Feel the Beat with World Piano Day!

File:Cartoon Piano Keyboard.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday 29 March is World Piano Day! Interesting… why today you ask? It’s because 29 March is 88 days into the year, and the humble piano has 88 keys – 52 white keys and 36 black keys.

brown piano interior keys

Hammers inside a piano. Image: Unsplash

A Brief History

The piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731) of Italy. Cristofori was unsatisfied by the lack of control that musicians had over the volume level of the harpsichord. He is credited for switching out the plucking mechanism with a hammer to create the modern piano in around the year 1700. By using hammers to hit the piano strings, he could create a loud or soft sound depending on how hard he hit the keys. This method is still used today and is called “the action” of the piano.

How did the piano get its name?

The instrument was actually first named “clavicembalo col piano e forte” (literally, a harpsichord that can play soft and loud noises). This was shortened to the now common name, “piano.”

What’s the difference between an upright and grand piano?

Upright or Grand: What Type of Piano Is Right For You? - Merriam Music - Toronto's Top Piano Store & Music SchoolGrand piano strings lie horizontal to the ground. Once a hammer has struck the string, gravity does the work of resetting the hammer. The quicker you can reset a hammer, the faster you can play that note again. So yes, on average, grands play faster than uprights.

Upright strings lie, well… upright! So once a hammer strikes a string, it relies on a series of complex mechanisms to reset the hammer.

Fun Piano Facts

  • By the time a piano is put together it can be quite heavy. A Steinway Concert Grand can weigh up to 500 kg – about the same weight as an adult horse!
  • The largest piano is the ‘Alexander Piano’ is  5.7 metres long, and weighs around one tonne. That’s over twice the length of your usual concert grand piano, and weighs almost as much as a small car.
  • Piano playing is sometimes referred to as “tickling the ivories”. That’s because originally the white piano keys were made from ivory. but this has changed since the ivory trade has been banned to save elephants and rhinos from extinction. Black keys were originally made from the black hardwood ebony. These days modern piano keys are coated in a hard plastic.

Becoming a Concert Pianist

Becoming a concert pianist requires loads of dedication and hard work. On average, it takes most concert pianists 15+ years, 3-5 hours a day of  practice, and quite a bit of study to achieve their goals!

Check out this video of New Zealand pianist Richard Farrell performing in 1952. He was widely thought of as one of the most talented pianists in the world when his life was tragically cut short in a car accident in 1958, when he was only 31 years old.

Want to dig deeper into the piano world?

Blog: What are piano keys made of and why?

Johnsonville Library’s Lockdown 2020 Quarantunes (with library staff playing the piano and other instruments)

Piano sheet music for kids

Britannica Kids – the piano

New Zealand Pianists

Kids’ Blog: Reaching for the Stars – What Makes a Champion?


Want to read more piano books?

My first piano book / Helsby, Genevieve
“Following the success of “My First Classical Music Book,” author Genevieve Helsby and illustrator Jason Chapman return with “My First Piano Book.” Bursting with life and humour, this is a uniquely comprehensive introduction to the piano, designed first and foremost to inspire. Text and illustrations are so perfectly in tune with each other that every page is a treat to explore. With a cast of animal characters showing what they know (and what they don’t!), this truly is both informative and great fun. Book and two CDs, with online music, and narration. Part 1: “Why is the Piano So Special?” How the piano works and sounds. 23 music tracks including: Bach – Prelude in C; Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 21; Joplin – The Entertainer; Debussy – Clair de lune; Faure – Berceuse; John Cage – Perilous Night No. 6; Satie – Gymnopedie No. 1 Part 2: “How Do I Play It?” A clear introduction to playing the piano. Play along with 12 specially written pieces with “Guide Me” narration option.” (Catalogue)

The bear and the piano / Litchfield, David
“One day, a young bear stumbles upon something he has never seen before in the forest. As time passes, he teaches himself how to play the strange instrument, and eventually the beautiful sounds are heard by a father and son who are picnicking in the woods. The bear goes with them on an incredible journey to New York, where his piano playing makes him a huge star. He has fame, fortune and all the music in the world, but he misses the friends and family he has left behind. A moving tale of exploration and belonging.” (Catalogue)

Easy piano pieces for children.
“The compositions in Easy Piano Pieces for Children have all been carefully selected for the beginner pianist. Over 100 selections in this songbook are progressively graded, with editorial markings and suggested fingering, allowing beginner children to learn with specially selected songs that they will enjoy playing. This large songbook includes classic favorites by Mozart, Debussy and Grieg, piano miniatures by Schumann, Arensky and Turk, as well as selections from Bartok’s For Children, among many others. Each piece is graded with a star to indicate difficulty, while a glossary of music symbols and a keyboard chart are included to help early students with note and key recognition.” (Catalogue)

The piano and other keyboard instruments / Storey, Rita
“Introduces children to groups of musical instruments and how they make music with them.” (Catalogue)

