A “Musical Storybook” Captivates Its Young Audience

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By Lisa Fitzgerald

Every parent knows that children love being mesmerized by a master storyteller. And children also love to hear talented musicians perform in a live setting. On Saturday, April 16, local children who attended a “Musical Storybook” were treated to both. The Milford Branch of the Delaware Music School, located on Walnut Street, held the 3 p.m. performance in its concert hall. The hall was nearly full of children ranging in age from three to twelve and their parents.

First, violinist Kate Ransom educated the students briefly about the mechanics of playing a violin and a piano, and then the story time began. While narrative Michael Larkin used lively intonation to tell the familiar children’s story of Ferdinand the Bull, Kate used her violin to skillfully illustrate some of the events in the story with varying chords and tempos.

Next the narrator delved into the story of Peter and the Wolf. During that story, he was assisted by Jennifer Chen and Richard Gangwisch on the piano. They duo played “for piano four hands” meaning that both of them played with both hands for the duration of the story. Playing rapidly, they injected a new energy into the familiar story.

It was unique to be able to listen to storytelling and music used in tandem for such an enjoyable listening experience. Everyone seemed to enjoy the hour-long performance.

The Delaware Music School has a branch in Wilmington and one downstate in Milford. They offer private lessons for students of all ages, as well as community events such as “A Musical Storybook.” They have an upcoming free Master Class Guitar Performance  by Matthew Lavanish on June 18 at 2 p.m. at the Milford Branch. Visit their website at www.musicschoolofdelaware.org for more information.