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From Virginia Beach Beacon, April 27, 2008

Zentz Makes Youngsters Instrumentally Aware

By Staci Dennis

For Caroline Beaulieu a snap, clap and foot tap all added up to create homemade music.

"I think when I grow up I will make my own music," the 6-year-old said. "I like to sing and dance."

Caroline, a first-grader at Three Oaks Elementary School, was able to put her skills to the test when artist- in-residence Bob Zentz visited the school and helped each student create his own instrument and songs.

The two-week project kicked off with a Monday assembly where Zentz, a veteran local folk singer, demonstrated his instruments from around the world and sang some of his own songs, including his signature piece, "Homemade Music."

"We are going to create our own instruments and learn how to play them," he said to the assembled students , who erupted in cheers. "This will give us the chance to learn about music in a lot of different ways."

Students will perform a "Homemade Music" concert at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. May 6 at the school.

Featured instruments will include plastic eggs made by kindergarten students; jingle bells made by first-graders; Chinese temple drums created by second-graders; kazoos by third-grade students; Australian didgeridoos by fourth-graders and mouth bows from fifth-graders.

"We have always wanted to mix music and art and this is the perfect fit" said Terri Grimm, art specialist at Three Oaks Elementary. "The kids will learn about cultures from around the world and be able to tie in creativity along the way."

Grimm and Jeanne Connelly, music specialist at Three Oaks, wanted to do something to celebrate music and art.

"This is a great way for children to learn while having fun," Connelly said. "The creativity will be amazing."

Grace Shook, 7, said she liked Zentz because he made her laugh. She also enjoyed his music and wants to create some of her own songs.

"I was snapping my fingers and clapping my hands," the first-grader said. "He's a good singer. Maybe I will be a singer one day."

For Caroline, seeing Zentz play an eight-note, tiny harmonica was her favorite part of the performance.

"I couldn't believe he could play that because it was so small," she said. " He is cool."

For more information about Bob Zentz, visit www.bobzentz.com.

Staci Dennis, sdennis@cox.net

2008, Virginian Pilot


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