The piano recital / Miyakoshi, Akiko
“It’s the day of Momo’s very first piano recital, and she is terribly nervous. Today is the day of a little mouseling’s very first performance, too, and she’s just as nervous as Momo. The mouseling invites Mom to watch her performance. Momo follows the mouseling through a small door backstage, where she’s met with an amazing sight: an elaborate miniature theatre, and an audience of finely dressed mice! When the Grand Mouse-ter takes the stage, a hush falls over the crowd and a magical show unfolds – a circus, a magic act, acrobats! Momo is delighted. And when it’s the mouseling’s turn to take the stage, Momo soothes her little friend’s nerves – her own now long forgotten – and accompanies her on piano. As Momo finishes her piece and gives a bow, she’s surprised to see that her audience isn’t furry and miniature, but human! And they’re all clapping – for her! A proud Momo is quite sure she can hear mouse paw-clapping, too…” (Catalogue)

Elton John / Sánchez Vegara, Ma Isabel
“As a child, Elton started playing his grandmothers piano in Harrow, London. He could pick tunes out by ear and was soon attending lessons at the Royal Academy. After answering an advertisement in a newspaper, Elton teamed up with a lyric-writing buddy: Bernie Taupin. The rest was history. Elton’s songwriting talent, musical skill and dazzling outfits have made him one of the all-time greats. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the musician’s life.” (Catalogue)

Children’s songs : a superfast way to learn awesome songs on your piano or keyboard / Kemmeter, Jennifer
“A fun and easy way to learn to play the piano or keyboard, with helpful instruction on classic and favorite songs. Written by the author of the best-selling Build It! series in collaboration with an experienced piano teacher, the Play It! books teach how to play the piano or keyboard in a simple, effective way. Using color-coded notes and character icons, the books include piano sheets of popular and favorite songs as well as a primer on how to read sheet music and some basic techniques. For beginners ages 5 and up, Play It! is the perfect companion on your musical journey.” (Catalogue)

Kids’ Activities Under Red Settings

To keep our young people and vulnerable communities safe under Red settings, we’re moving most of our programmes for children under the age of 12 and their families online! This is because even though our libraries are open, lots of our kids’ programmes, like CRAFTerschool, Code Club, and Baby Rock and Rhyme, involve lots of people getting very close together, and it’s just too tricky to provide the required social distancing for young people who can’t yet be vaccinated.

Soon, we will be starting up a whole bunch of activities and programmes, some of which you can do online, and some of which you will be able to do in a contactless way in the library, but in the meantime we thought it would be a good idea to remind you about all the awesome online resources and activities you can do with us online. If you love stories, arts and crafts, music, movies, and fun activities to do with your family, we’ve got you covered!

We have so many really cool resources available in our eLibrary! If you want to have a browse yourself you can check our our Kids’ Guide or have a look through what’s available on our Kids’ Home Page, or just read on… Continue reading

Pixar films to watch in 2021 and… a special bonus (tasty) Pixar surprise!

The Pixar movie revolution has arrived at Wellington City Libraries in 2021 and just in time for the wintery-est of time of year. It is an exciting time with the release of a tasty Italian surprise produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. 

image courtesy of amazon.comToy Story2, 3 and 4.

Toy Story was the first Pixar film ever released and changed the world of animation films forever.

These films are timeless classics that takes you on a journey into the world of the secret life of toys. Join Buzz, Woody, Jessie and lots of amazing toys that unexpectedly embark on adventures that challenge and change them. These films are full of excitement, adventure and will change the way you think of toys!


image courtesy of amazon.comMonsters Inc.

“In the world behind our closet doors, monsters like Mike and Sulley work hard for their income. To be exact, the monster world depends on our children’s screams: It is their energy that makes lightbulbs glow and cars drive. Sulley, the number one frightener, one day accidentally lets a human child into the monster world. Since kids are supposed to be poisonous and carry loads of diseases, pandemonium ensues. After Mike and Sulley discover that the girl they named Boo actually seems quite harmless, they decide to bring her back through her door into her room. But Boo’s presence is more than just a mere accident. Now, Mike and Sulley have to face an enemy within their own ranks.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comMonsters University.

“Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. Monsters University unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comBrave.

Be brave and grab life by the kilt with Merida, the feisty, Scottish  princess and skilled archer who dreams of following her own path living her own life, even if it mean defying the traditions and expectations of her family and people. However when her pride gets in the way and a spell is cast upon her mother, Merida must use her wits and skills to “mend the bond caused by pride” and save the day “highlander” style. If you’re not convinced that this DVD is worth watching, have a read of my review here.

image courtesy of amazon.comCars Trilogy.

Take a ride on the wild side with Lightening McQueen and the gang in Cars 1, 2 and 3, that chronicles the secret life of race car driving, from the race car’s point of view. This is a movies that boys will enjoy, especially boys into cars and formula one racing.

