The Music Institute of Chicago’s Winnetka Campus Director, Clark Carruth, teaches  violin to a student of the Petting Zoo.Photo by Erin Fusco

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The Music Institute of Chicago joins the national celebration of Music In Our Schools Month with a morning of music for all ages on March 15 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave.

This morning of music for families begins at 11 a.m. with an open house in the Nichols Concert Hall lobby. Kids can enjoy playing a variety of instruments at the Music Institute Instrument Petting Zoo, parents can talk with faculty and staff, and everyone can take advantage of special discounts on lessons and classes.

At noon, Blair Thomas & Co. presents “A Piano with 3 Tales,” a puppet theatre production featuring the acclaimed “A Kite’s Tale” and two world premieres. This classical piano recital within a puppet show features Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” Frederic Chopin’s “Scherzo in B Minor” and Stephen Montague’s “Mirabella a Tarantella” – for toy piano – all performed by pianist Mary Rose Norell. Blair Thomas’ handmade puppets of all kinds, from bunraku dolls to larger-than-life human-sized costumes, perform stories that encourage families to exercise their imaginations and discover the magical power of wordless music.

Tickets, at $5 per person, are available at or 847-905-1500, ext. 108. More information is available at