Book Review: Verdi for Kids by Helen Bauer

Verdi for Kids by Helen Bauer: LadyD Books

Verdi for Kids introduces opera and Italian culture to young musicians and composers.
2013 marks the 200th anniversary of Verdi's birth.

About The Book

Giuseppe Verdi dominated Italian opera for 50 years, and his operas are performed throughout the world today. Verdi for Kids offers young readers an accessible, behind-the-scenes peek into the exciting world of opera and traces Verdi’s path to fame, delving into the great composer’s childhood, musical training, family tragedies, and professional setbacks and successes. Kids also learn about the Italians’ passion for opera and Italy’s tumultuous past, key political figures, and cultural pastimes. Aspiring sopranos, baritones, musicians, conductors, and stage directors will learn about opera jobs and production, what happens at rehearsal, and music terms and vocabulary, gaining an understanding of opera’s rich tradition.

Verdi for Kids: His Life and Music with 21 Activities (For Kids series)

  My Review

If you're a music teacher, a student or Opera buff, you'll appreciate this great music resource immensely. The biographical information is well-written and truly the book is a labor of love. Many of us know that Verdi  wrote opera, choral and chamber compositions, plus songs that tell a story. We've listened to his famous works of Requiem, La Traviata, Aida and Otello. But who was Giuseppe Verdi that 200,000 people came to his service? I had to know. 

The study of great music and the life of Verdi will not disappoint. Learn of Verdi's personal loss and grief that motivates and compels him to write more successful works. As you discover Verdi's constant desire to monitor the political scene, the reader comes to know the composer's love to unite his country Italy, and the charities he created from his concern for others less fortunate.

As a piano teacher and grandmother of 5, I especially like that the book is for ages 9 and up. 10 activities are provided all through the book, like making homemade pasta, playing bocce ball, creating pizza party invitations, costume designing and planting a tomato sauce garden. Not only is this a fun book for singing like a Diva but learning about Leitmotif and the kiss motif, too. It's a wonderful and valuable music resource with beautiful illustrations, offering a timeline, glossary and list of additional resources with end notes.

5/5 stars. Bravo! Highly recommend.

Author Helen Bauer

About the Author

Helen Bauer is the author of  Beethoven for Kids: His Life and Music with 21 Activities (For Kids series). Another book by the same author, Verdi For Kids,  explores Verdi's impact on opera and introduces Italian history and culture to budding musicians. Book published by, Chicago Review Press.
Helen Bauer, born in New York City, is a graduate of the High School of Music and Art (now known as the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts) and Hunter College. As a vocal student at Music and Art she had the privilege of working with Leonard Bernstein on a nationally televised Young People's Concert performance of Aaron Copland's opera The Second Hurricane. Mr. Copland, later that year, conducted another presentation of the opera at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which was broadcast on the radio.

She also participated in several private concerts at Carnegie Hall and a number of public performances as a member of a chorus. Her experience on the stage encompassed summer stock musicals and some off Broadway revivals. Working with a band, she also sang in the large hotels in upstate New York as well as entertaining at private parties. She often headlined at small cafes in the New York area.
Moving to Connecticut after her marriage, Mrs. Bauer directed, staged and conducted several musicals for teen-aged youth groups. One of these teen singing groups toured the Eastern seaboard. She also provided piano and music theory lessons to individuals. A certified teacher, Mrs. Bauer has taught in New York, Connecticut and Florida.

Verdi for Kids: His Life and Music with 21 Activities (For Kids series)


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