Florida Orchestra's Instrument Petting Zoo lets kids play with music

By Virginia Johnson, Entertainment Host/Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, February 27, 2015, 5:34 PM EST
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What's better than watching a performance of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" with a string quartet from the Florida Orchestra?

Playing with a bunch of instruments that are probably usually off limits to little ones, and then enjoying the show.

The Florida Orchestra is behind this Family Concert Series. The pre-show party for children is called the Instrument Petting Zoo.

At a recent petting zoo concert at Freefall Theatre, 5-year-old Rachel Anacki explained why she likes touching these musical instruments.

"Because I get to do it," said Rachel Anacki.

Basically, these kids are like kids in a candy store.

"They are actually able to explore them, try them out, see what it's like to make a sound.” said Danielle Rossbach, Community Engagement Manager at the Florida Orchestra “Just really have fun with the instruments in a way they don't usually get that chance.”

Rachel's mom, Jennifer Anacki, says she's grateful her child and others in the Bay area get this kind of access to music.

"It's critical," she said. "It opens their minds. It opens learning. It exposes them to even language that's not the written word."

"It helps them develop a lifelong love of music,” said Rossbach. "So we are hoping that as children have these experiences, they'll come back for more.”