This is a 2003 honor book for the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award:
Adoff, Jaime. 2002. The Song Shoots Out of My Mouth. New York: Dutton.
Here is a Digital Trailer for THE SONG SHOOTS OUT OF MY MOUTH created by graduate student Nancy G. Davis.
Here is a Readers Guide for THE SONG SHOOTS OUT OF MY MOUTH created by graduate student Sharon E. McCoy-Johnson.
Adoff, Jaime. 2002. SONG SHOOTS OUT OF MY MOUTH: A CELEBRATION OF
MUSIC. Ill. by Martin French. ISBN 978052546949
RECOMMENDED AGE LEVELS
SUMMARY OF BOOK
THE SONG SHOOTS OUT OF MY MOUTH: A CELEBRATION OF MUSIC is
written by Jaime Adoff and illustrated by Martin French. Adoff offers the reader
a selection of twenty-four exceptional poems that clearly describes an array of
musical understandings from the adolescent point of view. Adoff’s provides the
reader with a wide collection of poems that reflect the rhythm and language of an
assortment of musical genre, including folk, reggae, blues, classical, Latin, hip-hop,
rock, and jazz. Adoff and French’s compilation is a testament to the soul-sustaining
experience of music.
EDITORIAL EXCERPT(S) AND AWARDS
Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book for 2003
International Reading Association (IRA) Notable Book for 2003
New York Public Library book for the teenage 2003
VOYA Poetry Pick 2002
CCB Best Book for 2002
CCBC Book of the week
teenreads.com cool new book
School Library Journal
“Adoff free verse is highly rhythmic and demands to be performed, like these
opening lines from the title poem: "Each word running fast across lips./A direct line
to my hips, twist and shake./My voice another arm, another leg./My throat the
Cape Canaveral of my soul./Song shuttle/blasting off/into deep blue/soprano sky-."
Jazz, rap, hip-hop, and Mozart are equally celebrated. Young musicians will also
recognize their own lives in the poems about school bands and playing air guitar.
Only musicians will get the pun poems "2#" (too sharp) and "Way 2b" (way too flat),
though these terms are defined in the back notes. These notes also contain a brief
paragraph about each musician mentioned in the poems, along with "suggested
listening" for each artist. Young teens will get the most out of these poems, with
their rap like wordplay and puns, although the picture-book format might turn some
of them off, and the poems are in tiny, cramped print. The splashy, colorful
illustrations picture contemporary teens of various ethnicities. While many young
adults may not be immediately drawn to the book's physical package, it should find
a small and appreciative audience in most collections.”
“Adoff's language invites readers to move to the rhythm of the words. Some of
the poems are slyly funny. A few are forgettable, but all shine with the poet's
obvious love of music and musicians. As for French's vividly colored pictures, at
their worst they resemble greeting card art lacking originality and coherence; at
their best, they radiate a sun-drenched energy that harmonizes beautifully with
the poet's words.”
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE READING
Encourage students to talk about the following questions before reading THE
SONG SHOOTS OUT OF MY MOUTH: A CELEBRATION OF MUSIC:
Before showing children the cover of the book, ask students: What images
do you think of when you hear words like song shoots out of my mouth?
After several responses are shared, show children the cover and ask: What
clues on the cover prove whether your predictions were right?
Have you ever had any experiences with playing a musical instrument or
singing in front of a large crowd?
Do you know anyone who sings or plays an instrument professionally?
How long do you think it might take to learn how to play a musical
instrument? Why do you think so?
Using the internet, allow students to choice an artist they would like to learn
about and collaboratively work with their group to share their findings with
the class: Keith Moon, John Henry Bonham, Bernard “Buddy Rich, Art Blakey,
Charles Watts, Miles Davis, Charlie “Bird” Parker, John Coltrane, Mahalia
Jackson, CeCe Winans, Joni Mitchell, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini,
Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and Tina Turner.
SUGGESTIONS FOR READING POEMS ALOUD
“Half/time” – Invite all children to participate in a choral reading by having
them read the end line of each stanza (“Step left, Step right”) as a repeated
refrain while the teacher reads the remainder of the poem aloud.
“No guitar blues” – Have children brainstorm motions to go along with each
line, and then invite four volunteers to read one stanza while acting out the
motion that accompanies it. For example, while reading the line “Ba DA da da
DA./ Got a brand new guitar” a child can play an air guitar. The entire group
can read the final stanza together at the end.
