Music is in the air
New partnership strengthens focus on interactive learning
by Suzanne McKeon
Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh is a magical place that allows children to run, play, create, imagine and learn new things at the same time. Loved by adults and children alike, Marbles is a wonderful institution and a destination for many.
Last December, the museum launched a partnership with the North Carolina Symphony to create Music Makers, a program designed to bring the joy of music to life through monthly activities that will give kids hands-on experiences to enrich their appreciation and love of music.
“We involve the community in creating fun and fantastic child-led experiences,” says Sally Edwards, Marbles president. “Our collaboration with the North Carolina Symphony helps us provide an energetic and innovative learning environment for kids to create and innovate.”
The essence of the program is to create permanent and ongoing music-related events at Marbles. Kids will always hear and play music, and there will always be an interactive, hands-on activity allowing them to explore and develop a greater understanding of music in a fun environment.
Music Makers events will be centered around specific themes, including instrument families such as the percussion or woodwind sections; the lives of great composers; and “Peter and the Wolf,” one of the best introductions to music for any child, which the symphony is performing March 12 as part of its NCS Kids Young People’s Concerts at Meymandi Concert Hall.
Getting kids involved in live music “is the foundation, the first thing we can and must do,” says Grant Llewellyn, the symphony’s music director, who has personally conducted more than 36 free concerts for schoolchildren throughout the state since he took the reins in 2004.
“Kids can download until the cows come home and plug their ears into iPods, but they will never get this experience with these electronic gadgets.”
Marbles Kids Museum averages 5,000 visitors each week and is a valuable resource for the community. The museum firmly believes in the power of play, as well as in its ability to shape tomorrow’s dreamers, innovators, artists and achievers.
As a statewide music organization, the North Carolina Symphony is dedicated to its educational mission of exposing as many children as possible to the wonders and delights of orchestral music.
Arts organizations and museums throughout the Triangle are realizing the power of collaboration, and many are working more closely than ever to bring to life the essence of their passions and expertise so that consumers of all ages can experience art in the most entertaining way possible.
Suzanne McKeon is vice president of marketing and audience development for the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh. To learn more, call (919) 733-2750 or visit www.ncsymphony.org.
To learn more
For more information about Music Makers, a new collaboration between the North Carolina Symphony and Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, visit www.ncsymphony.org or www.marbleskidsmuseum.org.