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Schwob School opens its doors to children of all ages

It’s the one day of the year when adults must be accompanied by a child. Saturday The Columbus State University Schwob School of Music opens its doors to kids.

Children who are always being told to be quiet and not touch, can be as loud as they want and play with any instrument they want during the Open House.

Besides the musical games, mini-concerts, individual performances and the popular “instrument petting zoo,” the students in the school’s preparatory division will be involved for the first time. Students from the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus will also participate.

Kristen Hansen, a hornist who teaches music theory, and Elizabeth Parker, who teaches vocal music education and choral methods, have teamed up for the Open House.

Parker said students in the school’s Kindermusik and Suzuki violin programs will be featured. Retired music professors Manuel and Betty Anne Diaz’s violin students at Wynnton Academy, will present demonstrations.

Parents can sign their children up for classes in either Kindermusik or Suzuki.

Participation from the Schwob School students is also high, Parker and Hansen said.

Hansen loves to see the young children who come to try out an instrument and see the joyful smiles as they make a sound.

“It’s kind of a riot,” she said.

The instruments in the “petting zoo” are all donated by former musicians who just didn’t have the heart to throw them away.

“These instruments are donated for that purpose (the petting zoo),” she said. “They are getting a lot of use. It’s nice to see these instruments have a nice ‘retirement’ life.”

For the students who are in the music education track, the open house is a great opportunity to work with young children, Parker said.

“Whether you are in performance or education, you will teach at one time in your life,” she said.

Most of the student volunteers are instrumentalists, but this year, several vocalists will also work with kids interested in singing.

Both Parker and Hansen love to see the connections that the Schwob students make with the youngsters.

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