Develop Your Inner Musician Recommendation List

Interested in learning a new instrument or honing an existing skill? Develop your inner musician by exploring the recommendations below! Recommendations range from music history to instruments in our Library of Things collection!

Music Technology 101 by Heath Jones

Call# 780.285 Jon

Ideal for students and teachers, this book breaks down the basics of music creation in the technology lab or at home using a digital audio workstation.

Music : the Definitive Visual History.

Call# 780.9 Mus

Music – that mysterious alchemy of harmonies, lyrics, and rhythm – is a constant in our lives. Discover how music has evolved with human society, accompanying our leisure, religious rituals, and popular festivities. Watch its development during prehistory and before musical notation, when melodies were memorized or improvised. Enjoy galleries of historical instruments such as dulcimers, shawms, psalteries, and tabor pipes.

Detroit Country Music : Mountaineers, Cowboys, and Rockabillies by Craig Maki

Call# 781.642 Mak

"The richness of Detroit's music history has by now been well established. We know all about Motown, the MC5, and Iggy and the Stooges. We also know about the important part the Motor City has played in the history of jazz. But there are stories about the music of Detroit that remain untold. One of the lesser known but nonetheless fascinating histories is contained within Detroit's country music roots. At last, Craig Maki and Keith Cady bring to light Detroit's most important country and western and bluegrass stars, such as Chief Redbird, the York Brothers, and Roy Hall. Beyond the individuals, Maki and Cady also map out the labels, radio programs, and performance venues that sustained Detroit's vibrant country and bluegrass music scene. In the process, Detroit Country Music examines how and why the city's growth in the early 20th century, particularly the southern migration tied to the auto industry, led to this vibrant roots music scene. The first book--the first resource of any kind--to tell the story of Detroit's contributions to country music, Detroit Country Music will be essential reading for music historians, record collectors, roots music fans, and Detroit music aficionados"--Provided by publisher.

Notable Moments of Women in Music by Jay Warner

Call# 781.64 War

Pioneering, gutsy, innovative, and inspiring are some characteristics of women who have shaped modern popular music. In this book, Jay Warner traces the evolution of these women, from the stages of vaudeville and the blues saloons of the South to the whirlwind of Woodstock and the star factory of American Idol.

Music Lessons : Guide Your Child to Play a Musical Instrument (and Enjoy It!) by Stephanie Stein Crease

Call# 784.193 Ste

Providing guidance for parents who want their children to enjoy learning to play a musical instrument, this resource teaches parents the best ways to encourage children’s musical talents. Key guidance is provided for the trickiest hurdles of all: helping children learn how to practice and navigating their impulse to quit by encouraging them to take pride in their progress despite the frustrations of the learning process.

A History of American Classical Music by Barrymore Laurence Scherer

Call# 781.68 Sch

Traces the history of American classical music from colonial times to the present and includes eighteen pieces by such greats as Stephen Foster, John Philip Sousa, and George Gershwin on the accompanying CD.

The A to X of Alternative Music by Steve Taylor

Call# 782.421 Tay

The book covers global giants like Bob Dylan, Prince, Nirvana and Radiohead; cult favourites like Joy Division, the Pixies, the Sex Pistols and the Velvet Underground; as well as lesser-known pioneers like Can, Fela Kuti, MC5 and Spacemen 3. Alphabetically organized entries assess each act on the basis of their claim to alternative status according to three criteria: working practice, musical output and cultural perception.  These acts have rejected the accepted or easy route to success, avoiding commercial imperatives and cliché to make inspiring and influential music that has won devoted – in some cases fanatical – followings.

This Is Your Brain on Music : the Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin

Call# 781.11 Lev

Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, he reveals how composers produce some of the most pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting the way our brains make sense of the world and why we are so emotionally attached to music.

Brian Wilson : Long Promised Road

Call# DVD 921 Wilson

Join The Beach Boy's Brian Wilson on an intimate journey through his legendary career as he reminisces with Rolling Stone editor and longtime friend, Jason Fine. Featuring a new song written and performed by Wilson and interviews with Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Jonas, Linda Perry, Jim James, Gustavo Dudamel, and Al Jardine.

Still Alright : a Memoir by Kenny Loggins

Call# 921 Loggins

Providing a candid and entertaining perspective on his life and five-decade career, one of the most noteworthy musicians of the 1970s and '80s draws readers back to the musical eras they've loved, and addresses the challenges and obstacles of his life and work.

