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Ariel and Brandon Blackwell

The Beat In My Head

Ariel and Brandon Blackwell

Brandon finds belonging through beats, by authors Ariel and Brandon Blackwell


Brandon loves to hum and tap along to sounds and beats in his head. Wherever he is, whatever he is doing, he can make music out of sound. But when he starts to hum and tap along to the sounds in the classroom, his teacher thinks he is not listening and is distracting the other students. The teacher calls his mom, and his mom worries something might be wrong, as Brandon doesn’t have many friends or talk very much. But Brandon is happy, music makes him feel happy and safe. Brandon’s mom takes him to see a therapist and the therapist thinks he is just a little shy. The therapist encourages Brandon to try sports and get involved in new activities. So, Brandon tries a number of different sports, soccer, karate and golf, but he isn’t a natural athlete and discovers sport isn’t for him. Everything Brandon hears, the thwack of the ball and the smack of a kick, distracts him from the game and creates music in his head.


Brandon’s mom doesn’t know what else to do to help, but takes him to a music concert, to let loose and have some fun. While dancing and singing along to the music, Brandon notices a guy with headphones, focused on a console and bobbing along to the music. He learns the guy is a sound engineer, who blends and balances music to make it sound good. Later, Brandon meets the sound engineer, Mr Davis, at his church and becomes fascinated by his work. Mr Davis teaches Brandon how to work the audio console, and Brandon discovers a passion for audio engineering.


The Beat in My Head by authors Ariel and Brandon Blackwell is an inspiring picture book about a young boy who struggles to find his place in the world. He is only happy when he is listening to music, and making beats in his head, but his behaviour is seen by others as unusual. Through audio engineering, Brandon is able to express himself through music, and he finally finds a sense of purpose and belonging. The book is based on the true story of how the author, Brandon Blackwell, found his vocation and became a successful audio engineer. It will inspire other young readers to be creative, and to express themselves in any way that makes them feel happy.


Star rating: 5 Stars


Summary: A wonderful and inspiring picture book, about a young boy who finds a sense of purpose and belonging through music.

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