[note] I want to thank the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for their willingness to put together this article for our KZOOkids.com website. As a parent, I’ve had questions about what the KSO was doing with my son’s school and I thought other parents would also have the same questions. Thank you, KSO, for all that you do in our schools and for our community! ~Jill, KZOOkids.com [/note]
By Liz Youker, Vice President, Education and Community Partnerships for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Did your child have a Kalamazoo Symphony sighting at school today? As a parent, I know how hard it can be to pry details about the school day from a tight-lipped child, so here are some hints to help you discern whether “Oh, nothing…,” might actually mean “a KSO musician visited my school!”
- “Nothing. We just did the Petting Zoo. I liked the French Horn.” No animals were in the building—just ten or so KSO Instrument Petting Zoo volunteers and their trunks full of symphony instruments for students to try!
- “Nothing. Some guys came and one of them played a seashell and a garden hose.” Aha! The KSO Brass Quintet, one of four KSO “Music on the Move” ensembles. Along with playing great music, they demonstrate how instruments work (which is where the aforementioned props come in handy).
- “Nothing. Just the field trip. The seats were red and we all made a storm and sang. And on the animal songs people came out and danced.” If this was in March, your child has just been to the KSO Youth Concert at Chenery Auditorium! They’ve been studying the music for weeks at school, and today they heard a live performance by the full orchestra.
- “Nothing. We watched the video and we got a lady who plays viola.” Your school might be a KSO Partner School and today was the “big reveal”—a video that introduces the resident KSO musician for the year. The musician will visit each class to perform for and with students.
I hope this helps you recognize the signs that the KSO has been at your school! Each year, your music teacher can register for a number of KSO programs for free. Be sure to ask which programs your school participates in. And of course, head over to the KSO website, www.KalamazooSymphony.com for concerts and events you can enjoy as a family!
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR:
Liz Youker is a mother of two and Vice President of Education and Community Partnerships at KSO, where she oversees more than 20 initiatives and directs the Kalamazoo Kids in Tune program. She has degrees in Cello Performance and Arts Administration, and is enjoying the process of starting her young children on their own musical journeys.