France, and we played it and played it. I can still remember the sounds we sang, even though I didn’t understand them as words.
Pippa Goodhart is a children’s author from the UK with other 100 children’s books. She has published one book for Tiny Owl, A Bottle of Happiness, and is part of an upcoming project of which more news is coming soon.
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