Finding Nemo.image courtesy of amazon.com

Go back to where it all began where Marlin goes on an epic quest from the great barrier reef to Sydney in order to find and save his son, Nemo, while meeting and encountering new friends on the way such as surfer turtles that live to 150 years old, vegetarian sharks who have regular meetings and of course, Dory herself, a good-hearted and optimistic regal blue tang with short-term memory loss. (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comFinding Dory reunites the friendly but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory, along with her friends, Marlin and Nemo on an epic quest to find Dory’s family. The questions that hangs on everyone’s lips are what does she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak whale? Favourite moments in the film include Dory as a baby – Boy, she’s adorable!, Marlin and Nemo’s encounter with the seals, Still can’t get the ‘OFFOFFOFFOFF’ aka the seal talk out of my head, Dory making new friends with Hank, an octopus with seven tentacles and who, for a guy with three hearts is very bad tempered, Dory reuniting with her childhood friend, Destiny and the odd cameo of previous characters from Finding Nemo. It is truly unforgettable.


Also check out footage of Baby Dory and the Pixar short film, Piper that was released alongside Finding Dory.



image courtesy of amazon.comThe Incredibles 1 and 2.

The secret life of superheroes comes to life with the Parrs, aka The Incredibles, where you watch them balance secret identities, families and saving the day. Overall, both films are funny, action packed and will keep you entertained for hours on end.

Also check out footage of  the Pixar short film, Bao that was released alongside The Incredibles 2. The film won the Oscar for the Best Animated Short Film in 2019.



image courtesy of amazon.comInside Out.

What happens when your emotions go into overdrive? They manifest in the form of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. This film is set in the mind of a young girl, Riley Andersen, where the five personified emotions try to lead her through life as her parents  move the family to a new city. Some very funny moments in the film, especially when Anger loses his temper, Disgust’s sarcastic and cynical behaviour and finding what role Sadness plays in our lives (Spoiler: Very important role).

image courtesy of amazon.comSoul.

“Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. A misstep takes him from New York City to The Great Before, a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities before going to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who has never understood the appeal of the human life. As Joe tries to show 22 what’s great about life, he may discover the answers to the most important questions.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comCoco.

“Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.” (Catalogue)


Brace yourself for a tasty release of Disney’s and Pixar’s animated film, Luca!

Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s original feature film “Luca” is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato (YUM!), pasta (DOUBLE YUM!) and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface. Check out the trailer below!

Stay tuned for information for when this film will be released. In the meantime, head on down to your local library and borrow some Pixar movies for a quiet wintery night in with some popcorn and a cup of hot chocolate. Enjoy and stay warm this winter!

New Zealand Music Month 2021

New Zealand Music Month is back again and is in its 20th year marks 20 years of celebrating and supporting the New Zealand Music industry. The theme for 2021’s NZ Music Month is: Support local. Stream local. Follow local. Buy local.image courtesy of nz music month facebook page

image courtesy of nzmusicmonth.co.nz

What is New Zealand Music Month?

May is New Zealand Music Month, which celebrates music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.

How can I celebrate? 

The NZ Music Month schedule is packed with events, awards, radio specials, online seminars and promotions. Check out the events page for more information.

You can also support your librarians, many of whom also moonlight as musicians and performers. You can also to your local library for events such as preschool storytime, Baby Rock and Rhyme and so much more! Check out what’s on for kids at your local library.

May Music Mini-fest ‘21.

At Waitohi and Tawa Libraries, It’s a musical takeover from musical LEGO and crafterschool to upbeat storytimes and pop-up performances! Check the Waitohi and Tawa Libraries calendars for more information!

Check out our books on music and musicians!

image courtesy of syndeticsThe school of music.

“Here you will go an a unique and melodious journey, which introduces aspiring musicians to all kinds of music, from classical, to country, to contemporary… and many more! Meet six musicians and learn about different instruments and genres of music, as well as basic theory for beginners, from melodies and harmonies to pitch and rhythm.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsMusic trivia : what you never knew about rock stars, recording studios and smash-hit songs.

“Do you think you know everything there is to know about music? Think again Get the inside scoop on some surprising music industry trivia.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndetics50 things you should know about music.

“An all-encompassing introduction to the genres, musicians, instruments and musical events that have shaped the world of music. From the rock and pop of Western youth culture to the haunting sounds of traditional Mongolian throat singers, all humans in all parts of the world make music. Its harmonies affect us in a deep way and its beauty is universal. We have developed hundreds of styles of music played with all kinds of instruments, large and small. The very first instruments were simple flutes made from animal bones, but we soon developed a vast array, making all kinds of sounds. Today we can use the latest computer technology to create any sound imaginable, and musicians continue to explore the endless possibilities of music.”  (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsLegends, icons & rebels : music that changed the world.

“A tribute to more than two dozen legendary music artists who significantly influenced the landscape of music for generations to come, from Ray Charles and Bob Dylan to Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash.” (Catalogue)


Also search our catalogue for more about music.

Watch music themed DVDs!

image courtesy of amazon.comSoul.

“Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. A misstep takes him from New York City to The Great Before, a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities before going to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who has never understood the appeal of the human life. As Joe tries to show 22 what’s great about life, he may discover the answers to the most important questions.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comCoco.

“Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comimage courtesy of amazon.comTrolls and Trolls World Tour.

“When their village is invaded by the grumpy Bergens, two mismatched friends must work together in perfect harmony to save the day. Featuring hit songs performed by Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, and more. (Catalogue). In Trolls World Tour, Poppy and Branch discover that they are but one of six different Trolls tribes scattered over six different lands and devoted to six different kinds of music: Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop and Rock. A member of hard-rock royalty, Queen Barb, aided by her father King Thrash, wants to destroy all other kinds of music to let rock reign supreme. With the fate of the world at stake, Poppy and Branch set out to visit all the other lands to unify the Trolls in harmony against Queen Barb.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsTrolls Soundtrack.

“A computer-animated film starring the shock-headed dolls that won’t stay out of style, Trolls featured the voice talents of such double threats as Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, and Gwen Stefani. Its soundtrack was executive produced by Timberlake, who also provided the original song “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” The dance-pop tune, penned by Timberlake, Max Martin, and Shellback, topped the charts in over a dozen countries in the spring of 2016 before the movie’s release that fall. ” (Catalogue)

Check out the music video, Can’t Stop the Feeling, by Justin Timberlake, from the movie soundtrack!


image courtesy of syndeticsTrolls World Tour : original motion picture soundtrack.
“Expanding the Trolls universe with the addition of new genre “lands” — encompassing pop, funk, classical, reggaeton, hip-hop, techno/electronic, country, and rock — the album follows suit, building upon the first soundtrack’s pop/dance base with fun surprises from an all-star roster.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Where can I find information about New Zealand Music, artists and bands?

ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about New Zealand musicians and bands. The National Library also has a page dedicated to New Zealand Music, where you can explore the culture, history and uses of music in New Zealand along with famous singers (traditional and contemporary), music awards, bands and the styles of music unique to New Zealand. Wellington City Libraries also runs the Wellington Music Blog — the most comprehensive source of information about local Wellington musicians and bands you can find. Check it out!

For more information, on events and ideas on how to celebrate, visit the following websites:

NZ Music Month official website.

New Zealand Curriculum Online – New Zealand Music Month.

NZ History – New Zealand Music Month.

NZ Music Month Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page.


Enjoy!… and Happy New Zealand Music Month 2021!

“Poi E” – a Living Legend!

Almost 40 years since its release the song Poi E will receive the Classic Record prize at the Taite​ Music Awards presented by Independent Music NZ on 20 April 2021 in Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland).

Poi E was written in 1983 by Ngoi Pēwhairangi​ (lyrics) and Māui Dalvanius Prime (music). Their single was the first song in te reo Māori to reach the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, holding the top spot for two weeks after its release. Poi E was performed by the Patea Māori Club, and put this small Taranaki town on the map. The Pātea Māori Club even toured the United Kingdom in 1984, playing at the London Palladium and the Edinburgh Festival and gave a Royal Command Performance as part of an annual variety show staged for the British Royal Family.

In 2016 a documentary, Poi E: The Story of Our Song, received rave reviews and once again had everyone around the country singing along to this classic track.


If you’re interested in waiata, poi and performance, why not join the kapa haka group at your school? Each year a National Primary Schools Kapa Haka Festival – Te Mana Kurutahi – takes place twice a year at venues around Aotearoa. For more info, check out their website HERE.


St. Joseph's Maori Girls College – He Koha Waiata. A Gift Of Song (1995, CD) - DiscogsHe Koha (A Gift Of Maori Music) (2001, CD) - DiscogsBook Jacket for: Kia kaha! : together, standing strongBook Jacket for: Kei te peke ahau

if you want more waiata in your life, why not check out:

Wellington City Library’s waiata resources here

or…


Waiata mai : sing along with Aunty Bea / Yates, Piatarihi
“Waiata Mai is a compilation of the waiata Beatrice Yates has written and sung over the years. It is a beautifully illustrated bilingual book suitable for the younger children. It contains counting, colour, welcome, farewell, action songs and songs naming the body. This is a wonderful resource for any one wanting to learn some basic Maori and have fun with their kids.” (Catalogue)


Tutu taniwha / Kahukiwa, Robyn
“Tutu is a baby taniwha who loves to sing and dance. Story is designed to be sung to the tune of “Twinkle twinkle little star,” incorporating English and Māori words. Includes notes on pronunciation and translation. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

Hush : a Kiwi lullaby / Cowley, Joy
“Regarded by some as the mother of children’s publishing in New Zealand, it is fitting that Joy Cowley has penned this warm-hearted Kiwi version of a traditional lullaby, with words in both English and te reo Maori. From sheep to kowhai flowers, and from paua shells to silver ferns, this special picture book will be a treasured addition to any home library. Stunningly illustrated by Andrew Burdan with pictures that could easily grace the walls of any art-lover’s home.” (Catalogue)

