Family Time: Find the instrument that’s the right fit for your child

January 10, 2019

Let the instrument pick you at Rochester Symphony’s Honk, Squeak, Scratch, Boom.

Held once a year, the free event is designed to let kids in fourth through sixth grade blow, pluck and bang on band and orchestra instruments under the watchful eye of music professionals.

“Our primary reason for hosting Honk, Squeak, Scratch, Boom is to support the school music programs,” said Jere Lantz, president, CEO, and artistic director, Rochester Symphony. “The event gives students the opportunity to try the instrument they come in thinking they will like — and others. The fact is, if you select an instrument that you want to play and is a good fit for your physically, you are more likely to stick with it. We hear from educators that students who attend Honk, Squeak, Scratch, Boom are less likely to quit their instrument.”

The event is held at Mayo High School. Families check in at the second floor registration table, where they will receive a map and a list of rooms and the instruments in them.

“Kids will have the chance to try almost every instrument you’d find in a band or orchestra,” said Lantz. “You’ll find strings, woodwinds, brass. Our tuba teachers will have baritones and tubas. At this point the only instrument that is not for sure is the harp.”

Every year, Honk, Squeak, Scratch, Boom provides 2,000, 5-minute or so lessons, to more than 300 kids.

“The vast majority of our instructors have a tie to the Rochester Symphony, and all are music professionals,” said Lantz. “The instructors are very nice, very helpful, and very patient.

“My tip would be arrive early and plan to stay a while so your child can try all of the instruments they want. And be open to change. A comment we heard last year from a parent was that both of their kids were sure they were going to play one instrument, but selected a different one after attending Honk, Squeak, Scratch, Boom and finding another instrument that they liked more and was a better fit.”

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