Music Opportunity Program Knocks
We are so fortunate in Birmingham to have a program to teach young musicians. The Music Opportunity Program truly is your child’s ticket for musical instruction and instrument rental for an incredibly reasonable fee at convenient locations around town.
I speak from personal experience, as I have a child in this program. Students receive instruction on one day each week during the school year, usually within a group setting of mixed string instruments (violin, viola, cello, double base). Thus they learn their individual instrument and they learn to play together.
Because classes are held in different areas of town, you are likely to find a class that doesn’t require a long, disrupting drive that wreaks havoc on the family schedule (not that you wouldn’t make the effort, but still). And if you’ve rented instruments before, you know that those costs can be prohibitive, but not with MOPS, where the rental is less than $200 for the entire year. Moms, that is a steal.
Instruction is top-notch. Rita Salzberg is the director of MOPS, and I wonder how she has managed to listen to screeching bows all these years without losing her mind. Perhaps it is because she knows firsthand how these students will be making amazing music after a few months.
In addition to Salzberg, there are other private instructors available for individual lessons.By the time your child reaches this level you will have had time to evaluate his or her interest and commitment.
Last year was a super bonus for participants in the MOP program. We got tickets to the rehearsal and concert of violinist Joshua Bell! I had seen him a few years ago, and it was a treat to see him with my daughter and have a new appreciation for mastery of a difficult instrument.
As is always the case since becoming a mom, I sit through performances thinking about the effort an artist’s parents had to have made for him. And in Bell’s case, I worry about that $4 million violin falling from his grip or getting lost somehow.