Jim Gill: A Chicago treasure

I have one response to Jim Gill’s new CD. Awesome!

Where in the world is Jim Gill?

Wanna see Jim in concert? You have four chances just this month
in the Chicago area.

Friday, Nov. 4: Mini-Concert & CD Signing.
Jim Gill performs a family concert to celebrate his CD release.
6:30 p.m. Magic Tree Bookstore, 141 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park.
(708) 848-0770,

Friday, Nov. 11: Jim Gill Presents A Concert of
Music and Play. Gill leads parents and kids to sing and play
together, combining word play and movement. 11 a.m.-noon. Morton
Grove Public Library, 6140 Lincoln Ave., Morton Grove. (847)

Sunday, Nov. 20: Jim Gill concert. Kids’
entertainer and child development specialist performs a
family-friendly concert. Call for cost. 4 p.m. Wonder Works, 6445
W. North Ave., Oak Park. (708) 383-4815,

Saturday, Nov. 26: Jim Gill Mini-Concert &
CD Signing. Family concert. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Anderson’s
Bookshop-Naperville, 123 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville. (630)



Jim Gill is a Chicago treasure and “Music Play For Folks of All Stripes” is his sixth recording for young children. An award-winning musician, author and child development specialist, his passion for using music and a platform for play has elevated him to the status of one of the most well-respected musician/teachers in the country.

And I cannot think of anyone who works as hard as Jim Gill at creating and producing some of the most creative, child-centered music. Gill knows the value in music-making as a family experience and sets the stage, song after song, for all to get involved.

He had me at the first song, “Beethoven’s Five Finger Play”-a sweet little finger play set to the music of the major theme of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, originally created for Gill’s symphony orchestra concerts. Imagine that first, famous motif with the lyric “The time has come/Show me your thumb.”

There are so many fabulous moments on Gill’s new recording that it is impossible to mention them all, but here are just a few. There are wonderful sing-along songs such as “Johnny Cuckoo” and “The Onomatopoeia Pizzeria,” play-alongs like “It Takes Some Friends,” “Bananas” and “I Changed My Mind,” and some songs that no one could even imagine (except for Jim Gill) such as “Truck Stop” and “Foot Notes.”

The challenge I continually face is how to convey in words something that is musical. Nothing says it better than the music itself. Words are insufficient.

The best I can do is to try to convince you that your children need a healthy, age-appropriate musical diet. They need creative, thought-provoking, movement-inspiring, engaging music play experiences. And no one, I said no one, does it better than Jim Gill.

Forget about passively feeding them Mozart. Nurture all their intelligences. Start with “Music Play For Folks of All Stripes.” You can thank me later.

Oh, I almost forgot, a DVD is included with live-action videos for four pieces.

Fred Koch lives in Lake Bluff with his wife and son and is an award-winning music educator, recording artist and producer. His website,, helps parents, teachers and librarians select quality children’s music. E-mail him at

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