‘Tunes and Tales’ To Bring Music Literacy to Community Children

“Tunes and Tales” is a musical story hour featuring a reading of “The Velveteen Rabbit” that will be hosted at Cedarville University on Feb. 1. According to Sandra Yang, assistant professor of music history, “Our goal is to reach out to the community.”

“Tunes and Tales” is the first event under a larger program series called Bach’s Literacy Series, which the department of music and worship hopes to offer in annual events. This year’s series is jointly sponsored by music and worship, the school of education and the Centennial Library.

“(These events) will promote music literacy to children, especially to children that may not have an opportunity to learn about classical music, to learn about instruments, to learn about the orchestra,” Yang said.

These events are designed to inform others about Cedarville University, its library resources and various programs so parents will consider sending their children to Cedarville.

The reading of “The Velveteen Rabbit” will be accompanied by a slideshow and live music by Maestro Peter Stafford Wilson and members of the Westerville Symphony, a professional orchestra from Westerville, Ohio.

There will be performances at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. of “Tunes and Tales” in the choir room in the Dixon Ministry Center. Families and others are invited to the performance free of charge.

Yang said families in attendance will be given a hard-bound copy of “The Velveteen Rabbit” and some other things for the children.

“We’re going to be giving little coloring pages of instruments to the children that come with some crayons, and the little ones have to look for the instruments and be able to identify them,” Yang said. “Mom and Dad can help them with that as they wait for the program to begin.”

After the performance, children will be permitted to touch and play the instruments.

“(The children) will have a pen, and they can get their book autographed if they want, and can just get a little bit more up close and personal with the performers,” Yang said.

“Tunes and Tales” is the name for the series of performances that the Westerville Symphony gives at the Westerville Library. Communities of children are invited to see programs of “The Velveteen Rabbit,” “Ferdinand the Bull,” “Peter and the Wolf” and other children’s stories. Each story contains a unique musical piece. “The Velveteen Rabbit” music was composed by Lowell Liebermann, a composer who taught in a master class at Cedarville.

“The room is going to be very crowded,” Yang said. “It’s intentional because the director wants it to be like a library story room, full of children making a ruckus, but just so close and personal with the music.”

She said we want to provide music literacy to our broader community families in the hopes that we can spread literacy and engage with the community.

“And in the same way bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to many more families that may not know about us, know about Jesus Christ, kind of in the spirit of the verse where Jesus says, ‘Let the little children come unto me.’”

Yang said the department of music and worship hopes to hold more events similar to “Tunes and Tales.”

Paulene Kolota is a sophomore journalism major and reporter for Cedars. She likes to study other cultures and loves manga and anime, though not quite an otaku.

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