Free and Educational Music Experiences For Students by Jennifer Smeltser

Homeschooling allows you to introduce your children to a number of experiences. One of the things I enjoy about homeschooling is the opportunity to include fine arts, which is a subject that has been largely eliminated in many of the public schools. We have seen a number of plays; visited museums and listened to music performed by some of the finest orchestras in Tennessee.

Each year, more than 20,000 students attend Young People's Concerts at the Nashville Symphony. The concerts are free and open to public, private and homeschool students. The concerts are just one of the many ways the organization strives to introduce; include and educate students in the area of music.

There are a number of programs for children that continue into the 2016. Some of them fill up quickly, so it is best to make your reservations or register as soon as possible.

Young People’s Concerts
These concerts are geared toward students in specific grade levels, which ensure the performances are ones that will be enjoyed by those attending. There is curriculum that complements each performance and includes the video “Let’s Go to the Symphony”, lessons plans and music selections. These concerts fill quickly and
the last one for the season, for high school students, is the only one still open for the season. Just a note: if there is a concert you would like to attend, but shows being full, check back with the symphony as the date nears. Sometimes there are cancellations.

Curb Concerto Competition

If you have a student who not only has a love of music, but is experienced playing an instrument, the Curb to Concerto Competition may be something they would like to experience. The competition is “held to promote, encourage, and support young musicians in the state of Tennessee.” Classically trained musicians, ages 14-18, are invited to participate in the competition in one of five categories that include brass: percussion; piano, string and woodwind. There are cash prizes and the opportunity for the grand prize winner to perform at the Nashville Symphony’s free Side-by-Side Concert as a soloist. Interested musicians must submit their applications by Friday, January, 29, 2016. There are only 24 slots available for the competition and will close once the audition slots fill.

Is it a Fiddle or a Violin?
This is a fun event for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Students enjoy a live, interactive performance by professional musicians, where they learn the difference in the sound of a fiddle and violin. They will also go on a guided tour of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and the County Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Homeschool dates are Tuesday, January 12; Monday, March 14 and Monday, April 11. Read the teacher’s guide.

2015/2016 Curb Open Dress Rehearsal

During a Curb Open Dress Rehearsal, students see behind the scenes the preparation the orchestra goes through as is readies for a Classical Series concert performance. This is one students in the fifth grade to adult will enjoy experiencing.

Let Freedom Sing
The Let Freedom Sing production has been hosted by the Nashville Symphony for more than 20 years. The selections this year include the world premiere of a new work by Cedric Dent; music from the Selma soundtrack and William Grant Still's Plain Chant for America. Tickets for this event will be available of Monday, December 14 on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you have a child who does not show an interest in music, do not let that stop you from introducing them to it. At least allow them to have the experience before deciding it is something they do not like. Although there are no new dates listed, consider the Instrument Petting Zoos, which may be the experience that sparks their interest in music and maybe even playing an instrument.

Jennifer Smeltser writes for HomeLife Academy. HomeLife Academy is an official private school serving thousands of home educators. For more of Jennifer's articles, visit Homeschool Roster.

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