Southeast Alumna Introduces Children to Musical Instruments in Picture Book


Southeast Missouri State University alumna Dr. Carol McDowell has published her first children’s book, “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Drum.”

McDowell, a Jackson, Missouri, native and 1986 Southeast graduate, previously served as a professor of music education in Southeast’s Department of Music.

“As a music teacher, I wanted a book that could be used in the library, classroom and the music room,” she said.

“I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Drum” features an old lady who swallows different classroom instruments that cause a flurry of music in her stomach. Her book also features a description of each instrument swallowed, such as a tambourine, triangle and shaker, and features their country of origin.

The picture book is meant to engage children’s imaginations as they learn about different instruments, she said.

“The old lady’s dress and background picture also reflect the country of origin for each instrument,” she said.

The book is illustrated by another Jackson, Missouri, native, Saundra Flanagan, a friend of McDowell’s since first grade.

McDowell recently had the opportunity to display her book at the annual Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA) In-Service and Workshop at Osage Beach, Missouri. The MMEA is an annual event that brings together music educators and music professionals from throughout Missouri, and features performance ensembles and presentations that are selected by a referral process.

“Dr. Kevin Hampton (chair of Southeast’s Department of Music) was kind enough to allow me to display the book at the convention to let other music educators and Southeast alumni be aware of it,” McDowell said.

“I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Drum” is available for purchase from Amazon.