Samuel Ellenberger-Music

Home Learning for Music

Here is a comprehensive list of websites and books that offer great learning opportunities for music.


Song of the Week

"Whacky Do Re Mi"
Whacky Do Re Mi

Tuba Lessons by T.C. Bartlett is a book about a little boy walking to his tuba lesson and all the things he encounters along the way. The book has very limited text but tells a sweet story perfectly without it. Younger children will need a parent to help spark the story with questions about what's happening. 

Meet the Orchestra by Ann Hayes is a good resource for teaching about musical instruments. The book goes through many instruments found in an orchestra with a sizable description for each. Animals are used for the musicians and children can learn a bit about them as well. It is really too long to sit and read cover to cover but it's easy to break up and read one or two instruments at a time if it's too much for your child in one sitting. Also, there is some figurative language that young kids will not get at all.

punk farm
Punk Farm by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Most of the book is a variation of Old MacDonald with different instrument sounds. 


Sunny by Robin Mitchell and Judith Steedman is a great book about finding sounds all around and making music with anything and everything you find. Sunny hears music from the animals around town, the vehicles and of course his friends playing at the playground. This book reminded me of the Broadway show “Stomp” from the 90s. It is a great lesson for kids about how accessible making music really is.

moose music

Moose Music by Sue Porter is a goofy book about how what might sound like a racket to you, may indeed be music to other ears. Moose finds a violin, picks it up, and plays it. The sound is not music to the animals and people in the forest. They get angry, they threaten to chase him, and he doesn't stick around. He doesn't stop playing though.  He plays with all his heart and finally someone appreciates it.  It's a cute lesson about following your heart even in the face of adversity.


Hello! My name is Samantha Shall. I am so excited to be starting this year at DCES as the new music teacher. I have been teaching elementary music since 2008.  I have taught in Aurora, Jeffco, Washington state and even in Germany. I have lived in Evergreen, CO since 2010 with my husband and our 2 dogs. We were able to live abroad in Germany 2016-2019 but are so happy to be back in the Colorado rockies. I look forward to our year ahead and the many more in our future.

Please feel free to contact me:
303-838-4888 ext.1212


This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt. The book updates the classic children's song “This Old Man” and inserts all different men in a jazz band. However, at the end of the book, it explains that each jazz man is actually a real person including Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and more! I love the bios at the end of the book.  The book itself is a counting book.  The pictures by R.G. Roth are adorable, and all in all, an excellent book!


Ben’s Trumpet by Rachel Isadora is a simple but profound book about one little boy's dreams. Ben loves jazz and his favorite instrument is the trumpet.  He spends much time alone playing his imaginary trumpet and listening at the door of a local jazz club. When other kids make fun of his imaginary trumpet he stops playing, that is until the trumpeter himself steps in. I like this book!  It gives children something to relate to and confirm that dreaming and imagining is good for the soul.

m is for music

M is for Music by Kathleen Krull is a wonderful book! The style and illustrations by Stacy Innerst while funky aren't as literal. This isn't an issue for older children at all, though. The nuanced illustrations may be too hard for a toddler to make the connections. I would use this book for teaching about music more so than as an alphabet book teaching letters.

zin zin zin a violin

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss.  If you have a child into music or musical instruments this is a great book. You count the instruments as they come on stage for a performance and not only is this a great counting book, but it introduces musical instruments with its rhyming text and super fun pictures.

Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane by Carol Boston Weatherford is a fascinating book.  What I like about this book is that it allows young children to relate to someone so inaccessible, and untouchable like John Coltrane. There is an idea that is explained in the book that all the sounds and music Coltrane heard as a child turned into the music he played later on.

jazz baby

Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler. This book is so fun to read, the musical words are impossible not to dance to. The family in the book, which included grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are listening to a record.  The family is loving and I loved that the older brother was holding the baby. This isn’t common in kids books to see a boy holding a baby.

I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello by Barbara S. Garriel is an instant favorite. The text is a reworked version of “An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly”. But this guy has a hankering for musical instruments. No one could swallow a harp! But this fellow did! I liked this book because it's fun and absurd, as well as educational. If your little one is into instruments, you have to read this book.

Music over Manhattan by Mark Karlins. The story is about a little boy who is overshadowed by his high-achieving and nauseating cousin. A musician uncle plants the love of music in him and he strives to become as good as his uncle who floats in the air when he plays. Something I loved about this book was that the little boy works very hard. He practices all the time and slowly gets better. He had the talent to start with but still had to work hard to achieve his goal. A great lesson for all children.

Mole Music

Mole Music by David McPhail is a beautiful book about the power of music, trying hard, and not giving up on your dreams.  The story is about a mole who sees a violin on TV one day and decides to get his own and play. He is terrible at first but sticks with it. His music becomes beautiful, and over the years he thinks only he can hear and enjoy it. In reality, his music is nourishing a grand tree above the ground that serves roles in great things including as a mediator in a battle where both sides end up coming to a peaceful agreement instead of warfare.

Now yes I think that one little mole's music ending a war is a rather large statement. But if you break it down, music and the arts are vital activities in our lives. It does transform people's lives the way they transformed Mole's.


Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney is a great book for any kid that likes to drums or stick, or drumsticks. So that pretty much means all kids. Max isn't a talker but he can express all sorts of things by thumping and banging the sticks he finds on different things. I like how he imitates the changing sounds in his environment. Great tool for teaching about sounds, music, and self-expression.

Hello and welcome to my DCES web page. Here you will find information about what students are learning in class, homework assignments, upcoming concerts, and fun links for students to practice their music skills.

Samantha Shall
Music Teacher
303-838-4888 Ext. 1212