April 1, 2015

Stories — Music to My Ears

By Kathryn Starke     

What’s your favorite song of all time? Who is your favorite artist? What song is currently on your replay list? For a music lover like I am, these questions are easy to answer. (The answer to the third question changes pretty often for me.) To me, similar questions can be asked of avid readers. What’s your favorite book of all time? Who is your favorite author? What title is currently on your bedside table?

Stories, like music, resonate with each of us for a multitude of reasons. They may remind us of a memory or something currently happening in our lives. They evoke a variety of emotions in us from happiness to sadness, anger to grief, or fear to regret.  We connect to a character, setting, theme, or message either the writer or singer has created for us. Making connections increase our interest and comprehension of any type of text. Think about all of the storybook friends you have made from childhood to adulthood. I personally loved Ramona, Fern, and The Babysitters’ Club. Recall the amount of places you have visited or learned about through the pages of a book. Reflect upon a new perspective or lesson you took away from a chapter or lyric to apply to your life. Imagine the scene you created in your mind to match the words you just heard or read.

In addition to feelings, we are drawn to style and structure. We have a favorite genre of books and of music that become our “go to” on a daily basis. We are captivated by a line, verse, phrase, or paragraph that we recite over and over again in our heads so not as to forget the powerful string of words.  How many times did you read goodnight moon, goodnight room, goodnight cow jumping over the moon” by Margaret Wise Brown?“ You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” This simple heartfelt phrase by Kathryn Stockett in The Help more recently touched readers across the country. Writers closely study the formation, structure, and sound of phrases and sentences that instantly become music to our ears. 

The next time you have on the radio or curling up with a book, sit still for just a moment to listen or imagine the words coming to life before you. This is the exact moment a book or a song becomes a personal favorite of and we continue to build our collection of musical and magical text memories.
Kathryn Starke is an author, literacy specialist, and founder/CEO of Creative Minds Publications, LLC. Her children’s book, Amy’s Travels, is in its second edition, third printing, and used in schools and homes on over 20 countries on 6 continents. Her debut women’s fiction novel Because of You was published by Black Rose Writing. Visit to learn more about Kathryn and her work.


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