COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Symphony Orchestra aims to identify and remove barriers that impede central Ohio children from accessing classical music performances and education through its numerous youth outreach programs.
The CSO will now increase its initiative by offering children ages 6-16 the opportunity to attend its 2021-2022 Masterworks Concerts free of admission.
“We’ve really stepped up the game during COVID, but we’re going to continue to step it up because we think our children have basically been traumatized by all this as we all have been as adults as well,” said Denise Rehg, executive director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Over the last year, the CSO has reached more than 55,000 children in central Ohio through its youth outreach programs and initiatives. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, CSO organizers developed a remote music education curriculum free of charge for Columbus City Schools.
“So, all third graders take the Columbus Symphony course on introduction to the instruments of the symphony,” Rehg said.
“The website has things like support materials, videos for kids to watch, it has games, it has quizzes, so it’s a great resource for parents and educators,” Rehg said.
CSO musicians also provided virtual music lessons to the 273 students taking part in the Symphony’s Youth Orchestras. Rehg said it was important to now offer the Masterworks Concerts for the 2021-2022 season free of charge to children.
“What we wanted to do was be there for families in central Ohio who have been through a rough time and this way, they can bring their children with them instead of trying to find that babysitter, but it’s an opportunity for us to get out in front of our children,” Rehg said.
The CSO hopes to inspire young children through the power of music.
“There’s something about the live experience that just cannot be duplicated,” Rehg said. “I do not think we can underestimate the importance of music to the emotional, psychological well-being in the development of our kids.”
To learn more about the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Outreach Programs, visit their website.