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Musical Discovery Series at the Alliance for the Arts

Petting Zoo
Petting Zoo
Carl Slowata

The Alliance for the Arts on McGregor Boulevard always brings free family fun to Fort Myers. This Saturday, April 12, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. through 12:30 p.m., the Alliance will present a family event based on the popular “Musical Discovery Zone” from the Gulf Coast Symphony Family Concerts. The Musical Discovery Series offers children the chance to engage with musicians and their instruments in a fun, relaxed program. For the first hour, children enjoy a “Musical Discovery Zone,” then the program moves into the Foulds Theater for a brief concert and presentation by the musicians. The musicians explain how their instruments work and the sounds they can make, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Before the concert, kids are treated to an instrument petting zoo where they can actually hold the kind of instruments that will be used in the concert. Saturday's program features instruments from the woodwind family. The petting zoo idea is brilliant. Watching children get excited over holding real musical instruments, sometimes nearly as big as they are, is almost unbearably cute. The gleam in their eyes showed that it had its intended effect.

The concert itself is far from being an over-long performance with fidgety children glued to their seats. The musicians engage the kids with a history of the instruments, a demonstration of how they are played, and a brief concert showing how the instruments work together. It is not a dry lecture or concert, and the children (and their parents) are encouraged to participate in a conversation with the musicians throughout.

The Alliance for the Arts is located at 10091 McGregor Boulevard just south of Colonial Boulevard. Admission and parking are free .