Calendar Review: Guitars

Guitars Wall Calendar 2021 by David Schiller

Guitars Wall Calendar 2021
by David Schiller
5 out of 5 stars
This guitar calendar has cool photos of iconic and interesting guitars. The colors are bright and cheerful, and each month includes facts about the guitar, the stories behind how it was created, or famous musicians who played that guitar model.

I feel like I would be inspired to reach my music practice goals and be more musical in 2021 with these beautiful guitars to look at every day. These include the Prisma Accardo, Gibson Firebird III, and Pagelli Massari models, along with a bunch of other glorious instruments. The designs are so gorgeous!

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Non Fiction Review: Guitar The World’s Most Seductive Instrument

Guitar by David Schiller

Guitar: The World’s Most Seductive Instrument
by David Schiller
5 out of 5 stars
This incredible book has gorgeous photos and information about over 200 guitars and the amazing people who play them. It includes bios on famous guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Willie Nelson, Joni Mitchell, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Maybelle Carter, and even Jimmy Page with his double-necked guitar.

There is a page showing the anatomy of a guitar, and details on how hundreds of beautiful guitars are made by artisans all over the world. There are stats about wood materials, sound quality, and pounds of pressure from the strings.

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Activity Book: Paint by Sticker: Unicorns and Magic, Music Icons

Paint by Sticker Kids by Workman Publishing

Paint by Sticker Kids: Unicorns Magic: Create 10 Pictures One Sticker at a Time! Includes Glitter Stickers
by Workman Publishing
5 out of 5 stars
This activity book has 10 beautiful designs of all kinds of fantasy creatures and scenes. The glitter stickers make it really special and cute. It’s easy for kids to do!

Paint by Sticker by Workman Publishing

Paint by Sticker: Music Icons: Re-create 10 Classic Photographs One Sticker at a Time!
by Workman Publishing
5 out of 5 stars
This sticker activity book has 10 colorful pictures of cool and famous musicians from all styles of music, country, rock, and blues. The designs in this one are a little more complex for teens or adults.

There are hundreds of stickers in little mosaic shapes! It’s so easy to put the stickers into place, and the finished product looks wonderful. It’s very relaxing and helped me to get creative. You really feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish!

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Picture Book Review: Allegro

Allegro by David W Miles
Allegro: A Musical Journey Through 11 Musical Masterpieces
by David W Miles,  Anita Barghigiani (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars


A little boy named Allegro is fed up with practicing piano. He throws his sheet music on the floor, and petulantly sits and thinks about music. He goes on a magical journey to discover new music and how beautiful music can truly be. Through all the different moods and styles of classical music, he learns to love and appreciate the emotions and sensations that music can offer to us. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: In Tune

In Tune by Richard Wolf
In Tune: Music as the Bridge to Mindfulness
by Richard Wolf

2 out of 5 stars


This book teaches the reader how to meditate by focusing on the breath using techniques of listening and creativity that musicians also use.

As a professional pianist, I didn’t quite find what I expected in this book. I thought it would be a book about USING music as a way to meditate, but this is mostly about how music practice and meditation practice share the same techniques and characteristics. I guess I was looking for advice about meditating WHILE playing an instrument or listening to music, but the author advises meditating in complete silence.

The writing is clear and interesting, but verbose and repetitive. The writing style is beautifully lyrical, but quickly becomes tedious as each paragraph is overloaded with words.

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Non Fiction Review: Turn It Up!

Turn It Up! by National Geographic Kids
Turn It Up!: A Pitch-Perfect History of Music That Rocked the World
by National Geographic Kids

5 out of 5 stars

This book gives an overview of the history of music and how music developed over time to include different styles. With paintings and photographs showcased in a colorful design, this book is sure to capture the attention of anyone interested in music!

I really love how the information is organized in easy-to-read text boxes. Each chapter focuses on one era of music history, covering Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, Modern, and Post-Modern music.

This book has biographies and songs of music styles like Jazz, Pop, Big Band, Blues, Rock, Reggae, Heavy Metal, and a dozen more, featuring music stars, composers, singers, musicians, conductors, and influencers who created the music we know today. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: The Rebels and Revolutionaries of Sound

Playlist by James  Rhodes
Playlist: The Rebels and Revolutionaries of Sound
by James RhodesMartin O’Neill (Goodreads Author) (Illustrations)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


James Rhodes writes about classical music and features seven revolutionary composers who changed the landscape of music forever. With chapters on Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Ravel, this book outlines how music developed over time, and how each of these extraordinary musicians overcame the challenges of their era to create beautiful music that still resonates with musicians today.

I was really intrigued by the wild and colorful artwork depicting each composer, with elements of their time and items representing their music pasted into a chaotic blend. Bach is depicted with grand church buildings behind him, and Mozart has angels, flowers, and sunshine around his head like a halo. Chopin has a flaming heart on his chest, and a piano next to him being destroyed by sledgehammers. Rachmaninoff has butterflies and tigers, along with a diagram of a massive hand. (He had really huge hands; the bane of all pianists who try to play his piano compositions.) Continue reading

Comic Review: Sci-Fu

Sci-Fu by Yehudi Mercado
Sci-Fu 
by Yehudi Mercado

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Wax is determined to be the best DJ in the world, but when his mixes accidentally answer an interstellar challenge, he’ll have to be the best DJ in the universe to protect his family and friends from the robots of Discotopia, where he fights against the evil King using the ancient art of Sci-Fu, a martial art that uses sound waves as weapons.

I’m not much of a fan of rap music, but I am a musician, so I was more than intrigued about a comic that uses music to fight off alien robots! I loved all the rhyming and rhythm. I could almost hear the music in my head as I was reading the book!
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