Kia kaha! : together, standing strong / Pitman-Hayes, June
“Kia kaha! Kia kaha! Together standing strong. We join our hands in friendship, thats how we get along. All around our gentle land, no matter where were from … we fill the air with laughter and our kia kaha song! Find a friend and sing along to Aotearoas catchy KIA KAHA song. Featuring June Pitman-Hayes with childrens entertainer Pio Terei, singing in English and Maori.” (Catalogue)

Children’s DVDs: New Releases in 2021

Hey kids! Easter and winter are around the corner and there will be more days we’ll be spending indoors. To curb the winter blues and boredom, why not head on down to your local library and rent some new DVDs? We’ve been adding new titles to the children’s movie collection to keep you entertained. So what are you waiting for? Go down to your local branch and borrow these DVDs!

Enjoy!

image courtesy of amazon.comBenji the Dove.

“A tender tale of four boys who are rapidly coming to terms with school, bullies, friendship, and loyalty. Not to be limited by a poor upbringing, they tap their immense creativity and imagination to create The Order of the Red Dragon, a brotherhood of knights determined to fight injustice with justice.” (Catalogue)



image courtesy of amazon.comCats and Dogs 3 Paws Unite!

“It’s been 10 years since the creation of the Great Truce, an elaborate joint-species surveillance system designed and monitored by cats and dogs to keep the peace when conflicts arise. But when a tech-savvy villain hacks into wireless networks to use frequencies only heard by cats and dogs, he manipulates them into conflict, and the worldwide battle between cats and dogs is BACK ON. Now, a team of inexperienced and untested agents will have to use their old-school animal instincts to restore order and peace between cats and dogs everywhere.” (Catalogue)



image courtesy of amazon.comLassie Come Home.

“Flo’s best friend, his collie Lassie. When his family is forced to give the dog away, Flo is heartbroken. But Lassie isn’t easily separated from Flo and embarks on an adventurous journey across Germany to be reunited with Flo.” (Catalogue)



image courtesy of amazon.comEl Americano the movie.

“Cuco is a Mexican boy parrot that would rather imitate the crazy stunts of his TV super-parrot hero, El Americano, than help with his chores at the family bird circus. Yet when a gang of bully birds threatens his ringmaster father and takes over the circus, Cuco sets off on a hilarious and perilous journey to Hollywood to enlist his hero in his fight, only to discover the true hero within himself” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comLino : an adventure of nine lives.

“Lino is an entertainer and clown for children’s parties who cannot stand his job anymore – especially the cat costume he has to wear. Deciding to seek outside help, he unfortunately finds a very untalented wizard who transforms him into the thing he hates most: his cat costume.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comSoul.

“Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. A misstep takes him from New York City to The Great Before, a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities before going to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who has never understood the appeal of the human life. As Joe tries to show 22 what’s great about life, he may discover the answers to the most important questions.” (Catalogue)

Making Musical Mayhem these School Holidays!

The school holidays are almost upon us — just 5 sleeps to go! With the Prime Minister’s announcement that we will be moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 from midnight tonight, we thought this calls for some kind of celebration. And what better way to celebrate than with music?

These school holidays, from September 26 — October 11, Wellington City Libraries are inviting you to Make Musical Mayhem with us at your local library or community centre! There’s heaps to do, from awe-inspiring interactive performances with our friends at Orchestra Wellington and musical craft extravaganzas with LEGO and recycled materials, to workshops on making music for robots, speed-dating musical instruments, and even a big dance party at our new Central branch, Te Awe Library on Brandon Street. There’s fun for the whole family, so check out the schedule below, or go to our event calendar for the full details of what’s on offer at your library!

Image of digital equaliser software displaying rainbow-coloured volume bars at different heights.

Get ready to make beautiful musical mayhem at your library during the school holidays!

Building Sound: Creating Music with Apps

Want to make music at home? Come along and learn how to make your own tunes at home using apps. We will explore different music-making apps, and how to layer different sounds and instruments to create our own pieces of music. Tablets will be provided, however we encourage you to bring your own.

Suitable for ages 8+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Tuesday 29 September, 11.00am

Introduction to the Orchestra

Want to learn about the inner workings of an orchestra? In preparation for “Where’s My Triangle?” with Orchestra Wellington on the 4th of October, Te Awe Library will be screening an entertaining guide to the orchestra, suitable for the whole family!

Bring your parents and grandparents — everyone is sure to learn something new.

  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 27 September, 1.30pm

Let’s Go LEGO®: Musical Edition

Are you a master builder in disguise? Join us for this special music-themed edition of Let’s Go LEGO® for our musical school holidays. Let’s build – let’s explore – let’s create your LEGO® magnum opus!

Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Khandallah Library, Friday 2 October, 3.30pm
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, Wednesday 7 October, 11.00am
  • Johnsonville Library, Friday 9 October, 11.00am
  • Brooklyn Library, Friday 9 October, 2.00pm
  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 11 October, 11.00am

Makey Makey: Music for Robots!

