The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin

The Music in George’s Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue

Author Suzanne Slade Illustrated by Stacy Innerst


Age range: 6 and up

Very few musicians captured the American sound like George Gershwin. Suzanne Slade takes us back to the early 1900’s when George was a boy skating through New York’s streets. A wondrous quote from Gershwin greets us before we read the story “I frequently hear music in the very heart of Noise.” Slade takes us on a journey as we learn how a young George “collected” music from a penny arcade, and how he was influenced through classical, ragtime, the blues, and jazz. At a time when most musicians thought jazz was restless and unpredictable Gershwin embraced it all with “the different styles of music blended together into one beautiful rhapsody.” Rhapsody in Blue was derived from America’s melting pot he was looking for that sound that was “daring, and razzmatazz dazzling,” and yes, he found it. Innerst artistic skill is in her ability to show Gershwin’s talent in how he brought the city of New York in all it diversity together to be moved by this new sound, and energy.

A Bookish Decree: Throw in a little razzmatazz and you have a perfect teaching tool to get kids interested in the history of music.

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