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Youngsters Get A Hands-On Education At Music Showcase Workshop

“I want to be in the car with mom or dad and say ‘I know that instrument. It’s a cello or it’s a guitar,” said Thomas Desmond, who led the free class at Brandon’s Music Showcase.

Aspiring young musicians tried their hand at a variety of musical instruments at a "Music Makers" workshop at the  on Aug. 13.

The not-for-profit performing arts group is in residence at  in Brandon.

“I would like the children to come away from today with an aural vocabulary,” said instructor Thomas Desmond, who has taken voice and saxophone lessons at Music Showcase for nine years. “I want to be in the car with mom or dad and say ‘I know that instrument. It’s a cello or it’s a guitar.' ”

A music education major at the University of South Florida, Desmond  chose a selection of woodwind, brass and string instruments for the event.

Children ages 4-16 turned out for the "musical petting zoo," each seeming to relish their chance to use the instruments and one point chanting “piano, piano” as they waited to tickle the ivories.

Brandon mom Dana Vincent brought both her daughters, Kayla ,10, and Lauren, 7, to the workshop.

“Both sing in the church choir and love music so this is a chance for them to be exposed to musical instruments and perhaps from that an interest may blossom,” Vincent said.

Playing the violin as a child, she added, "gave me a sense of fulfillment and exposed me to performing in public.”

Laurel Goldton of Brandon, a member of a musical family, in which her grandfather played piano on television and in the movies, said she knows a musical education can pay off far beyond the stage.

“As a youngster, music helped me focus, relax and gave me a feeling of self-confidence. It even helped me in math,” said Goldston, as she watched her daughter, Rylie, 4, handle a clarinet for the first time. “I think it will help make her more well-rounded as an individual."

Like all the children, Cambria and Zane Watwood couldn’t wait to get their hands on the instruments and seemed to enjoy their chance to play in front of the small audience of parents.

“This class is a good foundation for them to find out what they are drawn to and what they may like,” said their mom, Lisa Watwood. “I want them to find an instrument that is a good fit for them.”

The workshop is the first of what the store hopes to make a monthly event.

For more information, call 813-685-5998 or email tina@faopa.org.

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