What if we told you you could make a musical instrument out of everyday materials you find lying around? A banana piano? No problem. A drum kit made of keys and coins? Why not! Join us for a special music-making session with our Makey Makeys — who knows what you’ll create!

Suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

  • Khandallah Library, Tuesday 29 September, 2.00pm
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library, Tuesday 6 October, 2.00pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Wednesday 7 October, 11.00am

Musical Movie Screenings

Join us for these special music-themed movie screenings for the whole family! Find out which movies we are screening by calling the library, or come along in your PJs for a musical surprise! All movies chosen will have a G or PG rating. Popcorn supplied!

  • Te Awe Library, Thursday 1 October, 1.30pm
  • Karori Library, Thursday 8 October, 5.30pm

Musical Storytimes

Join us for these special musical storytimes, featuring songs and musical stories for the whole family! Come along prepared to make some noise — bring your own instruments if you’re feeling extra brave!

Suitable for children aged 2-6 with their caregivers.

  • Karori Library, Wednesday 30 September, 10.30am
  • Khandallah Library, Tuesday 6 October, 10.30am
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) LibraryWednesday 7 October, 10.30am

Party Time at Te Awe Library!

To celebrate the end of the school holidays, you are invited to a special party right here in the library! Do you want to play party games? Do you enjoy dance and song? Then grab your grown-up and bring them along to Te Awe Library prepared to have LOTS OF FUN!

Suitable for ages 6-9 with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Friday 9 October, 11.00am

Recycled Musical Crafts

Did you know that you can make a harmonica out of popsicle sticks? Or a guitar from a tissue box? Get your craft on these school holidays and turn your trash into treasure as we make our very own musical instruments from everyday items! Materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own recycled item if there’s something special you wish to transform.

Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Friday 2 October, 11.00am

Speed-Date a Musical Instrument!

Ever wanted to know what it’s like to play a musical instrument you’ve never tried before? Come along for this special opportunity to get up close, have a go, and learn about various musical instruments at stations placed throughout the library. Friendly library staff will guide you through your introduction to these instruments and the musical world.

Suitable for ages 4+ with their caregivers.

  • Brooklyn Library, Thursday 1 October, 2.00pm
  • Wadestown Library, Thursday 8 October, 2.00pm

‘Where’s My Triangle?’ with Orchestra Wellington

Orchestra Wellington is proud to present their 2020 Music to Schools programme, “Where’s My Triangle?” by the POW! Trio. Join us for this unique opportunity to get up-close to the family of instruments played by the percussionists of Orchestra Wellington. The show features music for a variety of instruments and musical styles from classical to pop, and the POW! Trio takes us on an adventure of EPIC proportions as they introduce instruments you never even knew existed!

This event is suitable for children of all ages accompanied by their caregivers. Special thanks to our friends at Orchestra Wellington!

  • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library, Thursday 1 October, 10.30am
  • Newtown Library, Thursday 1 October, 1.30pm
  • Newlands Community Centre, Friday 2 October, 10.30am
  • Karori Library, Friday 2 October, 1.30pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Sunday 4 October, 10.30am
  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 4 October, 1.30pm
Three musicians, smiling, playing a marimba with 6 wooden mallets

Join the POW! Trio from Orchestra Wellington for this hands-on performance!

Family Lockdown Challenge: Support New Zealand Music Month 2020.

New Zealand Music Month is back again and is in its 20th year marks 20 years of celebrating and supporting the New Zealand Music industry. The theme for 2020’s NZ Music Month is: Support local. Stream local. Follow local. Buy local.

This year New Zealand Music month will be celebrated differently. Under Level 3 restrictions, there will be no live events in our favorite music venues, including the library. But have no fear, you can still celebrate NZ Music month and support the NZ music industry in the comfort of your own home… and bubbles.


image courtesy of https://www.nzmusicmonth.co.nz/

What is New Zealand Music Month?

May is New Zealand Music Month, which celebrates music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.

How can I celebrate this year under Level 3 nationwide lockdown? 

The NZ Music Month schedule is packed with virtual events, awards, radio specials, online seminars and promotions. Check out the events page for more information.

You can also support your librarians, many of whom also moonlight as musicians and performers. Go onto the Wellington City Libraries and Johnsonville Library Facebook pages for regular live-streaming of preschool storytime, Baby Rock and Rhyme and of course Quarantunes for nightly live performances.

You can download and print your own NZ Music month poster, which you can put on your bedroom wall or window.

Where can I find information about New Zealand Music, artists and bands?

ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about New Zealand musicians and bands. The National Library also has a page dedicated to New Zealand Music, where you can explore the culture, history and uses of music in New Zealand along with famous singers (traditional and contemporary), music awards, bands and the styles of music unique to New Zealand.

For more information, on events and ideas on how to celebrate, visit the following websites:

NZ Music Month official website.

New Zealand Curriculum Online – New Zealand Music Month.

NZ History – New Zealand Music Month.