Students can try this same strategy with the poem “Multiple choice” by
inviting four children to read each line and perform what they read through
motions they feel through the rhythm of the poem. The whole group can
sway and tap their fingers as they read the final line of the poem
“Practice makes______________” Divide the class into two smaller groups
so that they can take turns reading the stanzas back and forth to each
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES
Students are to make a timeline of the history of music in the United States by
putting the styles of music on the timeline in chronological order. Students are to
collaborate in small groups to illustrate the timeline appropriately.
Work with music teachers to help students record their poem rhythms. Ask
students who play instruments to bring them to school and accompany poetry
Explain to students that Miles Davis was a painter as well as a musician. Allow
students to observe his art work on: http://www.milesdavis.com/home.htm. Once
students navigate to this web site, they are to click on the art button to the left
of the page and answer the following questions in their small group: Do you think
Miles Davis paintings are in the cool style of his music? How do his paintings look
like the music he played and composed?
Allow students to share the poems in Adoff’s collection with students in their
study group. Students may add a variety of music and have the student’s create
poems while they listen to the sounds. Students are to discuss what the lyrics
mean and how the music enhances the lyrics.
Students are to work in small groups to brainstorm a list of subjects with things
that might give them "the blues." Then, have students choose a topic and try to
write a blues song that follows the pattern they identified. Invite students to
perform their songs!
RELATED WEB SITES AND BLOGS
THE SONG SHOOTS OUT OF MY MOUTH: A CELEBRATION OF MUSIC
Check out this web site to find extensive information about classical music and
Look here for an in-depth interview with author Jaime Adoff on the making of THE
SONG SHOOTS OUT OF MY MOUTH: A CELEBRATION OF MUSIC.
This web site offers a succinct history of the major instruments of roots music,
and the ways in which the great original makers of the music altered and improved
Poetry 180 is designed to make it easy for students to hear or read a poem on each
of the 180 days of the school year. The poems you will find here with high school
students in mind. They are intended to be listened to every day of school.
This web site offers excellent resources for all academic areas.
Berger, William. 2000. VERDI WITH A VENGEANCE; AN ENERGETIC GUIDE TO
THE LIFE AND COMPLETE WORKS OF THE KING OF OPERA. Vintage Publishing.
Berger, William. 2005. PUCCINI WITHOUT EXCUSES: A REFRESHING
REASSESSMENT OF THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR COMPOSER. Vintage
publishing. ISBN 978-1400077786
Budofsky, Adam. 2010. THE DRUMMER: 1OO YEARS OF RHYTHMIC POWER AND
INVENTION. Modern Drummer Publications. ISBN 9781423476603
Darden, Robert. 2005. PEOPLE GET READY!: A NEW HISTORY OF BLACK GOSPEL
MUSIC. Continuum Publishing. 9780826417527
Fletcher. Tony. 2005. DEAR BOY: THE LIFE OF KEITH MOON. Omnibus Press.
Fragos, Emily. 2009. MUSIC’S SPELL: POEMS ABOUT MUSIC AND MUSICIANS
(EVERYMAN’S LIBRARY POKET POETS). ISBN
Houghton, Helen Hadley. 2007. THE MUSIC LOVER’S POETRY ANTHOLOGY.
Persea Publishers. ISBN 97808925533332
Krull, Kathleen. 1993. LIVES OF THE MUSICIANS: GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES
(AND WHAT THE NEIGHBORS THOUGHT). Ill. by Kathryn Hewitt. Harcourt
Children’s Books. ISBN 9780152480103
Yanow, Scott. 2001. TRUMPET KINGS: THE PLAYERS WHO SHAPED THE SOUND
OF JAZZ TRUMPET. Backbeat Books. 9780879306403
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jaime Adoff was born in New York City but grew up in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He
received a Bachelor of Music degree from Central State University in Ohio, where
he studied drums and percussion. Moving to New York City in 1990, he attended
the Manhattan School of Music and studied drums and voice. Jaime then went on to
pursue a career in songwriting and fronted his own rock band for eight years. He
released two CD’s of his own material and performed extensively in New York City
and throughout the US.
Web sites: http://www.jaimeadoff.com/
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
Martin French has been an independent illustrator and designer since 1996. He has
been recognized internationally for his visual explorations of life and culture. His
work has received numerous awards of excellence from the leading organizations in
the field of visual communication including gold medals from the Society of
Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles. In 2011, Martin started The Exile Poster
Project, an annual poster exhibition in Portland, Oregon. The project aims to
confront complex social issues and help invigorate and expand the city's manifold
efforts to combat injustice and oppression.
Martin French lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
Web site: http://www.martinfrench.com/about