After banging drums, pounding on xylophone keys, and shaking a set of maracas, Luke locked his eyes on the colorful rainbow of metallic instruments that he immediately recognized. “I love the bells!” Luke, 4, exclaimed on Tuesday during a session of the Huntsville Symphony’s “Instrument Petting Zoo” at the Huntsville Public Library. About two dozen youngsters attended the event, at which the symphony offered a variety of instruments for children to try.
“It’s become really popular,” HSO Education Director Sharon Hicks said. “Music is a pure form of expression, and we think it’s a great idea for kids to explore and expand on that concept. When they’re first able to do something like make a sound on a violin, they just light up with joy.”
Studies have shown that developing brains benefit from learning to play a musical instrument. In November, results of a study by the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California showed that music training can change the structure of a brain’s white matter, which carries signals through the brain, and gray matter, which contains most of the neurons responsible for decision-making.
Hicks said Instrument Petting Zoos are among several youth-oriented programs offered by the symphony, whose stated mission is “enriching lives through the power of music.” That includes the lives of children, she said.
The HSO will host its Instrument Petting Zoo at the following upcoming venues:
Aug. 10: 6:00 PM – Downtown Huntsville’s Movies in the Park
Aug. 24: 6:00 PM – Downtown Huntsville’s Movies in the Park
Nov. 17: 10:00 AM – Hays Nature Preserve’s Fallen Leaf Fest
The HSO will host its Music Explorers Club at the following upcoming venues:
Sept. 22: 10:15 AM – Monrovia Public Library
Oct. 20: 10:15 AM – Downtown Huntsville Public Library
Jan. 19: 10:15 AM – Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, VBC
Feb. 2: 10:15 AM – Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, VBC
Feb. 16: 10:15 AM – Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, VBC
March 9: 10:15 AM – First Baptist Church of Huntsville, Library
May 4: 10:15 AM – Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, VBC
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