A Beginners’ Music Book We Can All Get Excited About!

Greetings friends!

It has been some time since my last post.

Well, quite frankly, I must admit, it’s been WAY too long!

These past months have been a whirlwind to say the least. The last time I wrote, we were just rounding the bend in time for Thanksgiving! *Yikes*

I have been away, but it has been for good reason.

My family has been enjoying the close to our 9th homeschool year in some major ways!

In January, we started attending an in-person homeschool co-op that’s about an hour away. Layla took up guitar and Curt Curt the recorder. Nyla made the cutest little friend group in her class! We celebrated Curt Curt turning 9! I taught and organized virtual classes and fun field trips for Able to Teach Homeschool Collective. In fact, our homeschool group had a virtual science fair at the end of our school term.

Not only that, our homeschool collective finished up our studies of the Middle Ages around the world (new blog coming soon). Back in March, we were graced to have a guest teacher facilitate a four-week mini creative writing course! Then in April, 30 of us went on a field trip to the Art Museum of Philadelphia.

Layla and I joined our local 4-H and she’s begun working with horses, which is a new found passion of hers. Layla played basketball for our township, but that’s now finished. Curt Curt and Noelle are now in the thick of their soccer seasons. I’ve been hustling in this #authorlife, still doing ministry with the hubs and raising these growing babies of mine!

Believe it or not, in addition to the part-time writing I do for a publisher, I also started working another part-time job, and then a little later, I stopped working that same part-time job! (lol) So as you can tell, we’ve been enjoying this here life!

I have really missed blogging and sharing my kids lives as homeschoolers and my life as their mother with you, but much life has been lived in real-time and I wouldn’t take it back for one second!

Now, as things have begun to wind down, if you recall, we are taking the month of May off to rest, reset, and regroup, which I shared about last May. We are at the end of this school year and I’m excited about that for many reasons!

For one, we are gearing up for a much needed Florida vacay with my kiddos, hubby and hilarious mother-in-love. Remind me to tell you guys some pretty great Cathy Dunlap stories one day! She’s always got a good one or two-liner!

Another reason I’m excited is this month, I’m hoping to really buckle down on some of the things I don’t always get to focus on during the school year for my author business. I made some REALLY cute merch a few days ago and absolutely CANNOT wait for the samples to come next week! Yay!

And lastly, I’m beyond thrilled to tell you guys about my good friend, who at this point is more like a dear sister, Melissa Chin. This month, she released of her debut music book, My Journey My Music: Beginner Piano Lessons for Kids!

No, seriously, I’m pumped!

I am so so very proud of my girl, y’all! She did her thang with this book! I’ve had a bird’s-eye-view for some time now as I’ve had the chance to walk alongside her during her publishing journey as her publishing coach. Call me partial if you want, but Melissa is the real deal!

Melissa Chin’s resume is a mile long! She is a wife, mommy of two, fellow homeschooler (Aye yooooo!), singer, songwriter, piano and vocal instructor and now the author of My Journey My Music: Beginner Piano Lessons for Kids! She has over 20 years of musical experience in performance and teaching and a Master of Education Degree with a concentration in Counseling Psychology.  Melissa has figured out the secret sauce to couple her unique education background with her outstanding musical acumen to create a book that is effective in teaching music and connecting with its readers!

I have a good number of friends who have children that are also students of her music school. By the way, I failed to mention, it is conveniently located online and is therefore accessible to beginner music students all over the world!

Even though everything I have mentioned is pretty exciting, what excites me most is the fact Melissa has captured the beauty of the African American experience in this book. It’s a no-brainer that users will absolutely learn to play music right away. However, more than that, Black and Brown students, will have the opportunity to see people who look like them within its pages. This is something not often found in your typical music instruction manual.

And this is exactly why Melissa wrote this book!

Learners will discover biographies, original songs and artwork that celebrate Black people who have made a profound impact in history!

I feel like I keep using the word “excited”, but that doesn’t fully encapsulate the joy that I feel. As many of you know, if you’ve followed my own journey, the celebration of Black lives, Black experiences, and Black joy is what I’m all about. For goodness sake, it’s in the name of my publishing company, Stories for Us!

So this is why I truly believe down to my very core that this music book is not your average, run of the mill notes and scales kind of music book. In Melissa’s words, it lives and breathes “to inspire and to bring joy to all who read [it]”.

I’d love for you to support my sweet friend by purchasing a copy of her new book here. But, if you are in the Baltimore, MD or surrounding area, I’d love you do me one better!

Melissa is hosting a book launch party tomorrow, Saturday, May 7 from 1-3pm at UA House at Fayette (Living Classrooms) 1100 East Fayette Street Baltimore, MD 21202. Stop by to tell her hello and encourage her efforts for every kid who wanted to learn to play music but didn’t see a music book with people who look like them!

If you’d like to learn more about how you or your child could book your first music lesson with Melissa, you can do so here!

And I think it’s awesome that the Voyage Baltimore featured more of Melissa’s story in this article that you can read here.

Thanks for reading.

Oh, and I promise I won’t stay away so long next time!



One last note, Melissa didn’t pay me to endorse or promote her new book in any way. Take this post simply as a friend who is screaming with crazy excitement for her friend’s winning season!

Published by Courtney B. Dunlap

Christ follower. Wife. Mother. Friend. Writer...and excited to grow! I believe there's a need for more down-to-earth online spaces in which moms like you and me and anyone else in-between can explore the in's and out's of homeschooling free from competition yet rich with encouragement. My hope is that all that you find here will provide just that!

3 thoughts on “A Beginners’ Music Book We Can All Get Excited About!

  1. My kid tends to resist direct instruction but I’m really tempted to try this book! He loves music and making up his own songs. It would be great if he were more confident on the piano. (We are very very white but—or maybe because of that—I tend to pick curriculum that doesn’t center whiteness or the mainstream experience and if possible, specifically centers other folks’ experiences. )


    1. Hi Mary! Thanks for the comment. My apologies for the delayed response. I absolutely LOVE everything Melissa does. She truly puts her heart and soul into teaching youngsters music. She’s a good friend (so I might be a tiny bit biased, lol) but I also greatly respect her. I would say, definitely get her book and see for yourself! 💞 Be sure to let me know what you think!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: