August 26, 2009

Jackson Fellows in the Community

Summer music program looks to educate youth on instruments

By Dave Aeikens ( - July 29, 2009

Carlos Borgert sat on the floor in one of the event rooms at the St. Cloud Public Library and told a visitor why he was there.
“I really like to play the flute,” the 6-year-old said in a booming voice.
It was the flute that was on display Tuesday in a program called “The Sounds of Summer: Music Exploration.”
Children this week can take part in the program that introduces them to instruments of the orchestra by listening to music, interacting with musicians and expressing themselves through games, arts and crafts.
The first event was Tuesday and it runs through Friday from 2-2:45 p.m. It is open to children in first through sixth grade. Children can preregister, but walk-ins are also welcome.
“We already have education programs during the school year, but during the summer there is kind of the lapse in the program,” said Chris Beckstrand, a St. Cloud symphony intern who is a College of St. Benedict student from Elk River. She helped organize the summer music program.
“The library is such a beautiful space in St. Cloud, we wanted to take advantage of the space,” she said.
Alvin Yu brought his son Willie to stoke his interest in orchestral music.
“I think it is a good chance to give children the opportunity to see instruments from the symphony,” Yu said.
Beckstrand demonstrated the flute on Tuesday. Today, Patrick Thorn will show off the trumpet, and the violin will be featured on Thursday with percussion instruments on Friday.
“I want to play the flute when I am older,” said 10-year-old Ashlyn Kotcho of Sauk Rapids.
Children at the library worked on crafts and watched demonstrations of instruments. The children made masks by using colors on white paper plates. They were told to use the colors they hear when they listen to music. Symphony music played in the background as they colored and the library set out children’s books about musicians and music to entice the children.
“We’ll have a lot of different creative things that get the children thinking and have fun during the summer,” Beckstrand said.