Here’s a sampling of the questions that start rolling around in my head when wondering if my kids are musically-inclined: Have they shown any particular talent? Band or strings? Have I already missed the boat for piano lessons? Where do I even begin to find these answers? If you’ve been asking some of the same questions, I encourage you to check out the free Music & Melody Makers program put on by Minnesota Youth Symphonies.
It’s a fun, low-stress way to introduce kids (ages 3 – 14) to the legions of beautiful instruments that make up the orchestra. My goal in taking our kids last year was to see if they were drawn to any instrument in particular. The kids could try out the string, brass, woodwind and percussion instruments if they liked, or (when shyness took over) they could watch Symphony students demonstrate. My favorite moments were watching my then-5-year-old daughter try her hand at the clarinet (like Mom and Grandma before her) and my 3-year-old get behind the timpani.
After a (provided) snack break, the girls and I were treated to a mini-performance by the Minnesota Youth Symphonies Philharmonic (full-sized) Orchestra. The highlight was the conductor inviting my daughter, Emily, onstage to guest-conduct the students. She went with an enthusiasm that left me hoping she’d want to be part of an orchestra herself someday.
Tip: Registration is required for the Music & Melody Makers event because space is limited and is often full by the event date. Check the link below for space availability and to sign up. The event is completely free, including parking, and there is no sales pitch. Questions? Call 651-699-5811.
Minnesota Youth Symphonies
975 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul
FREE, but Pre-registration required