Monday, February 1, 2010
Hey all you hip cats!
Now through February 28, the 18th Annual Junior Jazz Festival will turn Memorial Hall into the biggest and hippest jazz club around! I sat down with Francis Coates, Music Coordinator at Please Touch Museum, who told me all about what goes into the planning of the festival and the educational value of musical expression.
Pinky: What's the Junior Jazz Festival all about, Francis?
Francis: The Junior Jazz Festival celebrates one of the most unique genres of music performed today-- JAZZ! Everyone at Please Touch Museum believes in celebrating all genres of music and since jazz incorporates other genres like 19th and 20th century classical, Latin, and even Country, it's a great starting point for children.
Pinky: Why does the museum celebrate music and jazz every year? Why is music important to children and their development?
Francis: At Please Touch Museum, we believe in celebrating music because it transcends language and age. No matter where you come from or how old you are, everyone can enjoy a great piano or guitar solo! Jazz is very special to the city of Philadelphia, too. A lot of jazz greats come from this city, including Ethel Waters, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. Jazz incorporates improvisation, which allows the performer to explore his/her instrument and create whatever sound they like. We're are all about improvisation and independent exploration of the creative arts here at Please Touch, so why not celebrate it every year?!
Pinky: What kind of special daily programming and performances are scheduled in celebration of Junior Jazz?
Francis: We will have live jazz piano and xylophone performances weekdays. We will also have our "PTM Jazz Club" program which allows children to play different instruments like the trumpet, piano, and drum set. It is very important for our young visitors to not only hear people perform on these instruments, but for them to explore the instruments themselves. On weekends, a wide variety of great jazz artists will take the Playhouse stage for interactive jazz performances that kids and grown-ups will surely be swingin' to!
Pinky: After they visit, how can parents incorporate jazz into their homes for their kids?
Francis: There are several simple ways to incorporate jazz into your daily life. The first is adding it to your play list while driving home from work or school! There are also several jazz for books and CDs suited for children that are available in our Kids Store, so swing by when you get a chance. You can also check your local community center and jazz club for family-friendly jazz events and programs.
To see the full line-up of Junior Jazz performances, click here and stay tuned for a post later this week about all the special Junior Jazz Festival performances coming up!
We're all about learning through play.
Join Pinky, one of Please Touch Museum's resident puppets, on an inside look into all the fun, educational things happening at Philly's Children's Museum. This blog is not just about what we do at the museum, but about the educational philosophy behind why we do what we do.