Matan Dalin, left, waits his turn as Jayden Vance is introduced to playing the violin by ESO violinist Joshua Huppert.

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On March 12, members of the Evanston Symphony Orchestra (ESO) presented “Music in Your World” in conjunction with Evanston District 65 Head Start, the federal Pre-K at Risk and Pre-K for All programs.

 On this particular morning, children ages 3-5 interacted with members of the orchestra. They had the opportunity not only to sing and participate in movement activities, but also were encouraged and given a chance to touch and play stringed instruments. According to the ESO website, each session is presented nine times over a three-day period and each session focuses on different aspects of music.

 In each session, music professional Charles Taylor led the children in movement activities, singing and also round singing with the string players. His leadership provides continuity to the ESO’s commitment to quality music education.  The effective question-and-answer sessions allowed for much participation and under his guidance the children appeared to experience much joy and pleasure listening to music, making music and moving to music.

 The string players with the ESO were violinists Paula Fisher, Joshua Huppert, Cathy Carr and cellist Rhea Davis. Any child who wanted to play an instrument was encouraged to line up and have a mini lesson with one of the string players. Peter Seman of Seman Violins, Inc., 4447 Oakton St., Skokie, provided the 1/8 and 1/4 violins that the children used in the “Music in Our World” classes.

This particular ESO outreach program, presented four times per year, includes singing – piano and forte, percussion (tempo, strings) – pitch (high and low) and
all woodwinds.

There will be a final performance for parents of the children who have participated in the “Music in Your World.”

Interacting with music and musicians can be intrinsically rewarding especially when the environment supports the child’s purposeful music-making. These programs and their goals are consistent with the Illinois Arts Education goals. The collaboration of the Evanston Symphony Orchestra and District 65 continues to encourage an interest in music early in life that they can enjoy throughout their lives.