Elizabeth Peterson has been a wonderful friend to me as I have started my journey on this blog documenting the process of arts integration.  She was so kind to send me a copy of her book Inspired By Listeningand I have finally read and relished every page.  It is an amazing resource for those of your looking to add to your arts integration professional development libraries and I highly recommend getting at least one copy for your school.

This book truly breaks down the nuts and bolts of listening.  It really is a skill to listen actively.  We are so used to listening to music in our cars and in concerts where we sit back and relax to enjoy what we’re hearing. But listening actively requires us to use our critical thinking skills, create connections to past, present and future and spurs us into asking key questions about ideas, movements and people that we may not have thought of before.  Elizabeth goes into detail about how to do this within the classroom and how it can benefit both the music skill and the classroom content.

This book also has a TON of ready-to-go reproducible materials, worksheets and lesson plans so you can implement this process immediately.  She provides detailed history of musicians, a great listening directory to get started and ways in which each piece could connect into the classroom curriculum.

But what I love most about this book is its ability to take an artform that scares a lot of classroom teachers and makes it accessible to everyone.  The first thing I normally hear when trying to get teachers to do an arts integration lesson with music is “I can’t do music.  I’m not good at it”.  But everyone can listen.  Everyone can use listening to music as a vehicle to a content objective.  And this book makes it incredibly easy and low risk.

I’m so excited about this book – I am placing my copy into our school professional library and using it with our PLC next year.  Please visit Elizabeth’s website to find out more about her book and her other endeavors with arts integration.  You’ll be inspired to creativity too!