Enjoy!… and Happy New Zealand Music Month 2020!

New non fiction and comics.

Hey kids! Spring is here, which means there will be more days spent indoors. Why not psring on down to your local library and check some of the new non fiction and junior comics in the children’s collection to keep you entertained.

Enjoy!

New Non fiction:

image courtesy of syndeticsEverything Awesome About Dinosaurs And Other Prehistoric Beasts!

From the creative brain of Mike Lowery, discover the ULTIMATE book about all things prehistoric! Featuring fun facts, dinosaur jokes, comics, timelines and more! Discover the must-have book for dinosaur enthusiasts, a madcap field guide full of facts and humor, and learn everything you ever wanted to know about prehistoric beasts!

image courtesy of syndeticsUltimate eye twisters : a mesmerizing mass of optical illusions.

It’s time to be perplexed by the most eye-twisting and brain-bending of optical illusions! Seeing is normally believing–but not in this book! A feast of optical trickery and mesmerizing puzzles awaits you. Colourful, curious and crazy, you’ll see things you never thought possible. Amaze your friends and family with these awesome illusions!

iamge courtesy of syndeticsBTS: K-Pop Kings: The Unauthorized Fan Guide.

BTS: Kings of K-Pop is the must-have commemorative celebration of BTS, the Korean boy band with a global army of fans.

Playing with Collage.

A how-to guide to making your own collages, brimful of fascinating hints and tips from a master of the genre. Age: 8+

im age courtesy of syndeticsBts: The Ultimate Fan Book: Experience the K-Pop Phenomenon!

BTS are much more than just a K-Pop phenomenon, they are a band acclaimed for their record-smashing, barrier-breaking, trend-setting dance-pop and hip-hop tunes and personal philosophies.

Little kids first big book of pets.

Introduces children to a variety of family-friendly pets, including how each type of pet eats, sleeps, and plays, and information on animal breeds, characteristics, behavior, and tips for training pets.

David Bowie.

As a child, young David had a head full of songs and ideas. He was inspired by the pop and mod scenes in Britain to pick up the saxophone. After earning his stripes in some of the coolest bands in London, David splashed onto the solo scene. His songwriting talent and musical skill made him one of rock and roll’s all-time greatest artists.

 

New junior comics and graphic novels:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe adventures of Ook and Gluk, kung-fu cavemen from the future.

Kung-fu cavemen from the future? Wow, I think I’ve heard and seen everything! Check out this amazing graphic novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins about Ook and Gluk, the coolest cavemen of the stone age and their epic quest to save the world from an evil corporation from the future, with help from their pal, a baby dinosaur called Lily, who always vomits when she spins, and Master Wong, and his daughter. Barrel of laughs all the way!

image courtesy of syndeticsApollo : the brilliant one.

“Mighty Apollo is known by all as the god of the sun, but there’s more to this Olympian than a bright smile and a shining chariot”– Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsHades : lord of the dead.

Deep in the kingdom of the underworld, countless spirits await the end of time. Hades, the lord of the dire realm waits with them until one day, the lord of the dead takes a wife… or tried to anyway. And then all Hades breaks loose. Want to find out the end? Then pop on down to your local library and grab this comic to find out the epic conclusion to the chaos that ensues when the lord of the dead decides to take a wife.

Poseidon : earth shaker.

Graphically adapts the adventures of the Greek god of the seas, presenting the myth of how Poseidon became the king of the oceans and such stories as Theseus and the Minotaur, Odysseus and Polyphemos, and the founding of Athens.

Cars : engines that move you.

In Dan Zettwoch’s Science Comics: Cars, you’ll learn where cars came from and how they work. When you pop the hood, what are you looking at? How does gasoline – or electric batteries, or even steam – make a car move? Rev up your motor and take look at the combustible history of the automobile and its explosive effects on our modern lives.

The croc ate my homework.

A collection of comic strips mocks the foibles of human nature with the antics of egotistical Rat, clueless Pig, intellectual Goat, and letter-writing optimist Zebra.

All Tangled Up.

When Bird and Squirrel are charged with taking care of Bird’s daughter, Birdie, the three decide to have some fun and venture out into the forest in search of the elusive Bigfoot.

New Zealand Music Month!

New Zealand Music Month is back again!

May is New Zealand Music Month, which celebrates music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.
So we thought we would share some music, (and picture books) by Kiwi musicians from the children’s collection!

 


image courtesy of nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz

 

For more information, on events and ideas on how to celebrate, visit the following websites:

NZ Music Month official website.

New Zealand Curriculum Online – New Zealand Music Month.

NZ History – New Zealand Music Month.

Enjoy!… and Happy New Zealand Music Month!


 

Songs for Bubbas by Anika Moa.

Move over, The Wiggles! There’s a new (solo) performer, cheeky and beautiful Kiwi songwriter, Anika Moa returns with her albums for children: Songs for Bubbas One and Two. Filled with songs about love, laughter and… animal noises that will keep children… and parents entertained for hours on end!

