Which do you think is a better way to teach kids about music: having them listen to an orchestra concert or giving them an opportunity to perform with an orchestra? The folks at Carnegie Hall believe that giving kids an opportunity to play with professional-caliber musicians is so important that they created the “Link Up” program, and more than a thousand Whidbey Island third- through fifth-graders participated this year.
“The Link Up program was a welcome surprise addition to our nature- and arts-based curriculum this spring,” says Lisa Kois, creator of the Calyx School. “I was excited by what I read about the Carnegie Hall program, the opportunity for our kids to begin to learn an instrument, and to have a hands-on classical music experience with the Saratoga Orchestra. How cool is that? Learn to play the recorder and then go watch, learn from, and play with a professional orchestra. The entire experience was so positive for everyone, and the culminating concert was amazing. Our kids were very inspired. At the end of the concert, one of the students sitting next to me turned and asked, ‘Do we get to do this again next year?’ Another student dreamily walked up to me and reported, ‘I am all about music.’”