Hot Best Seller

30 review for House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fern Adams

    The House of Music is an autobiographical book written by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason (the mother of the famous cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason). This was a really wonderful book! Kanneh-Mason writes of growing up, entering academia and becoming the mother to seven extremely talented children. She doesn’t shy away from the hardships but equally this book is brimming with joy. What struck me reading this is when we hear a piece of music played we focus on that moment, however The House of Music is an autobiographical book written by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason (the mother of the famous cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason). This was a really wonderful book! Kanneh-Mason writes of growing up, entering academia and becoming the mother to seven extremely talented children. She doesn’t shy away from the hardships but equally this book is brimming with joy. What struck me reading this is when we hear a piece of music played we focus on that moment, however for the musician to have reached that stage is often generations of work, a supportive background, a lot of dedication and determination and a whole community of people. While this book is largely about music what flows through the pages most is the theme of love. Love for music, maternal love for children, love of pure hard work, love for dreams and aspirations and love for and between a family. Such an incredible read! Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emily Sarah

    Would like to thank Netgalley.co.uk who provided me with an ARC of this story in return for an honest review. You may have heard of members of this family, you might have not. Regardless? This is a book you need to read. Now, I had to put this book down many times; not because the story was boring... but quite the opposite. I didn’t want to read this book when I had fleeting time- I wanted to make time for this book. Kadiatu’s voice throughout is so powerful that you are gripped by so much emoti Would like to thank Netgalley.co.uk who provided me with an ARC of this story in return for an honest review. You may have heard of members of this family, you might have not. Regardless? This is a book you need to read. Now, I had to put this book down many times; not because the story was boring... but quite the opposite. I didn’t want to read this book when I had fleeting time- I wanted to make time for this book. Kadiatu’s voice throughout is so powerful that you are gripped by so much emotion. From facing racial injustice the moment of arriving in England, and to the longing of family and cheer in Sierra Leonne- the story is an emotional read that needs to be heard. However, overall the theme is one of love, persistence, devotion- and overall? Music. ‘How could a boy, just turned seventeen, feel all this and communicate it so powerfully through a cello?’ Although I do not wish to speak of specific plot lines (you most definitely need to pick up a copy yourself) , the book delves into many topics and time periods ; those of James returning home only to be amidst the happenings of the civil war, the racial bigotry of England, and the story of the author and her astounding strength and devotion to raising and empowering such incredibly gifted children. It’s a story of the struggles of music competition and the reward of being truly gifted and devoted. Hoenstly? If I could rate this more stars I would. An in-depth, beautifully written read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gem ~

    What an incredible read. I've noticed the Kanneh-Mason family on TV and on social media particularly as they are a Nottingham family local to me, but it was Sheku's performance at the Royal Wedding that really brought an admiration of what a phenomenal family they truly are. This book is written by Kadiatu, the matriarch of the family and I felt so bonded with her as I read her honest words and gentle perspective on her childhood, her family history, her career but particularly her journey in to What an incredible read. I've noticed the Kanneh-Mason family on TV and on social media particularly as they are a Nottingham family local to me, but it was Sheku's performance at the Royal Wedding that really brought an admiration of what a phenomenal family they truly are. This book is written by Kadiatu, the matriarch of the family and I felt so bonded with her as I read her honest words and gentle perspective on her childhood, her family history, her career but particularly her journey in to motherhood; how difficult her pregnancies were and how the juggle to keep everything all going at once is beyond exhausting. She is truly a strong, compassionate and intelligent woman who once you read her words you can understand entirely how the whole family are a phenomenon and absolutely gifted. Whether you are a classical music fan or not you can enjoy the story of this family and their "House of music" with its curling wallpaper, crumbling windowsills and all the chaos that seven children bring, but above all each child's determination, commitment and passion to pursue their dreams in every single room. This isn't a mansion fitted with gilded pianos and chandeliers, this is a simple home of sacrifice and struggles but, paradoxically, a remarkable one. I was humbled to read in the acknowledgement that the book is devoted to kindness and the generosity of others. Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason sums up the entire book so simply in her final written words of it "This is a tale of music, and, above all, this is a book about love.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Turner

    This is a lovely, warm and thought provoking read, about a supremely talented family of musicians. It is heartening to know that there are some excellent state schools who do all they can to encourage music making among out children and young people, and indeed, I am a product of that system. The Kanneh-Mason household can certainly be described as a House of Music, but it is also a household of sacrifice, determination, hard work, and above all, love.

