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Blair Academy Students and Families: General Information

This guide provides information on collections and services offered by the Wilson Music Library to Blair Academy students and their families.

Welcome to the Wilson Music Library!

All students enrolled in the Blair Academy are eligible for a library card with borrowing privileges. Students can borrow books, scores, and audiovisual materials for 28 days. These privileges are limited to the Wilson Music Library only. Complete the registration form to get your library card.

Families are welcome to use the Wilson Music Library during lessons or ensemble rehearsals. Since Vanderbilt University is an institution of higher education, minor children should be accompanied by parents while using the library. Since access to the Blair building is limited by I.D. card, please call the Wilson Music Library's service desk at (615) 517-0324 if you need to be let inside.

Library Policies:

Conduct Policy:

We do our best to create a welcoming environment for all who use the Wilson Music Library. We ask that users be respectful of one another.  Many undergraduate students and faculty use this library for study and research, so unruly behavior (i.e., yelling, running, etc.) will not be tolerated. Parents and legal guardians of minors are responsible for supervising the behavior of their children. If an issue arises with a Blair Academy student's behavior, we will notify Mary Biddlecombe, Director of the Blair Academy at Vanderbilt program.

Computer Usage:

The Wilson Music Library does not control information available over the Internet, and it is not responsible for its content. Users should be aware that Internet sites may contain offensive or controversial material. Parents or legal guardians of minors are responsible for monitoring the library activities of their children. Users of workstations are in a public building, and they are expected to show consideration for others.

Because the Music Library has a limited number of computer stations, priority is given for academic uses (i.e., writing papers, using library databases, etc.).  If other users are waiting for a workstation, you may be asked to give up your computer if you are engaged in non-academic computing (i.e., using Facebook, checking e-mail).

All users must abide by the terms of the Heard Libraries Use of Public Computers Policy.

Food and Drink Policy:

Non-alcoholic drinks in spill-proof containers or sports bottles are permitted. Packaged or wrapped snack foods are permitted at study carrels but not near electronic equipment or computer workstations. Hot meals or messy, aromatic food (e.g., hoagies, pizza, salads, soup) are not permitted in the library. If you enter the Music Library with these types of foods, you will be asked to use the seminar room (pending availability) or exit the library. Food and drink pose a potential risk to library collections, equipment, and furnishings. We ask that you act responsibly when consuming food and drink in the library. Please deposit your garbage in the trash cans and clean up after yourself.

The ABCs of Women in Music

This vibrantly illustrated children's picture book highlights the contributions of women to music, representing a diversity of ages, races, time periods, abilities, and geographic regions. Meet Clara the composer, Ella the jazz singer, Selena the pop star, and Xian the conductor! Women in music are brilliant, creative, brave, and resilient. They are composers, conductors, singers, musicologists, electronic music producers, and so much more. In this vibrantly illustrated picture book, meet 26 remarkable women musicians who collectively span over 1,000 years of music history and represent a diversity of cultures, races, professions, and abilities. Their incredible stories and beautiful work are sure to inspire a new generation of musicians!

Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane

A lyrical picture book biography of John Coltrane that focuses on his childhood. Young John Coltrane was all ears. And there was a lot to hear, growing up in the south during the 1930s: church songs, preachers praying, music on the radio, and the bustling of the household. John was surrounded by all kinds of vivid noises that shaped his own sound as a musician. With vibrant words and glowing colors, Carole Boston Weatherford and Sean Qualls compose an amazingly rich hymn to the childhood of jazz legend John Coltrane. Before John Was a Jazz Giant is a 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book and a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart

By the time she was 12, she was considered one of the finest pianists in Europe, but today few people know her name. Maria Mozart, like her famous brother Wolfgang, was a musical prodigy. The talented siblings toured Europe, playing before kings and empresses, were showered with gifts and favors, and lived in a whirlwind life of music and travel. They were best friends, collaborators, and confidantes. As they grew older, Wolfgang was encouraged to pursue his musical ambitions, while Maria was told she must stop performing and, ultimately, marry. But she was determined to continue playing the piano every day, for the love of music . . . .

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustration Award! From a New York Times bestselling author and an acclaimed illustrator comes this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin that pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves. Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father's Detroit church where her soaring voice spanned more than three octaves. Her string of hit songs earned her the title "the Queen of Soul," multiple Grammy Awards, and a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But Aretha didn't just raise her voice in song, she also spoke out against injustice and fought for civil rights. This authoritative, rhythmic, Coretta Scott King Illustration Award-winning picture book biography will captivate young readers with Aretha's inspiring story.


