By: Lynne Heffley, Parents’ Choice
Noted clarinetist, composer, and music educator Oran Etkin founded a method he calls Timbalooloo to introduce children to music by having them imagine instruments as characters who “speak” music. Here, a winning multicultural musical adventure, features Etkin and his friend, Clara Net the Clarinet, as they travel around the world, making music with accomplished musicians and learning about traditional instruments. In Zimbabwe, they meet a shy mbira—a plucked instrument—that soon warms up to play with Clara, while Etkin and his new friends sing and clap along. In Turkey, tired Clara has a pretty lullaby sung to her, accompanied by the stringed instrument called a korpuz. In Japan, they meet a Japanese guitar called a shamisen and sing a song about cherry blossoms. The pair make other visits to musicians and singers in the Czech Republic, Turkey, China, and Russia, always finding a common language in music as they play and sing together. The tracks were recorded on location, underscoring the authenticity of these heart-filled interactions.