  5. 5 out of 5

    David So

    House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason This book describes a remarkable achievement. In one family, there are seven classically-trained musicians and one winner of the BBC Young Musicians Award. But there is a problem. The book tends to be drab and highly personal. Every event, encounter, and experience touches the heart at close range. This is how musicians live their lives. They never solve problems; instead they play more music. There are no outside reference points. House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason This book describes a remarkable achievement. In one family, there are seven classically-trained musicians and one winner of the BBC Young Musicians Award. But there is a problem. The book tends to be drab and highly personal. Every event, encounter, and experience touches the heart at close range. This is how musicians live their lives. They never solve problems; instead they play more music. There are no outside reference points. Every feeling and idea is internally generated. For some reason, the musicians cannot step outside of their own lives. I like music, and I think musicians are nice people. But I also believe that they live very boring lives. The book does not need to be read to the end. It is more of the same throughout the entire book. These feelings are endless. They lead to more feelings and more feelings. The total number of permutations and combinations is infinite. I bought the book because it began with an account of the Barbican performance. That was exciting, but the book quickly devolves into every personal encounter possible. In the end, I would not recommend reading the book unless the reader wants to learn more about musicians in particular. This book taught me that musicians are dry and drab. Their music might be beautiful, but they are simply the functionaries who perform it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alison Starnes

    As a lover of classical music and a violinist, this was an easy choice. Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason chronicles her family's journey, via Sierra Leone, Wales, and Antigua, to the present day, with seven gifted children. It hasn't always been easy and there have been sacrifices along the way, but the children have always been their parents' priority. What you see is a picture of warmth, integrity, fun, and individual personalities allowed to shine within boundaries of loving family discipline and high expe As a lover of classical music and a violinist, this was an easy choice. Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason chronicles her family's journey, via Sierra Leone, Wales, and Antigua, to the present day, with seven gifted children. It hasn't always been easy and there have been sacrifices along the way, but the children have always been their parents' priority. What you see is a picture of warmth, integrity, fun, and individual personalities allowed to shine within boundaries of loving family discipline and high expectations. All the siblings share with and support each other, and are deeply respectful of the gift they have in common. Sheku, the second eldest son, won BBC Young Musician in 2016, and now has a stellar career as a cellist, as does elder sister Isata, a pianist. Although the main focus, inevitably, is on Sheku and Isata, Kadiatu is careful to ensure that all the children are mentioned. It is easy to see from her narrative where their love of life, joy, respect, and many other qualities emanate from. It has been a joy to watch the Kanneh-Masons via the various TV documentaries and BBC Young Musician. I remember watching the final when Sheku won and being mesmerised by his performance. It was a joyous occasion, although fraught with nerves for Kadiatu. Above all, the story of this family is about belief, being open to what life has to offer, and love. It is a story that should inspire many more young people to engage with classical music. I was sent an advance review copy of this book by Oneworld Publications, in return for an honest appraisal.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Garber

    When I accepted this book I knew it was about a musical family. I didn’t realize though how popular they are in Britain among classical music enthusiasts. The family has played for famous people and won many awards. It truly is amazing that all the children both wanted to pursue classical music and are as good at is as they are. The first shock I got though was not about the Kanneh-Mason children but about the author’s father. After an introduction, the book starts off with the author’s parents a When I accepted this book I knew it was about a musical family. I didn’t realize though how popular they are in Britain among classical music enthusiasts. The family has played for famous people and won many awards. It truly is amazing that all the children both wanted to pursue classical music and are as good at is as they are. The first shock I got though was not about the Kanneh-Mason children but about the author’s father. After an introduction, the book starts off with the author’s parents and how they met. “He was one of forty-five children from twenty-one wives, the eldest son of the favoured wife, and it was shocking to marry a foreign White woman.” pg 2 If your mouth didn’t drop open after reading that, I’d be very shocked. I loved reading about this lovely family. It made me very happy. I love all kinds of music but even if you don’t like classical, you could still enjoy reading this book. Kadiatu is a wonderful mom and her family is beautiful inside and out. She is doing something right. The drive and ambition of her children are like nothing I’ve ever seen in any child I know. That she got seven children with such drive is a miracle. They all support each other and help each other out. No one can say they didn’t earn what they got (awards and opportunities.) I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Dipple

    I have given this book four stars as it is well-written and involves several important issues: racism, child-rearing, gifted children and music. The first part concerns Mrs Kanneh-Mason's parents and their struggles against prejudice towards mixed-race couples, and later with mixed-race children. Mrs K-M was a successful academic, who apparently became overwhelmed by the desire for a large family (in spite of acute sickness in every pregnancy) and who consequently gave up her career to look afte I have given this book four stars as it is well-written and involves several important issues: racism, child-rearing, gifted children and music. The first part concerns Mrs Kanneh-Mason's parents and their struggles against prejudice towards mixed-race couples, and later with mixed-race children. Mrs K-M was a successful academic, who apparently became overwhelmed by the desire for a large family (in spite of acute sickness in every pregnancy) and who consequently gave up her career to look after the children. Actually, not just to look after them but actively to shape them into prodigies. The children are all individually fascinating, with their own particular gifts, but I couldn't help feeling sorry for them. The parents has very high expectations of each from an early age (they all embarked on serious study of violin or piano at the age of five or six) with tough daily schedules. One of them took until the age of 11 to reach grade 8, and was deemed 'slow', though most children are near the end of secondary school by the time they get to grade 8. In short although this is a fascinating account of a prodigiously talented, and by all accounts happy, family, it left me uneasy. And it was difficult to imagine Mr & Mrs K-M have time together as a couple.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julie Hudson

