Thursday, March 4, 2021

MSU invites kids to explore music

September 11, 2011
Lauren Hansen, left, instructs Marin Zegarac, 5, on the proper way to hold a violin on Sunday during the Community Music School's fall open house.  Mo Hnatiuk/The State News
Lauren Hansen, left, instructs Marin Zegarac, 5, on the proper way to hold a violin on Sunday during the Community Music School's fall open house. Mo Hnatiuk/The State News —
Photo by Mo Hnatiuk | and Mo Hnatiuk The State News

Eight-year-old Okemos resident Easton Grace inched closer to a trumpet. His fingers traced the outside rim as he stared at the golden instrument.

“Do you want to try it?” asked his father, Tim Grace.

He nodded and picked up the trumpet, belting out a few squeaky notes.

On Sunday afternoon, Easton Grace attended an open house at” MSU Community Music School”:www.cms.msu.edu/, or CMS, which introduced him and about 50 other community members to the school’s programs.

The CMS, an outreach division of the MSU College of Music, provides music education for all ages. This year, the school will offer new programs catering to young violinists, choir singers and special needs students.

“To be able to provide music education is priceless,” Jaime DeMott, director of CMS, said. “It’s something anyone can relate to. Music brings people together.”

Various stations at the open house included demonstrations from students in the CMS and instructors available to talk about lessons.

One of the most popular stations was the instrument petting zoo, a room filled with various instruments for students to try.

Darlene Grace, Easton Grace’s mother, said she brought her son to the open house to experience the instruments.

“I like the idea of the instrument petting zoo,” Darlene Grace said. “If this wasn’t here, the kids wouldn’t have the opportunity to be exposed to (different instruments).”

As Easton Grace blew the trumpet, fingers dancing across the buttons, he was approached by music education senior and CMS intern Eric LaNoue.

“Try saying, ‘Umm,’” LaNoue said. “Then you can play some higher notes.”

Easton Grace tried it, belted out a higher note and smiled.

“(CMS) offers a safe place for students and faculty to share music,” LaNoue said. “It’s a refreshing reminder to see the happiness learning an instrument can bring.”

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