The College of Arts and Architecture

School of Music Students Teach Community Basics of Playing Instruments During Instrument Petting Zoo

petting zoo picture

No experience needed.

This was the motto at the Center for the Performing Art’s event, the Instrument Petting Zoo, where students with any level of musical experience were able to attend to informally learn the basics of how to play certain wind and string instruments.

The Woskob Family Gallery downtown hosted the event where Penn State School of Music students set up their instruments to teach inexperienced attendees how to play.

In the gallery, student music ambassadors served as mini-instructors by helping students step outside of their comfort zone and learn more about certain instruments and how they work.

“I honestly think that we need this interaction with non-arts students,” CPA intern, Janel Lee (senior-English) said. “It gets arts closer to those that normally wouldn’t have that experience.”

The event was informal and students came and went after attempting to play one or several of the instruments with the guidance and demonstrations from the music students.

There were a variety instruments for attendees to choose from — a violin, a trumpet, a cello and a trombone. If someone had some experience with a string instrument in the past, they had the opportunity to try something new, like the trumpet.

“I played the violin for 12 years and it was so hard to play something completely different,” Kylie Doran said after her experience with the trombone. “It was so intimidating to play because it was in a completely different spectrum from what I’m used to.”

After attempting to play unfamiliar instruments for ten or fifteen minutes, students can really respect how long and how much practice it takes to master one, Doran (junior-anthropology and Russian) said.

The event was a part of the CPA’s new ArtOut program which was created for students with an interest in the arts, Melissa Croushorn, student engagement manager at the CPA, said. The events in this program, like the Instrument Petting Zoo, give interested students an opportunity to explore the field

There are free events every Monday at 4 p.m. in the Woskob Family Gallery at the downtown theater to encourage student engagement, Croushorn said. Students of all music levels are always welcome.

This article appeared in the October 24, 2016 issue of the Daily Collegian. It was written by Collegian lifestyle reporter Kara Fesolovich. Photo credit: Natalie Runnerstrom