The Instrument Petting Zoo Hear the sweet sounds of a successful program in your library. The Instrument Petting Zoo is a hands-on activity that introduces kids to the world of musical instruments. Allow kids to touch and play a variety of instruments and learn how music is made, without hearing the jingle of a lot of money leaving your budget.
What is an Instrument Petting Zoo? • 1. Children and musical instruments. • Why consider this program? • 1. Musical programs are popular. • 2. Kids have opportunity to try different instruments. • 3. Parents are able to see which musical instruments their children are interested in playing. • 4. Entertaining and educational.
Additional benefits to playing a musical instrument • 1. Helps brain development and improves memory. • 2. Brings discipline to child’s life. • 3. Relieves stress. • 4. Gives sense of achievement. • 5. Fun.
Thomas Albert, D.M.A., Professor of Music at the Shenandoah Conservatory says: “I could say something dramatic like “playing a musical instrument makes you smarter”, but I’m not sure I believe that, exactly. What I do believe is that there is a direct correlation between musical activity and the development of intelligence. Children who are engaged in learning an instrument exercise their minds both cognitively and intuitively. The incoming students for Shenandoah Conservatory have, as a whole, better high school GPAs and better test scores (SAT, ACT) than their peers in the other schools here at Shenandoah University. “ “There are social advantages to playing an instrument (or singing in a chorus, for that matter), as most children who do so have to work in groups (ensembles) with others, and everyone in the group is dependent, to an extent, upon everyone else. That’s not as true for pianists, who tend to do their early study as soloists, but the ensemble experience usually touches all musicians at some point.” “Naturally, making music can also give one a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. There’s nothing quite like mastering a difficult musical passage, especially when the result (a performance) is shared with others. So, making music is good for the mind, good for the soul, and good for society.”
Our Zoo: How We Got Started School Library Journal article – Nov. 1998
Initial Steps • 1. Contacted local symphony conductor. • 2. Asked for symphony volunteers. It is important to set a time limit for each musician to discuss and demonstrate their instrument. 3. Contacted local music store.
Planning and Organizing • Setting date and time. • Requesting instruments from music store. • Room set-up.
Promotion and Advertisement • 1. Calendar of events. • 2. Flyers. • 3. Displays.
Your Instrument Petting Zoo Tip #1: Begin at home. 1. Your library 2. Your house 3. A friend or relative 4. Other local contacts
Potential local resources Symphony/band/orchestra Music store School district/ school orchestra or band College or university with a music program Local guilds or associations of musicians or music teachers Performing arts center Music institute Music studio
Tip #2: Make it your own. 1. Mold the structure of your petting zoo to your patrons for best results. 2. Simplicity is at the core of this program. Use what you have. 3. Hold the Petting Zoo outside. 4. Have a “music day”, or an “un-quiet day” at the library.