Young people discover historical instruments in free online events with Seattle Historical Arts for Kids

Seattle Historical Arts for Kids presents a series of free online “Meet & Ask” instrument showcases for young people, continuing through March 2022.

Seattle Historical Arts for Kids presented its first-ever online “Meet & Ask” instrument showcase in January. Guest artists all over the US offered close-up views of the medieval harp, bagpipes, recorder, oud, and three types of bowed fiddle, while children and teens watched and listened from every continental American time zone and as far away as Ireland. The series continues with Renaissance instruments in February and Baroque instruments in March. All sessions are free of charge thanks to event co-sponsorships by organizations and private donors. These programs are designed for curious children and teens in elementary through high school grades, whether or not they play instruments themselves. A list of remaining events is below, including three upcoming sessions that are open for registration as of early February. 

At the January event, students asked questions like, “Could women play instruments in the Middle Ages?,” “How old were each of you when you started playing historical instruments?,” “Since I already play the guitar, could I learn the oud too?,” and “Do gut strings smell?” Parents enjoyed watching with their children. “That was a fascinating workshop! We enjoyed the whole thing,” said one. Another enthused, “My daughter loved learning about the instruments, and the songs made her want to dance!” 

Beginning in summer 2020, Seattle Historical Arts for Kids pivoted to present more than two dozen online classes and direct-to-video performance programs, enrolling students from Seattle and all over the US in free one-time events and sliding-fee-based classes. The COVID-19 vaccine has made it possible for SHAK to resume some of its normal in-person activities while continuing to serve a now geographically-unlimited community online. SHAK’s “Meet & Ask” series of individual events offers a resource for families this winter, as cold weather combined with continued uncertainty about the Omicron variant leaves unpredictable gaps in kids’ activity planning.

 Remaining events in the “Meet & Ask” series are held at 10:30am US Pacific / 1:30pm Eastern:

  • Sun. Feb. 20: Renaissance Winds & Brass
  • Mon. Feb. 21 Presidents Day holiday: Renaissance Bowed & Plucked Strings
  • Sat. Mar. 5: Baroque Winds & Brass
  • Date TBA: Baroque Bowed & Plucked Strings
  • Date TBA: Keyboards from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Eras

The series is made possible with event sponsorships by organizations and individuals including Early Music America, Early Music Seattle, the Lute Society of America, Pacific Northwest Viols, the Seattle Recorder Society, and Diana Carey.

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