Educational Materials for Fam Bam: Got To Have Music
The storybook app “Fam Bam: Got To Have Music” provides an engaging and fun avenue for introducing children to music in its multiple forms. In addition, in connection with Black History Month (February), the book offers an accessible starting point to introduce children to the contributions of African American musicians to American culture. Below are some lesson plan ideas for further exploration of music and musical genres.
Activity: What instruments do you hear?
Ask the reader to try to identify the musical instruments that can be heard accompanying each style of music heard in the book. Show illustrations and play sound examples of the instruments. With younger children, assist them in naming the instruments based on the sounds they can hear.
Some of the instruments in the book include:
Inspirational/Gospel Music – piano, strings
Jazz – string bass, drum set, flute
R&B – piano, electric bass
Hip Hop – drum machine, synthesizer
Opera – orchestra (strings, brass, woodwinds)
Activity: Can you sing in a [fill in the blank] style?
After reading the story, ask the class to re-enact the story and sing to each other in the different styles represented in the book.
Activity: What’s your favorite song?
Ask each child if he or she has a favorite song. Ask the children to share their favorite song, and time allowing, help the children to teach a favorite song to their classmates.
Activity: Let’s listen to [fill in the blank] music
Ask the class to gather for a music listening session focusing on a specific genre of music introduced in the book (gospel, jazz, R&B, hip hop and/or opera). Play several examples of the genre along with images (still photos or video) of musicians performing the music.
After exploring the five genres mentioned in the book, branch out and explore other genres of music. Alternatively, encourage children to talk to their parents and family members about favorite types of music, and to bring in samples of the music to share with the class.
Additional On-line Resources
NPR: A History of Gospel Music
History of Jazz
Beginning of R&B Music
Hip Hop Timeline: 1925-Present
The New York Times: A Brief History of Opera
Famous Black Musicians
Southern Mosaic: The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip
African American Gospel Music – Black History Month Lesson Plan
Blues, Gospel and the Fort Valley Music Festival, 1938-1943
Education World: What is Hip Hop?
Stevie Wonder Performs “Sketches of Life”