About Jim Gill

  • “In the time that I’ve known and worked with Jim, I have been impressed and pleased by the extent to which his training in early childhood development informs his practice as an author and musician. Play is the business of children. And Jim’s work demonstrates that music is a very natural medium for playful exploration, leading to engaged learning and even creative thinking.”

    — Jon Weber
    Manager of Learning Programs
    The Institute for Learning, Access and Training At the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Jim Gill is a musician and author with unique credentials among children’s artists. Jim is a child development specialist, having completed his graduate studies in child development at the Erikson Institute of Chicago with a special emphasis on the study of play. For this reason, each of Jim’s recordings and books is created as an opportunity for playful interactions between a child and a caring adult.

In addition to his studies, Jim’s 20 years of experience creating and leading play groups for families with children with special needs has informed his work. Jim led weekly music play programs at numerous therapeutic and family support agencies in the Chicago area. His unique writing style - combining word play and movement opportunities into songs - was inspired by this work. Just as important, his strategies to promote family involvement in his concerts were developed through these weekly sessions.

Jim has released seven award-winning CDs of music play for young children that are favorites in family rooms, classrooms and playrooms. He is also the author of two children's books. His latest, A Soup Opera, is a sing-along opera inspired by concerts that Jim performs with symphony orchestras. The book received an American Library Association award in 2010. Jim has received five separate awards from the American Library Association for his recordings and books over the years.

Jim speaks to early childhood educators, care providers and children’s librarians across the country about the many benefits of play in young children’s lives. Jim has shared his expertise on music, play and literacy with organizations such as Head Start, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Association for Family Child Care and, most recently, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.