Sing-A-Book Logo

Reading is fun with the LuLu and the TomCat companion "Sing-a-Book" series.

LuLu and the TomCat "Sing-a-Book" series. Improving literacy through music.

"The best time to win over kids to the world of reading is right at the very beginning, in the home or in the early years' classroom."

  • Music has rhyme and rhythm and repetition - musical steppingstones to literacy.
  • By creatively integrating music throughout the curriculum you can improve memory and retention of sounds, words and meanings. Music is as natural as speaking. Music can be used to stimulate, motivate and educate.
  • How many poems or song lyrics can your grandmother remember? Does she have a better memory than you or she she accessing a different part of her memory - the one that sticks? Music is the glue that holds words and memories together.
  • Setting books to music helps students learn to read faster and makes them more motvated to learn. Music has it all: rhyme, rhythm and repetition - essential ingredients to reading.
  • "Sing-a-Books" create a whole language experience where the written word is alive with visual, aural, spatial, and oral meaning, and the students are immersed in the magical world of reading.

LuLu and the TomCat (Tom and Lori Neufeld) have been involved in education for over 20 years, creating fun and educational music for children. With experience as teacher and librarian, they have long recognized the benefits of using music to teach reading.

Lori (LuLu) teaches Early Years French Immersion, and writes and produces music and stories for her award-winning children's entertainment group, LuLu and the TomCat, with her husband and former public school librarian, Tom (the TomCat).

LuLu and the TomCat’s first recording, All the Cats Were Playin’, received a Prairie Music Award for "Outstanding Children’s Recording." Their second recording is called 3, 2, 1 Kadoozee.

Key points to consider about using the "Sing-a-Book" series:

"Sing-a-Books" tell a story, often with a universal moral component, to engage and stimulate the imagination.

  • There is a higher retention of words and sounds if they are set to music.
  • It is very easy to read the words to a song because the notes and musical patterns trigger words in your brain.
  • Recall of words can happen quickly and by sight if musical cues are used to stimulate the memory. Hum or play the note or note pattern and the student will recall the word almost automatically.
  • Repetition of words increases comprehension and recall.
  • Colouring improves hand-eye coordination necessary for printing and writing.
  • Rhyming patterns are used to encourage decoding of new phonemes (smallest units of contrast).
  • "Sing-a-Books" are multi-faceted and multi-level learning tools to actively engage children in their learning. With so many different personalities, learning styles and intelligences in a regular classroom, music is a powerful learning tool containing patterns and rhymes. It involves speaking, listening and reproducing. Musical reading "goes down easily" and makes you feel good.
  • Affective learning happens because colouring the pictures makes the book more personal to the child.
  • "Sing-a-Books" provide the opportunity to link meaning to words through the use of illustrations.
  • Colouring can provide a means for determining if the child has understood the meanings (ie:pea-green boat).
  • Sheet music can be used to integrate reading into the music class.
  • Jingles work in advertising because they trigger words that teach adults to buy products. Music can be used to hook children on books.
  • Colouring pages require a longer focus time on the words and meanings.
  • Sheet music provides the learner with the morphemes (smallest units of meaning) needed to decode words since each note contains only one unit of sound.
  • Classic children's stories and poetry are interpreted in an easily understandable format and can increase a bond between seniors and children.
  • Musical reading makes it possible for a child to make remarkable progress in a short time and feel successful.