A "wild" conversation with Molly
Join Molly and me as we discuss inspiration, process, and lots of music. Stage fright and other wild things that can build resilience if we let them. Such a great conversation full of fun and inspiration!
SOMETHING WILD by Molly Ruttan
This book is so beautiful and full of heart. If you've ever struggled with stage fright -- or really any fear or need to build some resilience, this book is for you. If your child or student has ever struggled with the "what-ifs" this book is for them. The illustrations are whimsical and full of beauty and the pacing is just right to leave you feeling fully satisfied at the end of the story. Molly's words and pictures come together to create something beautifully wonderfully wild!
A Little Jam. . .(The Music Kind)
I'm featuring here a young girl on violin to match the protagonist in SOMETHING WILD. However, there are other videos on the YouTube playlist that focus on the violin as an instrument, discuss stage fright, or long violin videos for ambience. There are also additional child-performances on violin as well, so there is plenty to choose from if this jam is not what you're looking for to go along with this precious book.
Teacher Tips, Tricks and Topics
SOMETHING WILD is a perfect book to use in the music classroom or the regular classroom. If you are working with kids , this is a great book. It's fabulous for dealing with stage fright -- whether that's reading in front of the class, being on a little stage or a big one. Here are some other ways to use it in the classroom:
Tips and Topics for Music Teachers
This book, SOMETHING WILD, is a music teacher's dream, as it deals with something every performer usually struggles with at some point -- stage fright. The young protagonist learns one way to deal with it. Molly and I talk about some additional ways in our conversation. I also linked up some additional helpful videos on pushing through stage fright in the YouTube playlist. The book is a great segue to talking about performances, audiences, stage fright and other performance related ideas. I'm planning to read this book to each grade level this year just before their performance to help them get rid of their jitters.
However, you might prefer to focus on the violin aspect of this book, and so, on the playlist I've included lots of violin music, as well as videos that introduce the violin and teach young students about it. You could extend that to discussing the string family (In that case, I'd recommend you use this YouTube playlist.
Three main topics accessible through this book are:
Writing Prompts from Tonnye
Writing Tips from Molly
Here are some additional thoughts that have really helped me in profound ways, so I am passing them on to you!
1. It’s never too late! You never retire from being an artist, of any kind.
2. Use your emotions and anxieties to inspire new ideas.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of visualization.
4. Create or join a kid lit group such as a critique and/or writing group. No one can see your light if you keep it hidden - not even you!
Also join SCBWI, and participate.
Also, my favorite quote from Maya Angelou (for books and life):
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
And a fun quote from Albert Einstein:
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Links, More Fun, Extensions for Families and Everyone!
Pinterest board full of character analysis, violin activities, videos, and more
Molly's musical bio page
Coloring pages to go along with SOMETHING WILD
YouTube playlist, full of kids playing violin, stage fright videos, violin info, ambient music, practice tips, etc.
Check out this episode of PBJamz for resources for the string family specifically if you'd like to dig into that more.
Since Hannah and her family are eating pizza after the recital, this is the perfect recipe to share to go along with this book! PBJ Sugar Cookie Pizza! I can't imagine a more delicious dessert after a stressful, wild, and wonderful recital! You can find the recipe here and make your own PBJ pizza -- post-recital, after school, or any time.
Guest Links and Giveaways
Molly Ruttan's website
Molly has graciously offered a SOMETHING WILD prize pack with a copy of the book and some awesome swag! To be entered for the giveaway, leave a comment below by Wednesday, Sept 13 at 11:59 PM EST.
Be sure to leave a review (Amazon, GoodReads, B&N) if you enjoy her book, share on socials, pass your recommendation on to others who might enjoy the book, follow her on social mediam put in a library request, etc.!
This page is the official space for PBJamz -- multimedia Jamorama celebrating all things PB (picture books) and Jamz (music), although we'll indulge in the other PBJ snacks where appropriate :-). Join us each Thursday for new content connecting picture books and music!