I’ve wanted to check out Seattle Symphony’s Soundbridge in the Benaroya Hall building for ages. It’s a place for kids to explore music, with the goal of fostering a lifelong love of music and the classics. As a former cello student and school orchestra member, I know how powerful learning to play music can be, so I was excited to give my girls the chance to experiment with some instruments.
The Soundbridge mission: To inspire and nurture a love of symphonic music through exploration, creation and discovery. This means programs including musical story telling, drum circle, guest artists and variety of classes. There’s a lot of different events available, and they’re geared to a wide range of ages. It looks like there are also opportunities to meet musicians from the symphony.
We just went to check out the facilities, right after attending the Lisa and Linda Tiny Tots concert at Benaroya Hall. Admission to Soundbridge is free with a day-of-show ticket stub. I thought this was a great way to get familiar with the basic set-up of the place.
The main lobby was small, but had plenty of room for curious concertgoers. It was filled with all sorts of musical instruments. There was an impressive variety available, including many from different cultures. The mini steel drum was especially fun. I expected to see different kinds of drums, shakers and xylophones, but there were also loads of brass, woodwind and string instruments.
I can’t imagine the abuse the string instruments must take–though the absolutely trashed bows gave me a clue. Still, they were in good enough condition for a trial run. It was great to see the kids trying everything out with total freedom. Is there any other place where a child could go to town on a timpani or pluck away a double bass without intervention from a nervous adult?
If the symphony wants to encourage curiosity about musical instruments, I can’t think of a better way to start. That said, even once we’ve passed flu season, I don’t think there’s enough disinfectant in the world for me to allow my kid to try out the French horn.
Dropping by after a Tiny Tots concert is one of the easiest ways to explore the facility, but their affordably-priced preview classes also look worth a try. Check out the calendar on the Soundbridge site for lots of opportunities to explore music with the experts.
200 University St.
Seattle, WA 98101