Students have string of choices at Instrument Selection Party

Apr 30, 2024 | Schools | 0 comments

Port Clinton High School senior, Chase Marlatt, right, helps fifth grader Hailey Golf play the cello. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

Sometimes, kids need to get their hands on something to really understand its beauty and potential. On April 23, Port Clinton City Schools Orchestra Director, Adam Murray, placed the beauty and power of music in the hands of dozens of fifth grade students. Murry hosted an Instrument Selection Party for fifth grade students at the middle school.

Party was an apt word for the event. Kids ate pizza, played games, talked with friends, and had the chance to try violins, violas and cellos to see if they would like to join the orchestra in sixth grade.

“This gets them acquainted with the instruments. A lot of kids have never heard of these instruments, much less played them,” Murray said. “It’s hard to make a choice without trying it.”

Baroque Violin Shop provided the instruments.

Orchestra Director Adam Murray, right, shows fifth grader Kayla Christiansen how to hold a violin. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“They packed up dozens of instruments of all sizes so every student who wanted one could go home with one,” Murray said.

Because the kids still have a lot of growing, it is better to rent than buy at this age, said Baroque Violin Shop Regional Sales and Service Rep, Robin Bloomberg.

“It makes sense to rent stringed instruments because kids start with smaller sizes,” Bloomberg said. “The parents are building equity toward a purchase, so hopefully they’ll buy in the future.”

Each child was fitted to the correct size instrument.

“The nice thing about stringed instruments is, it’s little instruments for little kids,” Bloomberg said. “We want them to like it. If it’s heavy and hurts, they won’t.”

Baroque Violin Shop travels to many schools to rent instruments to children, and Bloomberg said an Instrument Selection Party is a great way to get kids excited about music.

Natalie Gerber chose a cello at the Instrument Selection Party at Port Clinton Middle School. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“I like the party theme. It’s so unique. It’s definitely an Adam Murray thing,” Bloomberg said. “Port Clinton should be really proud of the music program you have. Not many smaller communities have an orchestra. Adam is incredible. He’s a kid magnet.”

Several kids walked out of the school toting an instrument. Among them was Colton Fedele, who chose a violin.

“I picked it because it sounded the greatest,” Fedele said. “It makes a good noise.”

Kenidy Clark also chose a violin.

“I just like the smaller size over the big one,” Clark said. “I thought it was really interesting.”

Natalie Gerber takes violin lessons, but she decided to switch to cello after trying one at the party.

“It’s cool, and a friend from my school told me his sister likes it,” she said. “I’m excited about being in the orchestra.”

All fifth grade students are welcome to join Summer Strings, a monthly summer music program that is free for all upcoming Port Clinton sixth graders, even if they are not enrolled in orchestra.

On May 13, Murray will host an all-orchestra performance featuring students in six grade through high school.

“It’s our only full-department concert of the year,” Murray said. “It’s our senior goodbye.”

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