My friends at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix know I never met a musical instrument I didn’t like. So when they shared news of upcoming events for kids, I got right to work.
I tried hair dye. Wrinkle cream. Time on the treadmill. Even painting on a pair of jeggings. Everything short of Botox or scratching the year of birth off my drivers license like it was a lottery ticket.
But all to no avail. I can’t pass for 12 any more than I can play the Taiko drums. Pity, really, because if I was just a wee bit younger, I’d be able to get my hot little hands on those Taiko drums at the MIM this summer.
The “Summer Series for Kids at MIM” kicks off June 4 with “Apache Gourd Rattles, Song and Storytelling” with Tony Duncan and his father Ken, who’ll help kids learn about Apache culture. The event is open to children ages 6-11, who’ll learn how to make their own Apache gourd rattles.
“Taiko Drumming” for ages 12-16 takes place June 18. Eileen Morgan will “teach teens about the history of Taiko drums, the significance of Japanese music, and how they can express themselves through music.” Sounds perfect for teens who think music is all about hoarding the most digital downloads.
“Kuniko Yamamoto: Japanese Origami and Music” for ages 6-11 is scheduled for June 19. Japanese musician and artist Kunito Yamamoto will “teach kids about Japanese origami and culture” and perform for them on flute and koto. Families can enjoy her concert at the MIM later that afternoon (at additional cost).
“Flamenco!” with Lena and Chris Burton takes place July 9. A younger group (ages 6-11) will “learn basic flamenco dancing patterns and vocabulary” and teens (ages 12-16) will “learn in-depth about flamenco and visit the MIM galleries to learn about gypsy culture.”
Burton Jacome hails from Mesa, where hometown fans are surely celebrating news of his recent win in the “World” category of “The John Lennon Songwriting Contest” for 2010. The winning work, “Ritmo-Canix,” is on his latest CD, titled “Levanto.”
The “MIM Summer Series for Kids” wraps up with “Kalimba Magic” with Mark Holdaway, who’ll teach kids ages 6-11 about kalimbas (thumb pianos) and African culture — using the instrument to tell a story and showing kids how to make kid-friendly kalimbas.
My thumbs feel a little neglected at the end of the day since they rarely get quality time with anything other than the space bar on my laptop. I may have to revisit our family collection of thumb pianos. I suspect they’ve been feeling neglected too.
Sorry, treadmill. Looks like you’ll have to wait…
Note: Please visit the MIM website for important details and registration information – and check out upcoming offerings in the MIM Music Theater, home to both a “2011 Summer Series” and a “2011-2012 Concert Season” (plus film selections and more). While you’re at the MIM, you can find thumb pianos and other fun fare at the MIM Museum Store.
Coming up: Art meets autism
Photos (except the one she’s in) by Lynn Trimble