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Metropolitan Strings Academy performed at Future Stages and teaches babies

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There were no eight-month-old violinists at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts the afternoon of June 22, 2014, as part of the Advanced Chamber Strings of Olathe's Metropolitan Strings Academy, but the school does teach music to late infants all the way to adults. The performers ranged from ten to eighteen, including "rockstar drummer," Kyson Wakefield, according to conductor and academy director, Natasha Kwapich.

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The repertoire for last Sunday included: "Best Day of My Life," The American Authors, arranged by Katie Greisinger, "Royals," Lorde, arranged by Katie Greisinger, "Radioactive," Imagine Dragons, arranged by Natasha Kwapich, "Secrets," One Republic, arranged by Natasha Kwapich, and "Pompeii," Bastille, also arranged by Natasha Kwapich. The selections were not made to convince adults of the young people's love for classical music, but to interest the students in perfecting music that exists in their world. All of the numbers were accompanied by the virtuosic master of the trap set.

The music was played energetically, and the skill displayed was a credit to the academy. The musicians were operating as an ensemble, both in operating together, and the perceivable help they gave each other in pursuit of group success.

Involving very young persons in listening to music, manipulating age-appropropriate music making devices (toys) and cooperating with others to make a community sound, is developmentally sound, and forms a love of music into immature personalities long before negative peer pressure can divide inclinations. Pre-school children are naturally interested in the whole world around them; if music creation becomes part of that world, it will remain.

Orchestration and composition students might well accept low-cost commissions for original works as well as modified classics to interest strings students in the non-popular realm. That could result in meetings between apprentices in various aspects of music-making.

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