University of Idaho Strings faculty member Diane Worthey released her second children’s picture book, “In One Ear and Out the Other: Antonia Brico and Her Amazingly Musical Life” on Oct. 6 with Penny Candy Books.
The book is Worthey’s second work with Penny Candy Books after 2019’s “Hedy and Her Amazing Invention.” Her current title encourages children’s interest and pursuit of the arts and holds a message of dedication and perseverance through telling and illustrating the story of Antonia Brico, a conductor who broke barriers for women in professional music careers by being the first woman to conduct the Berlin and New York Philharmonic orchestras.
“Diane Worthey has been teaching the violin and viola to all ages of student for the past 30 years,” the UI webpage on biographies of Strings faculty stated. “For the last 18 years, she has taught a studio of Suzuki violin/viola students in Pullman, WA.”
Worthey’s inspiration for the book is derived from her personal experience playing under Antonia Brico as a student in the Brico Symphony, now known as the Denver Philharmonic, and from that experience, her eventual interest in the composer as she increasingly learned about her accomplishments.
Although Worthey’s book holds a feminist tone that encourages young women and girls to pursue their passions in the arts, due to the subject being a woman who was often barred from musical career opportunities due to her gender, it is also applicable to a general young audience of any gender, race, sexuality, gender identity or ethnicity/nationality for any subject of interest or passion.
“The theme of the book… can be applied to any naysayer thing that someone does,” Worthey said. “It doesn’t have to be only about music… it doesn’t have to be only about being a girl versus a boy.”
Diane was inspired to write her book after noticing a very small amount of material focused on the arts that were targeted towards children’s audiences in local libraries. Writing is a novel passion of hers that is supplemented by her experience and career in music as a violin and viola instructor, as both mediums require extensive revision and critique.
“It was sort of a mission of mine to try to write a book about the arts and, of course, music is what I know,” Worthey said. “I found that the mechanics of writing and music are very similar.”
Worthey worked closely with BookPeople of Moscow for use of space for critiques and other publication preparation, as well as their involvement with distributing the book at a local, small business in Moscow. She applied many themes of her book to her journey of publication.
“Follow Antonia Brico’s lead by not listening to naysayers… pursue your dreams, whatever those are, with passion and perseverance and grit,” Worthey said “That’s what she taught me.”
The new book is currently available at BookPeople of Moscow, as well as Amazon.com.
Katarina Hockema can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.