Saxophone Sits Alone is the ideal pick for music educators working with primary students. It is a sweet and simple story of a saxophone trying to find her place in the world, or, in this case, trying to find her place in the music room! She approaches the woodwind instruments and explains how she is similar to them and asks to play with them. The woodwinds deny her with observations of how her shape is so different from theirs. She approaches the brass instruments and discovers the same issue; she is similar in some ways but different in others. Then she meets the piano who has tried playing with the string instruments and the percussion instruments but is also denied for being too different.
This book uses repetition and simple language so it is a good choice for young readers working on fluency. Music teachers can use this book to emphasize lessons on the different types of instruments in an orchestra and their characteristics and sounds. Playing music involving the various types of instruments while reading this book aloud can solidify students understanding of how sounds blend together in different ways. A language teacher can also use this book in a unit about point of view. The saxophone being excluded based on her differences is a familiar topic for all ages. Grade 3 students can begin to decipher the author’s message in a language lesson, especially if they pay close attention to the dedication.
When Piano and Saxophone find each other, rejected by the other instruments, in the corner of the music room, they decide that they don’t mind if they look different and they play together. The rest of the instruments are surprised to hear different and pleasant music. They even begin mixing among themselves. The story contains a strong message to young readers while teaching them about musical instruments.
Jessica Colafranceschi is a member of the Peel Teacher Local.