The albums are half Te Reo Maori, half English. These songs will be enjoyed in every primary school and kindy around the country for years to come.

 

Music box. Vol. 5.

A collection of songs from the NZ Children’s Music Awards performed by various Kiwi musicians.

 

Baby Rock and Rhyme.

Homegrown and performed by Wellington City Libraries’ finest, Baby Rock and Rhyme’s CD contains 33 classic songs and rhymes that babies and parents will enjoy!…

Babies, toddlers and parents can also come, and sign along to these songs during the  weekly interactive sessions of Baby Rock and Rhyme. Available at the following branches:

Miramar Library Tuesday, 10.15am
Island Bay Library Tuesday, 9.30am
Johnsonville Library Wednesday & Thursday, 9.30am
Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library Tuesday, 10.30am
Karori Library Thursday & Friday, 10.30am
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library Friday, 10.15am
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library Friday, 9.30am


 

Topp Twins Series

Kiwi performers, and sisters, The Topp twins have published picture story books for children featuring the illustrated text, and CD of classic children’s song, which includes:

image courtesy of syndeticsDo your ears hang low?

“The traditional song ‘Do Your Ears Hang Low?’, performed by the Topp Twins,  featuring a number of animals with differently shaped ears, which includes a hound dog, a mouse, lop-eared rabbit, llama, pig, etc”.

image courtesy of sydneticsThere’s a hole in my bucket!

Henry’s bucket has a hole and as Liza gives the instructions on how to fix it, he in turn gives her all the reasons why he can’t.

image courtesy of sydneticsSkip to the loo, my darlin’

“”Skip, skip, skip to the loo, Skip, skip, skip to the loo, Skip, skip, skip to the loo, Skip to the loo, my darlin’!” There’s a hullaballoo down on the farm. Animals are here, there and everywhere—even in the loo. Sing along to this song with Topp Twins Lynda and Jools. The barn animal mayhem includes sheep, cows, chickens, dog, tractor, horse – and a possum!”–Publisher information.

image courtesy of syndeticsOld MacDonald had a farm.

“Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O, and on that farm he had some fun and games and DRAMAS with those rascally, rowdy farm animals! Cluck, moo, woof and hum along to this all-time favourite song by the Topp Twins”–Publisher information.

 

Other NZ picture books, with music CDs:

image courtesy of syndeticsJungle bells / sung by Anika Moa ; illustrated by Stephanie Thatcher.”

Based on the traditional Christmas song Jingle Bells but rewritten (to same tune) as a jungle holiday animal Christmas. Featuring a cast of jungle characters including elephants, hippos, monkeys and even a dung beetle. Recording sung by Anika Moa”–Publisher information.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Kiwi hokey tokey.

“New Zealand animals all come together to dance to the Kiwi Hokey Tokey. Sheep, Tuataras, Kiwis, you name it!”–From publisher.

You also might like Row, kiwi, row your boat.image courtesy of syndetics


image courtesy of syndeticsThe Wonky Donkey.

An oldie, but a goodie! Winner of the 2010 New Zealand Post Children’s Choice Awards, New Zealand Post Children’s Choice Award, Picture Book Category winner and APRA Children’s Song of the Year, 2008, this very funny, cumulative song, each page tells us something new about the donkey until we end up with a spunky, hanky-panky, cranky, stinky, dinky, lanky, honky-tonky, winky, wonky donkey which will have children in fits of laughter!
You also might like Willbee the Bumblebee. image courtesy of syndeticsWillbee’s yellow and black stripy jumper catches on a thorn and unravels completely, he’s too embarrassed to move. How will he make it home? Suggested level: junior.

image courtesy of syndeticsRow, row, row your waka.

An illustrated picture book and CD audio recording of the song ‘Row, row, row your waka. “New Zealand friends Pūkeko, Kiwi and Hōiho go on a journey. Join them in their waka, perform actions and sing along while you row, row, row. “–Back cover.


 

Non Kiwi Music, (and books) you might enjoy!

Music CDs:

Hits for Kids 2017.

Hits for Kids 2017 features 20 of the hottest hits of the year from some of the biggest names in pop music.

Disney Pixar All time favourites.

Walt Disney Records presents the All Time Favorite songs and scores from favorite Disney-Pixar films in one CD. The album includes music from Toy Story 1, 2, and 3, Cars 1 & 2, Brave, Finding Nemo, and more!

Disney Icon Volume 1,2 3 and 4.

These CDs are part of a series of releases that includes some of Disney’s biggest and best titles from their top animated films.

 

Picture Books… with CDs:

image courtesy of syndeticsHappy!

“Grammy Award winner Pharrell Williams brings his beloved hit song to the youngest of readers in a blend of illustrations and photos of children celebrating what it means to be happy.”–Book jacket front flap.

image courtersy of syndeticsFootloose / music & lyrics by Kenny Loggins & Dean Pitchford.

In this version of the pop rock song “Footloose,” zookeeper Jack joins the zoo animals in an all-night dance party.