Saturday, November 08, 2014

Kid Symphony

So I got to attend something fun this morning. The Wyoming Symphony put on a Kid Symphony. Maria wasn't able to attend with her family so I went in her place. My son-in-law, Eric, came to pick me up. We were there early enough to get comfortable.  The girls were excited! Cordelia entertained us by trying to look serious then giggling.

I finally got a decent photograph.

This Kid Symphony was a teaching experience designed to let kids have a chance to learn what was really going on with the music. All of the instruments were introduced as a group, such as woodwinds, then individually, such as the clarinet. The kids got to hear each one separately as well as all together. Cordelia quickly chose a favorite instrument. Do you want to guess what she wants to play? I will get back to that.

When they introduced the instruments they explained HOW each made music, such as by blowing air through or over a hole, running a bow across strings or plucking strings, etc.  They also showed how to make music by blowing over the top of a bottle or even through a garden hose with a funnel on one end.

Near the end of the concert the conductor called for four volunteers. Cordy was very disappointed to not be chosen but we weren't sitting close enough to the front. Anyway. They did kind of a cool deal. The first volunteer got to listen while they played three different melodies and then she was asked which she liked best. Then, they played three different versions of the harmony and the next little kid got to choose from those. They did the same with the percussion to find the preferred beat. They played the chosen mixture as a Walt, a March or a tango. Once the choices were made, one little boy got to be the conductor and the symphony played their new composition. 

I thought it was a clever way to teach a bit of what goes into composing. It probably meant more to the older kids. I noticed some kids were kind of tuned out by then.

So, did you make a guess regarding Cordelia's chosen instrument? She wants to play the harp!

I think we would all agree that music is important. There is so much work, years of practice, that goes into achieving something as simple as this concert for children.  I am so appreciative of dedicated musicians and I am grateful for these musicians today for sharing their work with these children. I hope some of those children will be inspired to learn to play an instrument as well. Maria and Eric, better start looking for a harp!

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