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Pitch Perfect and Persistent

The Musical Debut

of Amy Cheney Beach



Calkins Creek

(Astra Books for Young Readers

(pub.3.21.2023) pages

Author: Caitlin DeLems

Illustrator: Alison Jay

Character: Amy Cheney Beach


" With perfect pitch and fierce persistence, Amy Beach always knew she had to make music. There was just one BIG problem. Her mother believed it was not proper or suitable for a young lady to draw attention to herself, let alone take on a musical career. But give in or give up? Not Amy Beach. She demanded to play the piano. Demanded to have a real teacher. Demanded to perform. Luckily—for the world!—Amy’s persistence paid off. At just sixteen years old, Amy Beach found herself on the stage of Boston’s Music Hall—and the start of a brilliant career. A female composer who paved the way—perfectly!"

Tantalizing taste:

" But no one could stop Amy from HEARING music.

No one could stop her from THINKING music.

No one could stop her from PLAYING music - her way.

While her fingers struck her imaginary keyboard, Amy burst into songs - including her own melodies to Mother Goose rhymes.

She stored every note, every measure, to memory."

And something more: Caitlin DeLems in the Author's Note explains that "Twice, she visited and played for First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House.... Amy Beach published over three hundred works. At a time when women were establishing roles in many professions, she helped bring female musicians out of the piano parlor, onto the stage, and into the music publishing world."


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