Early childhood and lower school students experienced music with their ears, eyes— and hands—during a visit from members of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra on Wednesday, October 19.
Jennifer Mitchell and Don Goldenbaum are members of the all-volunteer, community-based orchestra that performs high-quality, free concerts throughout the metro area. They shared their musical passion with students in pre-Kindergarten through grade 2 on Wednesday, October 19.
FROM IPADS TO PARTICIPANTS Their visit gave students the opportunity to not only hear a short violin concert, but also to see a live performance and to touch instruments and feel what it’s like to create sounds on a violin and viola.
Kristi Mitchell’s grade 1 and 2 students are studying orchestra instruments and instrument families in class this quarter. The live demonstration took those lessons to a new level.
“We’ve listened to classical music on an iPad app, but the transfer from studying it on the iPad to experiencing music live and in person was really cool,” Mitchell said.
The duo played songs that many of the children recognized, but might not have realized how instruments are used to create them: “Belle,” and “Cruella deVille” from Disney movies, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “Jingle Bells.”
TRYING THEIR HAND AT MAKING MUSIC The familiar adage, “Look, but don’t touch,” was not part of the experience. Children passed around real horsehair that is used to make bowstrings. Mitchell and Goldenbaum also allowed every student in their audiences to hold their bows as the musicians guided them across the strings.
Barstow Director of Health Services Gay Lee Ludwig-Bonney ( aka Nurse Bonney) is a longtime member of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. She plays the double bass, the largest of the stringed instruments. She said these outreach programs and events like the upcoming Instrument Petting Zoo give curious children the opportunity to develop a love of music at an early age.
“It inspires them to explore, to touch, to play, even to blow into a trumpet and create sound,” she said.