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Opus Tadpole introduces youngsters to symphony instruments

A French horn player with Huntsville Symphony Orchestra discusses her music with a library audience during Opus Tadpole. This session will be held at Madison Public Library on Jan. 3 at 10:30 a.m. (CONTRIBUTED)
A French horn player with Huntsville Symphony Orchestra discusses her music with a library audience during Opus Tadpole. This session will be held at Madison Public Library on Jan. 3 at 10:30 a.m. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – What sounds do a French horn, a viola and a harp make? “Opus Tadpole,” a free program by Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, will answer these questions at Madison Public Library on Jan. 3 at 10:30 a.m.

Violinist Jeff Dortch is scheduled to attend.

Youth services librarian Maggie Allen has attended several Opus Tadpole programs with her daughter. “Huntsville Symphony Orchestra members did an outstanding job. Each session, a different orchestra member (or members) demonstrate their instrument for the children and families,” Allen said.

To keep attention of the young audience, the musicians add “a lot of silliness, but you end up really getting to know the instruments and the musicians in the process,” Allen said.

The symphony advertises Opus Tadpole for children and their caregivers, but Allen brought her daughter when she was three years old. “Many other children at this age and younger attended,” Allen said.

In addition, older children in elementary school benefit from Opus Tadpole. “At different ages, children will get different information from the sessions. Don’t be scared to bring a preschooler, especially if they’re interested in music,” Allen said.

“The musicians know they’re talking to children, so they do ‘play towards the crowd,'” she said.

The library staff feels fortunate to have Opus Tadpole. Orchestra representatives contacted the library system “to be ‘on the road’ throughout Madison County. Their trip to Madison will finish up their road tour! I was definitely excited and jumped at the chance when they offered,” Allen said.

Most children have never seen a violin, bassoon or other instrument up close. “It’s magical hearing what these professional musicians are capable of. Exposure to music can aid in the growth of necessary social, interpersonal, spatial and logic skills,” Allen said.

“The importance of offering musical activities in different stages of a child’s development is astronomical,” Allen said. “Music can prime the brain for understanding speech in a noisy background — a skill beneficial for children with learning disabilities.”

For more information, visit hso.org/education-community/opus-tadpole.

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