Are you looking for a fresh way to bring a special book alive for your students?
We will help your students in grades 4-8 analyze and extract concepts from a chosen book so that each classroom brings a moment of the book to life in a song.
Living Bookshelf addresses many of the Common Core Standards for grades 4-8 for Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening and Language.
Living Bookshelf is a consortium of teaching artists: lyricists, composers, singers, musicians and visual artists.
Living Bookshelf is based in Blue Bell, PA., Living Bookshelf was incorporated in 2010, and is an outgrowth of “Arts for Anyone”.
Through the arts we enhance the unique potential of the language arts program of each school.
48 High Gate Lane
Blue Bell, PA 19422
B.S. Music Education
M.M. Opera performance
Connie Koppe is one of the original founders of “Arts for Anyone”. She has been a teaching artist in elementary and middle school classrooms for more than 3 decades, writing songs, writing plays and teaching about all aspects of opera and musical theater.
Bunni Feingold has had an upper elementary teaching career spanning more than 30 years, including four years as a consultant and teacher for gifted and talented students.
Here’s what you do:
- In consultation with Living Bookshelf, you choose a book for your students and teachers to read and study before the artists arrive.
- Choose 5 – 8 classes or groups of students to participate in the project (100 or more students).
Here’s what we do:
- Living Bookshelf provides a study guide to help students and teachers prepare for the teaching artists.
- A lyricist/teaching artist will spend two sessions in each classroom helping the students choose an event from the book, identifying a subject for their
song and writing lyrics expressing the chosen moment in the book.
- A composer/teaching artist will continue the creative process with two additional sessions, teaching the basics of song writing and creating music for the lyrics.
- Culminating activity: an assembly presenting the songs, performed by Broadway style performers.
Benefit for the Students:
- Students will assist at the rehearsal of the professional performers.
- Students will have the satisfaction of hearing their songs, arranged and performed by professionals.
- The songs will be recorded during the assembly and the school will receive a CD of the performance.
- Each student will receive a printed copy of the final version of the song their class wrote.
Living Bookshelf will customize the Bookshelf project to fit your needs
Here are some suggestions:
- Involve an art teacher to help students create backdrops for the performance.
- Create invitations and a program.
- Enrich the performance with student instrumentalists or singers.
- Choose a book with a living author and bring the author to the school for workshops.
- Include student introductions to each song in the assembly.
Living Bookshelf has created a preferred Bookshelf list (available upon request). We will gladly consult with you about books used in your current curriculum.
“My students gain a real sense of ownership with these songs.”
“Living Bookshelf has given my students more confidence in their poetic writing skills.”
“I didn’t know I could write a song.”
“We studied metaphor before, but now I get it.”
“I am blown away by how much creativity the kids put in.” – Wendy Mass
“Secrets are important
They can change a life
When you have a secret,
You feel different inside”
Based on “The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” By E.L. Kronigsburg
“We saved the world, but that’s not the end,
There’s always a villain, a problem to mend,
So, we start again, a sneeze is the sound,
A beginning for all as the world goes around.”
Based on “NERDS” by Michael Buckley
Living Bookshelf will copyright all songs produced during the bookshelf project. Each school will be granted blanket permission to make copies of the written music and CD produced by their students.
You can download the Living Bookshelf flyer HERE.