Orchestra music that sounds as heavy as concrete? And music that sounds light as a feather? Those are the kind of things that conductor Tom Jensen talkes about to engage preschoolers for this fall’s series of Inside the Orchestra for Tiny Tots, October 15 through the 18th (see schedule).
“Kids may not recognize standard orchestra tunes, but the memorable ones will stick– especially if you have a ‘hook’ for them to look for,” Jensen said.
He recalls at age three, watching a cartoon on Saturday morning television, and the music that accompanied it was classical. Years later, in college, Jensen heard that same music for the first time and realized it was a Mendelssohn overture. “I thought, wow after all these years, this stuff really stuck with me,” he said. And this is the basis for the programming for “inside the orchestra,” finding melodies that children should know– like in literature: kids need to know Dickens, Twain and Steinbeck or their frame of reference is not complete.
This fall’s program will have ‘Star Wars’ and the waltz from ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ but will include new things from composers like Ravel, Moussourgski and Bartok– which may sound heavy, but not with Jensen’s approach with a meaningful, fun narrative.