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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Friday, December 17, 2010

FEATURED AUTHOR: Sharon Burch

Sharon Burch is a music teacher, speaker, and author, Sharon Burch developed an effective method using fiction and fantasy to teach musical concepts to preschool through elementary-age students both in the classroom and at home. Sharon and Freddie share their interactive teaching methods in elementary music with educational groups across the country. Energized parents and teachers quickly realize the "magic of Freddie" - his uncanny ability to teach even young children musical concepts. Also an author and presenter, Sharon advocates the multiple benefits of music education in a child's brain development. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Truman University in Kirksville, Missouri, and a Masters' Degree as a Professional Educator from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Sharon also holds a certification in piano instruction from the International Piano Teaching Foundation developed by Dr. Robert Pace. She has served as a vocal and piano instructor, and taught preschool through 8th grade general music and directed junior high and high school choirs. While she makes her home in the rolling hills of southern Iowa with her husband and two children, sailing is the family hobby. Someday they hope to sail the Sea of Music to Treble Clef Island!

The Freddie the Frog 4-Book Series Includes:

Book/CD 1: Freddie the Frog and the Thump in the Night

This book introduces emergent readers to fundamental music concepts in a fun and exciting way. In it, Freddie is a frog who lives with his parents on Treble Clef Island. He is awakened in the middle of the night by a strange thumping noise. Frog-eating crocodiles, a swinging rope bridge, and a humongous gray monster are all part of Freddie’s adventure as he explores the island in search of the thump. Through Freddie’s adventures on the island, the reader is introduced to the treble clef staff as a map of where Freddie lives. Readers are captivated as the staff comes to life with the combination of illustrations and enclosed CD narration and music. A bonus of two sing-a-long songs, “Froggie Went A-Courtin” and “Eli’s Hokey Pokey”, sung by Freddie and his friend, Eli, are included on the CD.

Book/CD 2: Freddie the Frog and the Bass Clef Monster

In this adventure, Freddie awakens from hibernation to discover he is not on his beloved Treble Clef Island. Freddie’s search for home leads him through Frog Land —a strange place full of bizarre creatures all pointing him to the Bass Clef Monster who “loves frogs.” Discover the dancing bees, a moonlit cocoon garden, the fire-breathing dragon, and dare to meet the Bass Clef Monster. Building on the first book Freddie the Frog and the Thump in the Night that introduces readers to the treble clef, the Bass Clef Monster introduces nine notes of the bass clef simply by playing the CD and turning the pages. The lines and spaces represent each part of this eerie adventure and the sound effects and music bring it to life. Sing-a-long songs included too.

Book/CD 3: Freddie the Frog and The Mysterious Wahooooo

In this book kids discover the tempos, rhythms, and beats of Tempo Island with Freddie and his best friend Eli the Elephant. It guides kids in playing rhythm instruments to the rhythm and beat along with Eli and Freddie who find themselves stranded on a nearby island. They follow the mysterious "Wahooooos" through the jungle and try to communicate with the purple elephant in charge. Will he help them return home? Echo, chant, and play along with Freddie and Eli to learn the beats and rhythms of Tempo Island. The audio CD includes the dramatized story, sing-a-long songs, and jam tracks to play your own created rhythm. Ages 4-9.

Book/CD 4: Freddie the Frog® and the Secret of Crater Island

This book teaches six note names and completes the treble clef staff that the first book in the series, Freddie the Frog and the Thump in the Night, introduced. Freddie and Eli discover a buggy world under the azaleas. The two friends join the Blue Beetle Bugs in their quest to find the secret on Crater Island, (middle C)! The Secret of Crater Island includes peek-through pages and the enclosed audio CD includes the dramatized story, sing-a-long songs, and jam tracks to play along with the 12-Bar Blues. Ages 4-9.


How did you start out your writing career?

My writing career began out of a "means to an end." I'm a music teacher who loves teaching kids through stories, songs and games. I created stories as a storyteller to teach music concepts and discovered they were incredibly effective. Writing a children's illustrated story book with a captivating audio CD was the best way to duplicate and share my teaching success with others.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Writing a book is like giving birth to a baby. It is exciting and only just the beginning of of a life long journey.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

The Freddie the Frog® books are far more than just another storybook. They captivate kids in the world of music, engaging them in learning through fantasy and interactive fun. Music is incredibly important in the mental development of children. We are doing our children a disservice if we do not have them engaged in learning music. The research and studies in the last 10 years all point to the increased activity and neural development in all parts of the brain through the study of music.

Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?

The "writer's life" entails far more than creative writing. That's just the beginning. It is followed with speaking, author's visits, presentations, and research and development. I did not expect the opportunity to interact with the reader's. The Internet has transformed a writer's life. It is so much fun to bounce ideas back and forth. I created a Teacher's Test Team for new Freddie the Frog books and ancillary products. That feedback is invaluable. The reader's become part of the Freddie team of creators.

Which five characters (can be from books, movies, or tv shows) would you invite over for dinner and why?

Bobby McFerrin, I love his passion for music and genuine love of people; Winnie the Pooh, transparent integrity; Nancy Drew, focused drive and ambition ahead of her time; Barbara Streisand, charisma and stage presence; Betty White, great sense of humor and comfortable in her own skin. Incredible conversation around the table group of strong, independent yet accepting achievers.

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

The amount of energy and time it takes; how much fun it is to go after a dream; how to live with passion. Life is a really fun adventure when you just "go for it" and ask yourself, "what's the worst thing that could happen?"

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Don't assume your work is finished when the book is written. It's only just begun. Do research your market niche and analyze the comparable books. Ask yourself, "Do I have something that is uniquely different that someone will want to purchase?" Does it meet a need or solve a problem?

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

It takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. Marketing and publicity is a necessary time-consumer. Non-writers assume you have all kinds of time on your hands and don't understand when you need to say "no" to volunteering.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?

If you want a professional product, hire professionals to achieve the end result.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I love to sail.

If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?

Nancy Drew. Fearless, driven, passionate, and smart.

Our theme for this month is Children Books. Can you recommend three books for children?

The Jazz Fly; Mole Music; The Giving Tree.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

God is real. Evidence of His presence is everywhere around me and throughout unexplainable events in my life, including these books and this unplanned journey I am on. I'm wearing blinders and self-absorbed if I think otherwise.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

Freddie introduces kids to jazz through an interactive story! Freddie the Frog and the Flying Jazz Kitten, transports the reader into a where they only speak "scat" on Scat Cat Island, Mew York.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

Sharon@FreddieTheFrogBooks.com, www.SharonBurch.com, and fun and games at http://www.freddiethefrog.com/


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