Jim Gill is a musician and author with unique credentials among children’s artists.  Jim’s books and recordings are a reflection of both his graduate studies in child development and his professional experience working with families with young children with special needs. Continue reading for details! 

© Todd Rosenberg Photography

Child Development Specialist

Jim 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 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.

Musician … and Author!

Jim has released ten 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. A Soup Opera is a silly sing-along opera that Jim enjoys sharing in concerts accompanied by symphony orchestras and string quartets. The book received an American Library Association award in 2010.

His first book, May There Always Be Sunshine, continues to inspire teachers, librarians and family members to help children create handmade books, inspired by Jim’s original. Schools, libraries and other community organizations across the country have also worked with Jim to create VIDEO books filled with pages created by children.

Jim Gill's books

© Todd Rosenberg Photography


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 the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Reach out today for information about a conference keynote or staff training session or a concert that promotes family involvement and family play.