The First 21 : How I Became Nikki Sixx by Nikki Sixx

Call# 921 Sixx

Born Franklin Carlton Feranna, Sixx was abandoned by his father and partly raised by his mother, a woman who was ahead of her time but deeply troubled. He lived with other family before being on his own. There were dead-end jobs, and hustling to survive. At night Frank honed his craft, joining Sister, a band formed by fellow hard-rock veteran Blackie Lawless, and formed a group of his own: London, the precursor of Mötley Crüe. He changed his name, and held to his dream of being in a group that combined punk, glam, and hard rock into the biggest, most theatrical and irresistible package the world had ever seen. Here he describes how-- with hard work, passion, and some luck-- the vision manifested in reality, and he found his identity as Nikki Sixx. -- adapted from jacket

Love Me Please : the Story of Janis Joplin (1943-1970) by Nicolas Finet

Call# Graphic Novels 921 Joplin

A biography in comics of rock singer Janis Joplin, featuring highlights of her journey from childhood after the Second World War to her abrupt death in late 1970. Fed by the thirst for freedom of the Beat Generation and the desire for emancipation expressed by American youth in the early 1960s, Janis Joplin left for San Francisco, the epicenter of cultural innovation. There, she abandons herself to all impulses, overcoming without hesitation all the taboos of the time: bisexuality, alcohol, drugs, doing so not only with delight, but with the taste for excess which came naturally from her spontaneous character. A lively, fascinating story of a woman ahead of her time.

The Storyteller : Tales of Life and Music by David Grohl

Call# 921 Grohl

The legendary American musician, singer, songwriter and documentary filmmaker offers a collection of stories, written by his own hand, that focus on the memories of his life, from his childhood to today.

Let Love Rule by Lenny Kravitz

Call# 921 Kravitz

Kravitz looks back at his life with candor, self-scrutiny, and humor. It's the story of a wildly creative kid who, despite tough struggles at school and extreme tension at home, finds salvation in music. Readers will follow his growth as a musician and ultimately a master songwriter, producer, and performer. Kravitz also discusses his spiritual growth, and the powerful way in which spirit informs his music. -- adapted from jacket

Resistance : a Songwriter's Story of Hope, Change, and Courage by Tori Amos

Call# 921 Amos

From her time as a teenager playing hotel bars in Washington, DC, for the politically powerful to the subsequent three decades of her formidable music career, Amos explains how she managed to create meaningful, politically resonant work against patriarchal power structures—and how her proud declarations of feminism and her fight for the marginalized always proved to be her guiding light.

The Beautiful Ones by author Prince

Call# 921 Prince

An acclaimed musician, Prince Rogers Nelson was a visionary with an imagination deep enough to whip up whole worlds. But his most ambitious creative act was turning himself into one of the greatest pop stars of any era. Before his death Prince was writing a memoir, taking us into his childhood world. The second part of the book takes us through his early days as a musician through a scrapbook of writing and photos. We then follow Prince's evolution through candid images, before turning to his handwritten treatment for Purple Rain-- a retelling of the first three pars as a heroic journey. Piepenbring's introduction, and annotations throughout, provide context to the book's images. -- adapted from jacket

Acid for the Children : a Memoir by author Flea (Musician)

Call# 921 Flea

The co-founder of the Red Hot Chili Peppers chronicles his life from his birth in Australia and upbringing on the streets of Los Angeles through his rise to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

My Love Story by Tina Turner

Call# 921 Turner

"And you know what I say to people who ask, 'What do you do when all the odds are against you? ' I say 'You keep going. You just don't stop. No matter, if there's one slap to the face, turn the other cheek. And the hurt you're feeling? You can't think about what's being done to you now, or what has been alone to you in the past. You just have to keep going.' Tina Turner--the long-reigning queen of rock 'n' roll and living legend--sets the record straight about her illustrious career and complicated personal life in this eye-opening and compelling memoir. From her early years in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her rise to fame alongside Ike Turner, to her phenomenal success in the 1980s and beyond, Tina candidly examines her personal history--her trials, her triumphs, and everything in between. She shares stories from her years working alongside the biggest names in music--Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, David Bowie, Beyoncé--and she writes about unexpectedly meeting the love of her life in 1986 and marrying him twenty-seven years later. As Tina says, 'Sometimes the greatest happiness we know comes just when we are able to appreciate it.' Faced with an array of health issues and family tragedies in recent years, Tina reflects on her own extraordinary life's journey, finding grace and purpose even in the darkest hours. My Love Story is an explosive and inspiring story of a woman who dared to break any barriers put in her way. Emphatically showcasing Tina's signature blend of grit, energy, heart, and soul, this memoir is as enthralling and moving as any of her greatest hits."--Dust jacket.

Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith

Call# 782.421 Smi

"Following a run of New Year's concerts at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz, about to embark on a year of solitary wandering. Unfettered by logic or time, she draws us into her private wonderland with no design, yet heeding signs--including a talking sign that looms above her, prodding and sparring like the Cheshire Cat. In February, a surreal lunar year begins, bringing with it unexpected turns, heightened mischief, and inescapable sorrow. In a stranger's words, "Anything is possible: after all, it's the Year of the Monkey." For Smith--inveterately curious, always exploring, tracking thoughts, writing--the year evolves as one of reckoning with the changes in life's gyre: with loss, aging, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America. Smith melds the western landscape with her own dreamscape. Taking us from California to the Arizona desert; to a Kentucky farm as the amanuensis of a friend in crisis; to the hospital room of a valued mentor; and by turns to remembered and imagined places, this haunting memoir blends fact and fiction with poetic mastery. The unexpected happens; grief and disillusionment set in. But as Smith heads toward a new decade in her own life, she offers this balm to the reader: her wisdom, wit, gimlet eye, and above all, a rugged hope for a better world. Riveting, elegant, often humorous, illustrated by Smith's signature Polaroids, Year of the Monkey is a moving and original work, a touchstone for our turbulent times." -- Publisher's description

Gold Dust Woman : the Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephen Davis

Call# 921 Nicks

An in-depth portrait of the classic-rock artist covers her role in the stardom of Fleetwood Mac, the affairs that inspired her greatest songs, her struggles with addiction, and her successful solo career.--

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Call# 921 Springsteen

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as "The Big Bang": seeing Elvis Presley's debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song "Born to Run" reveals more than we previously realized.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Call# 921 Springsteen

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as "The Big Bang": seeing Elvis Presley's debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song "Born to Run" reveals more than we previously realized.

Dolly Parton, Songteller : My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton

Call# 782.421 Par

"For the first time ever, legendary singer-songwriter Dolly Parton brings you behind the lyrics of 175 of her songs to reveal the personal stories and vibrant memories that have inspired sixty years of songwriting. Lushly illustrated and told in Dolly's inimitable voice, this rich collection offers an intimate, exclusive look at the colorful life, prolific career, and rags-to-rhinestones journey of one of the most revered entertainers of our time"--

Me & Patsy Kickin' Up Dust : My Friendship With Patsy Cline by Loretta Lynn

Call# 792.721 Lyn

"Me & Patsy Kickin' Up Dust shares the 'important and inspiring' never-before-told complete story of the remarkable relationship between country music icons Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. Loretta Lynn and the late Patsy Cline are legends--country icons and sisters of the heart. For the first time ever Loretta tells their story: a celebration of their music and their relationship up until Patsy's tragic and untimely death. Full of laughter and tears, this eye-opening, heartwarming memoir paints a picture of two stubborn, spirited country gals who'd be damned if they'd let men or convention tell them how to be. Set in the heady streets of the 1960s South, this nostalgia ride shows how Nashville blossomed into the city of music it is today. Tender and fierce, Me & Patsy Kickin' Up Dust is an up-close-and-personal portrait of a friendship that defined a generation and changed country music indelibly--and a meditation on love, loss and legacy"

Hank : the Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams by Mark Ribowsky

Call# 921 Williams

After he died in the backseat of a Cadillac at the age of twenty-nine, Hank Williams, a frail, flawed man who had become country music's most compelling and popular star, instantly morphed into its first tragic martyr. Having hit the heights in the postwar era with simple songs of heartache and star-crossed love, he would, with that outlaw swagger, become in death a template for the rock generation to follow. Presenting the first fully realized biography of Hiram King Williams in a generation, Mark Ribowsky vividly returns us to the world of country music's origins, in this case 1920s Alabama, where Williams was born into the most trying of circumstances, which included a dictatorial mother, a henpecked father, and an agonizing spinal condition. Tracing the singular rise of a music legend from the street corners of the Depression-era South to the now-immortal stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and finally to a haunting, lonely end on New Year's Day 1953, Hank uncovers the real man beneath the myths, reintroducing us to an American original whose legacy, like a good night at the honkytonk, promises to carry on and on.



This kit includes a Stagg Mahogany Concert Ukulele, a Hal Leonard Level 1 music book, a SnarkX tuner, and an instructional DVD.

Trains, Jesus, and Murder : the Gospel According to Johnny Cash by Richard Allan Beck

Call# 782.421 Bec

"Cash sang about and for people on the margins. He famously played concerts in prisons, where he sang both murder ballads and gospel tunes in the same set. It's this juxtaposition between light and dark, writes Richard Beck, that makes Cash one of the most authentic theologians in memory. In reflecting of Cash's lyrics, and the passion with which he sang them, we gain a deeper understanding of the enduring faith of the Man in Black"--Back cover