If I told you that there’s a program that not only teaches your child, as young as 3, how to play a string instrument, but also provides the instrument and instruction for free of charge, would you sign up? What if I told you that this program exists in our small city of Omaha?
It does. And it’s called String Sprouts.
String Sprouts is the best thing I have ever done for my children. I’m so excited to tell you about it and what it’s done for us! Hopefully, you’ll want to sign your child up for it as well (or even find a way to support this awesome nonprofit).
About String Sprouts
String Sprouts is a music education program created by Omaha Conservatory of Music for preschool-aged children. The children choose violin, viola, or cello as their instruments and parents, known as caregivers, assist their child during lessons. The craziest part about this program is that it’s 100% free for qualifying families!
I could spend hours talking about the proven benefits for early music education, but I’ll let their FAQ do that. What I really want to detail is what the program has done to help my children grow. My two oldest children are cello sprouts. My oldest started last year and it’s incredible to see how it’s helped him grow not only academically, but also as a person. He’s become a mature 6-year-old who enjoys having the responsibility of learning a new instrument and knows that when things get hard, it’s okay to try and try again. This simple character building trait spills over into our daily routine. Watching your child pick up something as difficult as learning an instrument is a true marvel and sparks a special type of parental pride.
What to Expect
My son with on of his beads from Sprouting up! My happy little girl with her very small cello!
A typical class starts off with instruction from the teacher. It’s usually technique on holding your instrument, music theory like learning rhythms, notes, and scales, and finally, an informal, but quick parents meeting so that your child can practice. The difficult part is at home when you try to help your sprout practice, but with the help of the teachers and listening to your sprout, it becomes a beautiful routine.
Once a quarter, your String Sprouts class will have a “Sprouting Up” ceremony which is somewhat like a mini recital. The students then receive a little bead for their key chains. At the end of the year, all of the students unite with the Omaha Symphony to create the largest pint-sized orchestra the world has ever seen!
How can you help?
The biggest thing that String Sprouts needs is financial contribution, but there’s another thing they need: STUDENTS. They would love to have their classes brimming with eager parents and children so that they can continue their mission of spreading the gift of music. So even if your child is too old, maybe you have a neighbor, friend, sister, or acquaintance with a preschool-aged child. Let them know! And if you can help in any other way, feel free to contact the Omaha Conservatory of Music. The gift of music is incredibly precious and this program is amazing for allowing everyone to have a chance.