By Josh Schoch LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (NCC News) — The Liverpool Public Library began one of its new initiatives to promote musical education amongst children by hosting the first of two instrument petting zoos.
The term ‘instrument petting zoo’ was Laurel Sharp’s creative idea for the event, and her way of communicating that the children would have freedom to play any instrument they wanted.
Sharp began the event by reading a children’s story to the audience, which consisted of children grades K-6 and their parents. After that, she allowed them to roam around the room and play with any of the 25 instruments she brought in as she walked around teaching them. The instruments were separated on tables into families. Those families were winds, strings, brass and percussion instruments.
Roughly 20 parents brought their children the event, as they attempted to introduce them to the world of music.
“I wanted to bring [my daughter] today so she can see if she wants to play an instrument,” said Lily Lok, one of the parents in attendance. “I played the violin growing up, and I’m hoping she wants to play something too.”
Sharp decided to organize the event because she believes the learning to play an instrument is vital for a child’s cognitive development, citing that it organizes a person’s brain in a way nothing else can. It’s something that greatly influenced her life from a young age.
“I grew up in a musical family,” said Sharp. “I’ve been playing instruments my whole life…it gives you a connection with so many people.”
Sharp is in the process of organizing a second instrument petting zoo in January. This time she will be hosting a professional orchestra and have them demonstrate their instruments for the children.