What to Read: Children’s Books About J.S. Bach

Planning to study the life, music, and legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach in your homeschool? Good news: I’ve got a great list of children’s books about Bach to help you learn!

What to Read: Children's Books About J.S. Bach

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It can seem a little intimidating to learn about someone like Johann Sebastian Bach and the way his musical genius has influenced the world. That’s especially true if you’re not too familiar with classical music or musical mechanics.

That’s why I’m sharing this list of kid-friendly books about Bach. We’ve been working through some of them in our homeschool recently and we’ve found them to be a great addition to our Bach composer study.

Bach Books for Kids

1. Becoming Bach

Becoming Bach is a great starting point for learning about Bach and his music. It has wonderful illustrations, but doesn’t have tons of text, making it a great choice for learners with shorter attention spans.

It also includes a bio and authors note with listening suggestions at the end.

2. Bach’s Goldberg Variations

Bach’s Goldberg Variations is a wonderful picture book choice for learning about Bach’s early years and how the Goldberg Variations came to be.

3. Johann Sebastian Bach

This book from Mike Venezia’s Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers series provides a great overview of Bach’s life and music, but also uses cartoon-like illustrations and fun anecdotes to keep them interested.

4. Bach’s Big Adventure

We found Bach’s Big Adventure at our local library and found it to be a great picture book for learning about the world-renowned composer.

Here’s a snippet from the book description on Amazon:

“After his brother informs him that he is not the best organist in the world, Bach travels from the German countryside to Hamburg to meet the greatest organ player in the world, Adam Reincken, and Bach’s talent is unleashed under the tutelage and friendship of Reincken.”

5. Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia

We were first introduced to Opal Wheeler’s Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia during our time with Zeezok Music Appreciation. With more than 100 pages and classic illustrations, it’s the perfect living book to work through a little at a time.

6. Bach to the Rescue

I love the idea of sharing Tom Angleberger’s Bach to the Rescue with a kiddo who’s, ahem, less than enthused about Bach and music appreciation in general. It presents Bach’s story in comic panels that are sure to engage reluctant readers.

7. Sebastian: A Book About Bach

Jeanette Winter’s Sebastian is one of our favorite books about Bach. It has all the beautiful illustrations we’ve come to know and love in Winter’s picture books and tells Bach’s story beautifully.

8. Johann Sebastian Bach (Hero of Faith)

Johann Sebastian Bach Hero of Faith is a great choice for older elementary kids learning about Bach. At 56 pages, it shares Bach’s story, but also emphasizes his faith and how he used music to serve God.

9. Johann Sebastian Bach: Great Man of Music

Johann Sebastian Bach: Great Man of Music is another Bach book we found through our local library. It’s older, but shares Bach’s story along with Bach-related photos and glimpses into his work and family life.

10. Why Beethoven Threw the Stew

Don’t let this title fool you. While it appears to focus on Beethoven, it includes attention-grabbing stories about lots of well-known composers, including Bach.

Similarly, you may want to look into Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought). It also features several composers and musicians, but Bach’s story in it is certainly an interesting one.

11. What’s So Great About Bach?

Need a Bach biography for older elementary kiddos? What’s So Great About Bach? is an option to consider. While it’s a newer choice that gets mixed reviews, it would likely be a helpful introduction to Bach.


Looking for more help with music appreciation? Take a look at these:

What to Read: Children's Books About J.S. Bach (Music in Our Homeschool's self-paced online music courses)

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