Perfect for quarantine reading with your children! Before there were DJs, rock stars, pop groups, and jazz trios, there was the orchestra. Whether it takes center stage or brings performances and movies to life, the orchestra is the magnificent original voice of the western world. Learn about all of the ingenious instruments that make up the orchestra and the luminary composers whose work has endured for centuries. Travel from the stunning Wiener Musikverein in Vienna to the world's greatest recording studios, all illuminated by David Doran's stylish and immersive artwork. A beautifully illustrated coffee table guide to everything you could ever want to know about the orchestra.

Steel Drums

Go behind the scenes and learn how craftsman Glenn Rowsey makes one-of-a-kind steel drums by hand with this nonfiction book that's full of photographs and illustrations about his process. Tap-happy Glenn was inspired and taught by the Father of the Modern Steel Drum, Ellie Mannette. This book gives a step-by-step glimpse at Glenn's creative process for making and tuning pans--from start to finish--with love and care. It also features a timeline and history detailing how the passion of generations of determined people from Trinidad gave birth to this percussion instrument. Charts, infographics, and bold photographs will inspire kids to make their own objects by hand.

Verdi for Kids: His Life and Music

Giuseppe Verdi dominated Italian opera for 50 years, and his operas are performed throughout the world today. Verdi for Kids offers young readers an accessible, behind-the-scenes peek into the exciting world of opera and traces Verdi's path to fame, delving into the great composer's childhood, musical training, family tragedies, and professional setbacks and successes. Kids also learn about the Italians' passion for opera and Italy's tumultuous past, key political figures, and cultural pastimes. Aspiring sopranos, baritones, musicians, conductors, and stage directors will learn about opera jobs and production, what happens at rehearsal, and music terms and vocabulary, gaining an understanding of opera's rich tradition. Offering a time line, glossary, and list of additional resources, Verdi for Kids is an engaging resource for students, parents, and teachers. Fun hands-on activities illuminate both the music concepts introduced and the times in which Verdi lived.

Becoming Billie Holiday

Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award The stunning voice and hard life of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday is revealed through evocative, accessible poetry.   In 1915, Sadie Fagan gave birth to a daughter she named Eleanora. The world, however, would know her as Billie Holiday, possibly the greatest jazz singer of all time. Eleanora's journey to become a legend took her through pain, poverty, and run-ins with the law. By the time she was fifteen, she knew she possessed something that could possibly change her life--a voice. Eleanora could sing. Her remarkable voice led her to a place in the spotlight with some of the era's hottest big bands. Through a sequence of raw and poignant poems, New York Times best-selling and award-winning poet Carole Boston Weatherford chronicles the singer's young life, her fight for survival, and the dream she pursued with passion.

When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky: Two Artists, Their Ballet, and One Extraordinary Riot

The Russian artists Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky were popular in their time: Stravinsky for music, Nijinsky for dance. When their radically new ballet, The Rite of Spring, was first performed in Paris on May 29, 1913, the reaction was so polarized, there were fistfights and riots! Brilliant or disastrous, the performance marked the birth of modern music and dance. Stringer's rhythmic text and gloriously inventive, color-rich paintings capture the wild and imaginative collaboration of composer and choreographer. The fascinating author note includes photos of the dynamic duo and The Rite of Spring dancers.

By and By: Charles Albert Tidley, the Father of Gospel Music

A stirring picture book biography from award-winning duo Carole Boston Weatherford and Bryan Collier, about gospel composer and preacher Charles Albert Tindley, best known for the gospel hymn "We'll Understand It Better By and By." At a time when most African Americans were still enslaved, Charles Tindley was born free. His childhood was far from easy, with backbreaking hours in the fields, and no opportunity to go to school. But the spirituals he heard as he worked made him long to know how to read the Gospel for himself. Late at night, he taught himself to read from scraps of newspapers. From those small scraps, young Charles raised himself to become a founding father of American gospel music whose hymn was the basis for the Civil Rights anthem "We Shall Overcome." Told in lilting verse with snippets of spirituals and Tindley's own hymns woven throughout, Carole Boston Weatherford's lyrical words and Bryan Collier's luminous pictures celebrate a man whose music and conviction has inspired countless lives.

Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century

A stunning picture-book biography of iconic African American opera star Leontyne Price.   Born in a small town in Mississippi in 1927, the daughter of a midwife and a sawmill worker, Leontyne Price might have grown up singing the blues. But Leontyne had big dreams--and plenty to be thankful for--as she surrounded herself with church hymns and hallelujahs, soaked up opera arias on the radio, and watched the great Marian Anderson grace the stage.              While racism made it unlikely that a poor black girl from the South would pursue an opera career, Leontyne's wondrous voice and unconquerable spirit prevailed. Bursting through the door Marian had cracked open, Leontyne was soon recognized and celebrated for her leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera and around the world--most notably as the majestic Ethiopian princess in Aida, the part she felt she was born to sing. From award-winners Carole Boston Weatherford and Raul Colón comes the story of a little girl from Mississippi who became a beloved star--one whose song soared on the breath of her ancestors and paved the way for those who followed.

Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum

Regardless of whether they've heard of jazz or Art Tatum, young readers will appreciate how Parker uses simple, lyrical storytelling and colorful, energetic ink-and-wash illustrations to show the world as young Art Tatum might have seen it. Tatum came from modest beginnings and was nearly blind, but his passion for the piano and his acute memory for any sound that he heard drove him to become a virtuoso who was revered by both classical and jazz pianists alike. Included in the back matter is a biography and bibliography.

Rock 'n Roll Camp for Girls

Girls, get ready to rock! Since 2001, the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls has taught legions of girls, ages 8 to 18, how to let loose and rock out. This book brings the camp's inspiring, hands-on approach and advice from its all-star crew of female musiciansto girls everywhere. Fun and informative features offer instruction and tips on how to play instruments, write songs, publicize a show, sing your heart out, and much more. Featuring a short history of women in rock, 50 awesome illustrations and photos of young bands, and contributions by members of Sleater-Kinney, the Gossip, Mirah, and others, Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls will have readers turning up their amps in no time. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book benefits the Portland camp and helps provide future programming.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Presents a biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Jake the Philharmonic Dog

Like most dogs, Jake loves playing fetch. Unlike most dogs, Jake loves music even more. He loves to wag his tail to the beat of an ordinary day and "sing" with the birds. When his friend Richie, the principal stagehand at the Philharmonic, brings Jake to work one day, Jake is treated to a lesson in real music. He "woofs!" to the tweeting woodwinds and "ruffs!" to the deep horns, but when he hears the entire symphony orchestra practice, he knows to be quiet andlisten. And when a crisis develops at that night's performance, Jake steps onstage and steals the show.

The Love for Three Oranges

The magical surrealism of the famous opera The Love for Three Oranges is vividly depicted in this pictorial adaptation, designed to create an awareness of classical music among young children. Combining humor, sorrow, fantasy, and a bit of the grotesque, this fanciful story tells the tale of a prince whose melancholy can only be cured by a hearty laugh. In order to break through his gloom, the king plans a splendid feast and orders the court jester, Truffaldino, to appear and cheer up his son. When the prince finally lets out a guffaw, he incurs the wrath of Fata Morgana, a malicious witch who curses him with an undeniable passion for three oranges--oranges that he must chase to the ends of the earth.

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson

A harmonious introduction to one of our country's most important singers and role models--as envisioned by Newbery Honoree Pam Muñoz Ryan and Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick.Marian Anderson is best known for her historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, which drew an integrated crowd of 75,000 people in pre-Civil Rights America. While this momentous event showcased the uniqueness of her voice, the strength of her character, and the struggles of the times in which she lived, it is only part of her story. Like the operatic arias Marian would come to sing, Ryan's text is as moving as a libretto, and Selznick's pictures as exquisitely detailed and elaborately designed as a stage set. What emerges most profoundly from their shared vision is a role model of courage.

Johannes Brahms

Presents a biography of Johannes Brahms

Bravo! Brava! a Night at the Opera

A delightful introduction to opera, Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera teaches elementary school children what opera is by showing how it is made. "Who writes the words?", "Who makes an opera happen? "Who is backstage?"--these questions and more are answered with easy-to-understandexplanations and are illustrated with whimsical watercolors by the author. From composer, choreographer, and costume designers to the conductor, lighting and special effects crew, and, of course, the singers, the excitement builds as Anne Siberell explains each person's role in producing an opera.Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera reveals details of the most famous operas' plots and characters along the way and includes synopses of 27 popular operas, a glossary, suggestions for further reading, and an index.

Slave Spirituals and the Jubilee Singers

Many slave spirituals--songs such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore," and "Go Down, Moses"--have become interwoven into the fabric of American culture. For centuries these deeply moving songs were sung by slaves as they worked in the fields. In 1871, six years after the end of slavery, a group from Fisk University known as the Jubilee Singers toured the United States and abroad, raising money for their bankrupt school and, more important, bringing slave spirituals to the attention of a wide audience. This engrossing account, illustrated with archival prints and photographs and appended with the words and music to seven songs, tells the inspiring story of the Jubilee Singers and reveals spirituals to be an invaluable and unique history of American slavery.

Great Composers: Chopin to Tchaikovsky

Schumann, Liszt, Wagner, Brahms, Dvorak, Bizet and Rossini are but a few of the composers included in this book. The stories of their lives are accompanied by portraits.

Aaron Copland

Presents a biography of Aaron Copland