2019 Musical Petting Zoo
The Prescott Chamber Orchestra, the oldest music organization playing classical music in Prescott, is continually looking at creative ways to bring music to our youth through community outreach. This Musical Petting Zoo is just one of those great endeavors!
Prescott Chamber Orchestra Brings Musical “Petting Zoo” to Chino Valley School
Monday, April 29, 2019
It was different type of Petting Zoo at Del Rio Elementary School in Chino Valley recently. 150 incoming 5th graders, who will have an opportunity to select musical instruments that they might play with the middle school band got to see, hear and interact with a variety of these when an ensemble of musicians from the Prescott Chamber Orchestra – the oldest continuing orchestra in Prescott in their 43rd year – recently visited as part of their musical education and enrichment program for local school students.
After an introduction by Conductor, Peter Mueller, the musicians played a piece of classical music designed to show how the instruments come together as a musical ensemble. Next a small group of students were chosen to sit on the floor next to the musicians for an up-close encounter with the instruments. Individual musicians then introduced to the assembled students their specific instrument. This included the level of difficulty in playing it, if the musician sits or stands, how much it weighs, how it is properly held, and where it fits into the musical ensemble. These musicians then played individually or in small groups, a short selection to allow the students to get a specific idea of which instrument might be the best fit for them. After that, the whole ensemble played an additional piece of music.
Del Rio Elementary Principal Carolyn Reed who worked with the Prescott Chamber Orchestra to put this program together said, “This event is just a perfect introduction to classical music for our 4th graders who otherwise might never hear it. This is also an extraordinary opportunity for them to become familiar with individual musical instruments and then experience their combined sound through hearing the musical ensemble play. These students will have an opportunity at the beginning of next year to choose an instrument to play in middle school band and this event lays the foundation for their choice of instrument. Because students perform better in school when they and their teachers believe that intelligence is not fixed, but can be developed, I am thrilled to have this musical learning opportunity for Del Rio School.”
- As the musicians played, the Kids sat wide eyed on the floor next to them, enthralled by the sound and how the instrument was being played.
- As Maestro Peter Mueller was conducting, a number of students mimicked his movements as if they were conducting.
- A student who had originally said she wanted to play the cello, instead went to talk with the musician who played flute, asking all kinds of detailed questions about the instrument and how it was being played.
- The students broke out into a loud cheer as a duet by the trumpet and trombone play a sassy dance tune.
- The saxophone was a major hit as the musician played a jazz rife that bounced off of the walls of the auditorium.
The Musical Petting Zoo, as popularized by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, provides an opportunity to foster young students’ interest in music by giving them a chance to sit up close and personal with the instruments as they are played by professional musicians. As a part of their outreach program to local schools, members of the Prescott Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Peter Mueller appeared at The Del Rio Elementary School to meet with some 150 fourth grade students to demonstrate some of the most popular instruments found in most bands and orchestras.