Saturday, October 17, 2020

What's My Instrument? by Johnny Oddsocks

I need to lay something out there for everyone to see.  I am a HUGE advocate for keeping music education in our schools, so when the author Johnny Oddsocks asked if I would be willing to write a blog post about his book What's My Instrument? (affiliate link to Amazon), I quickly agreed.  In his book, Johnny Oddsocks tells the story of Marilyn the Mongoose who wants to start a band and introduces kids to a variety of musical instruments.  Keep reading to learn more about What's My Instrument? and how you can integrate it into your language arts or music lessons at school.

What's My Instrument by Johnny Oddsocks

🍎 Title: What's My Instrument?
🍎 Author: Johnny Oddsocks
🍎 Illustrator: Johnny Oddsocks
🍎 Date: November 28, 2019
🍎 Publisher: Off the Shelf Publishing Ltd.
🍎 Pages: 24 

Story Summary from Amazon

Marilyn the Mongoose is keen to start a band, but she can't play an instrument!  There is only one thing to do-- Marilyn tries out lots of different instruments. Most attempts result in hilarious consequences, but eventually, she finds the one perfect for her.  Are you excited to meet her band and to find out what instrument she will play at the big concert?

What's My Instrument? by Johnny Oddsocks

Reading the Story 

Children of all ages love listening and dancing to music, so What's My Instrument? will appeal to your students.  Before reading What's My Instrument? to your class, take a few minutes to go through the story and talk about the illustrations together.   What instruments do your students recognize?  Can they mimic the sounds the instruments make?  What animals do they see in the pictures?  What are those animals doing?  Ask your students if the story is real or if it's make-believe (realistic vs. fantasy)?  While you're reading What's My Instrument? to your class, have fun and read it with expression.  You might even find ways to integrate movement into your reading of it.  What's My Instrument? is a story about music and is written in poetic form.  Whatever you do... do not read this story with a dull and monotonous voice!

What's My Instrument by Johnny Oddsocks

Listening to Instruments

When you read a story about musical instruments, it's nice to follow it up with listening to some music.  That is what What's My Instrument? is about after all.    

Listed below are some Youtube videos your students might enjoy.  Each video matches up with one of the instruments Marilyn and her friends played in the story.  As you watch the videos together, talk about what the music sounds like and how it makes them feel.  Add some movement to the lesson and let them dance!

Note: At the time of this blog post, they each contained music that was age-appropriate for children.  Please preview the videos before listening to them with your students to make sure the links still work and that they continue to lead where they are supposed to.

1. Baby Shark on Piano

video by NPT Music

2. Baby Shark on Drums

video by 7 yo Drummer Torataro

3. Baby Shark DJ Remix

video by Pinkfong! Kids' Songs and Stories

4. Baby Shark on Trumpet

video by Trumpeting 

5. Baby Shark on Guitar

video by Sean Song

6. Baby Shark by the Original Singers

video by Danielle Lynn Segoine

7. Rock and Roll Baby Shark (metal version)

video by Frog Leap Studios

What's My Instrument? by Johnny Oddsocks

What other ways are you able to integrate music into a lesson about What's My Instrument?  Are there any instruments your students can make and then play together in a band of their own?  Share your fun ideas in the comments below!

Baby Shark

💖 You're welcome for the earworm. 💖

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(Next Article: Great Cape o' Colors)


  1. Hi Kelly, thanks so much for the feature - I hope that people find the book a useful way to explore music! I read it at my son's nursery once and let all the kids have a go on toy instruments - it can be a really fun interactive session!

    1. Hi Johnny. I'm glad you enjoyed my blog post about your book. I had a lot of fun reading your book and creating this lesson for it. I hope more parents and teachers will be inspired to integrate music in their interactions with kids!