    My goodness what an incredibly talented and driven family. I hadn't heard of them before reading this book but it's almost unbelievable that the parents have the energy and dedication to completely devote their entire lives to the raising of 7 musical superstars. I didn't however find it as inspiring as I thought I might - I simply do not have the levels of ambition and drive to have ever achieved such accomplishments for my own children and obviously the musical background of both parents helps My goodness what an incredibly talented and driven family. I hadn't heard of them before reading this book but it's almost unbelievable that the parents have the energy and dedication to completely devote their entire lives to the raising of 7 musical superstars. I didn't however find it as inspiring as I thought I might - I simply do not have the levels of ambition and drive to have ever achieved such accomplishments for my own children and obviously the musical background of both parents helps lay the bed for a fertile environment. I did find it almost sickeningly astounding and found myself (completely wrongly) wanting at least one sort of failure - too honest I know! When she describes one of the children misbehaving there was an element of me that thought 'ha', but then you realise they were under 2 years old at the time! I'm just jealous, no musical progidies in my family. I would also have preferred the book to have been written in a more chronologically ordered stye - I got quite confused particularly at the start with the jumping from Essex to Wales and Sierra Leone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Snorki

    Kadiata had seven children, all of whom are talented musically, and one (so far) has gone on to win The BBC’s Young Musician of the Year. This is her story - of being pregnant, raising children and juggling endless lessons, practice, other activities all at the same time as trying to keep their heads afloat in the increasingly expensive world of classical music. Her husband is working long hours to earn the money but they are both very involved in all of their children’s musical development. And Kadiata had seven children, all of whom are talented musically, and one (so far) has gone on to win The BBC’s Young Musician of the Year. This is her story - of being pregnant, raising children and juggling endless lessons, practice, other activities all at the same time as trying to keep their heads afloat in the increasingly expensive world of classical music. Her husband is working long hours to earn the money but they are both very involved in all of their children’s musical development. And they do not fit in - a black family, with children going to a state school rather than specialist music colleges. It is a heart-warming story of how music can move everyone and illustrates classical music is not just for the elite, but it does also bring home the discipline, money and focus required to be a classical musician.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3567537.html I confess that I am far enough cut off from the UK's media culture that I was completely unaware of the Kanneh-Mason family. All seven kids are very musically gifted, and one of the boys won the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2016 and was then asked to play at the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle. Their father and mother have clearly had an intense experience of parenthood. Kadiatu, father from Sierra Leone, mother from Wales, husband from An https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3567537.html I confess that I am far enough cut off from the UK's media culture that I was completely unaware of the Kanneh-Mason family. All seven kids are very musically gifted, and one of the boys won the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2016 and was then asked to play at the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle. Their father and mother have clearly had an intense experience of parenthood. Kadiatu, father from Sierra Leone, mother from Wales, husband from Antigua, tells the story of their lives with warmth and humour, with also enough distance to feel that this is a fair portrait (though of course who knows, really).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Yves Dubois

    Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason makes the reader enter her own and her family's life experience to the uncomfortable point of wondering how it is possible to feel so close to nine people I have never met. Her book covers her own complete life history from being a small child in Sierra Leone, the death of her young father because of heart failure, her Welsh upbringing, meeting her husband at university - and then the adventure of raising seven musical geniuses in a panorama of exhaustion, financial problems b Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason makes the reader enter her own and her family's life experience to the uncomfortable point of wondering how it is possible to feel so close to nine people I have never met. Her book covers her own complete life history from being a small child in Sierra Leone, the death of her young father because of heart failure, her Welsh upbringing, meeting her husband at university - and then the adventure of raising seven musical geniuses in a panorama of exhaustion, financial problems but also constant deep love and collusion between them all. The music and the personalities of all the Kanneh-Masons are addictive. Kadiatu's encounter with the Mother of God who appeared to her gives the measure of her spiritual life.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jane(Janelba)

