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Read and Discuss: Violet's Music

Violet has always loved making music, ever since she was a baby.


  • Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson
  • two spoons

Key Science Concepts

  • Different objects make different sounds.
  • Sounds can vary in volume (loud and soft), and pitch (high and low).


Before you read: Tell children that this week they’re going to explore music, instruments, and sounds. They’ll start off with a story about a girl named Violet who loves playing music. Show children the cover, and read the title and author’s name. Ask, What do you think the story will be about? What do you think the girl is doing? Explain that Violet is pretending to play a guitar. Pretend that you are holding and plucking a guitar. Invite children to join you in miming the motions.

As you read: You may want to read the book straight through once. On a second reading, ask children to listen and look for all the ways Violet makes music. Act out the sounds Violet makes with her rattle, horn, and guitar. Repeat the rhythm with lots of expression, and invite children to join in.

  • Rattle: BOOM, shake, BEAT, shake; BOOM, shake, BEAT, shake . . .
  • Horn: WHAH woo woo! WHAH woo woo!
  • Pretend Guitar: Plink, Plink, PLUCK, PLUCK! Plink, Plink, PLUCK, PLUCK!
  • Real Guitar: Twang, Twang, Yeah, Yeah, Twang, Twang YEAH!

After you read: Talk with children about the ways Violet makes music. Hold up the pages that show her making music at breakfast, dinner, bath time, and the times in between.

  • Point to the illustration of Violet tapping two spoons together. Ask, How does Violet make music at breakfast time? Let’s try that! Pass around two spoons for children to tap together.
  • Point to the illustration of Violet singing in the bath. Ask, What does Violet do to make music in the bathtub? Do you like to sing in the bathtub?
  • What are some other ways that Violet makes music? What about you? What are some ways that you like to make music?
  • Do you love music the way Violet does? What do you like about it?

Reflect and Share

Ask children to think of any instruments they’ve made in past weeks. Did they make any during the Tap and Scrape activity or Learning Center? What about Shake and Listen? Create a chart called “Instruments,” with three columns:

  • Name of instrument
  • The sound it makes
  • How we make the sound

Have children add to it now and over the course of the week. (Children are free to add invented instruments as well as actual ones.)