    Beautifully written book about the Kanneh-Mason family and their seven talented, musical children. I of course knew about Sheku who won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition and went on to perform at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. From her life in Sierra Leone to moving back to Wales in the UK to University, meeting her husband and their seven children. I thoroughly enjoyed this book which deals with so much including racial prejudice, financial hardship, determinat Beautifully written book about the Kanneh-Mason family and their seven talented, musical children. I of course knew about Sheku who won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition and went on to perform at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. From her life in Sierra Leone to moving back to Wales in the UK to University, meeting her husband and their seven children. I thoroughly enjoyed this book which deals with so much including racial prejudice, financial hardship, determination, love, sacrifice and devotion. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason for the Advanced Readers Copy in return for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jayne Gray

    This book really shows what it takes to raise a brood of exceptionally gifted children. The sacrifice, the discipline needed, the total dedication shown by everyone was mind-blowing. I was particularly inspired by the author though - there is a description of a time when she had flu, her husband was away so she was looking after (I think) 5 young children at the time, she had horrendous morning sickness, she had just fallen down the stairs and then she continued on to do the washing. Such feats This book really shows what it takes to raise a brood of exceptionally gifted children. The sacrifice, the discipline needed, the total dedication shown by everyone was mind-blowing. I was particularly inspired by the author though - there is a description of a time when she had flu, her husband was away so she was looking after (I think) 5 young children at the time, she had horrendous morning sickness, she had just fallen down the stairs and then she continued on to do the washing. Such feats of daily heroism left me feeling rather silly in comparison. All in all a very interesting read, well written and inspiring.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    How do you raise seven prodigies? Start with seven prodigies and two remarkable parents. Add extraordinary teachers and mentors, generous friends, a culture that values accomplishment. Season with discipline, empathy, extremely hard work, deep faith, and boundless love. I saw Sheku Kanneh-Mason play at the royal wedding. I've heard some (not enough) of the children's recordings. What Kadiatu writes in this memoir is unbelievable, but demonstrably true. I still don't know how she did it. So thank How do you raise seven prodigies? Start with seven prodigies and two remarkable parents. Add extraordinary teachers and mentors, generous friends, a culture that values accomplishment. Season with discipline, empathy, extremely hard work, deep faith, and boundless love. I saw Sheku Kanneh-Mason play at the royal wedding. I've heard some (not enough) of the children's recordings. What Kadiatu writes in this memoir is unbelievable, but demonstrably true. I still don't know how she did it. So thankful for my friend Mary, who knew I would love this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Four stars only because of the brilliance of the young people in this family. The author herself is not a good writer - she has a confused sense of chronology, a weak grasp of syntax, and makes grammatical errors. And why did her editor not stop her from putting quotation marks round the titles of all concertos and pieces of music? She seems to be very driven and even though the young people are amazingly brilliant, I don't think this is a family I'd like to be a member of. Four stars only because of the brilliance of the young people in this family. The author herself is not a good writer - she has a confused sense of chronology, a weak grasp of syntax, and makes grammatical errors. And why did her editor not stop her from putting quotation marks round the titles of all concertos and pieces of music? She seems to be very driven and even though the young people are amazingly brilliant, I don't think this is a family I'd like to be a member of.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Louise Cashman

    An amazing story of a family of seven gifted children, loved, encouraged and nurtured to fulfil their musical potential by equally amazing parents who give everything of themselves and more for their young family. I skim read a few pages that were almost lists of musical pieces played, awards and competitions, but still a 5/5 story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    dadooronron0

    As I was nearing the end of this book, I got to thinking about how I would review it. How a book makes me feel is very important but with this one, I just couldn’t put my finger on it. And then, the very last sentence on the very last page of acknowledgements, Kadiatu summed it up perfectly. “This is a tale of music, and, above all, it is a book about love” A lovely, lovely book. Thank you

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anne Srokosz

    An inspirational & hugely talented family. Interesting read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    MSN

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Great examples of patience, humility and the miracles in raising 7 children all musically gifted.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rosa

    It felt repetitive at times, but she managed to portray day to day life and the choices involved very warmly.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Haowei

    Read this in Waterstones in three days

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alison Mallory

    Really enjoyed reading this warm tale of family life in an extraordinary family

  24. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Highly recommended.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    I wanted *in* on the 'secret' to raising a family full of great musicians. There is no secret. It’s just bloody hard work, and in this book it's told through one mother's determination to make music a beautiful and inseparable part of her children’s lives. Kadiatu's writing had me following her every step of the way. I’m in awe of the Kanneh-Masons and and will be recommending this to all my friends! I wanted *in* on the 'secret' to raising a family full of great musicians. There is no secret. It’s just bloody hard work, and in this book it's told through one mother's determination to make music a beautiful and inseparable part of her children’s lives. Kadiatu's writing had me following her every step of the way. I’m in awe of the Kanneh-Masons and and will be recommending this to all my friends!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Jayne

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cherie Holland

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lej

  29. 5 out of 5

    melinda tomey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jules

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...