The Indiana State University Percussion Ensemble hosted a kid-friendly concert for the community on Nov. 6 from 5-5:30 in the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts. Students played many pieces to get kids engaged and excited to hear music. Dr. Jimmy Finnie put the concert together to engage the kids and to play music they would enjoy.

Finnie invited Dr. Paul Bro, a professor in the School of Music, to perform a few short pieces with him. The student musicians in the percussion ensemble came together to provide young people with the joy of music. Jaxson Schuessler, a student in the School of Music, was excited that the concert continued on to 2018.

“I think it’s cool because these kids don’t really think of music as something they can do, and then all of a sudden [they can] try out all the instruments,” Schuessler said. “A lot of these kids are going to remember this. I’ve actually had kids come up to me and recognize me from last year. It’s so important for these kids to have a fun experience with music.”

Instruments like the marimba, snare drum, and many others were displayed after the concert for the kids to try out and play on.

The instrument petting zoo is a good way to get kids involved in the concert. Beth, Eddie, and Hendrick Ludema, a family affiliated with ISU, enjoyed the concert together.

“I did enjoy watching the kids’ faces when they would do something extra loud. Or when he would throw a stick. Dropping a stick on the floor is always a winner,” Beth said. “When they’ve done studies on the way kids learn language they found that the way we learn language and the way we learn music are actually combined. They are meant to be learned together, because they flow from the same place,” Beth said.

She believes that music is more important the younger the kids are.

“To have that kind of music and develop it simultaneously as language should be just natural,” Beth said.

This is a testament to the importance of music in children’s lives that Indiana State University’s Music department strives to be a part of.

ISU also wants this to be a part of the students’ lives as well. Each student has a reason that they have chosen to study music, and Jaxson Schuessler expressed his feelings about how music has affected his life.

“Music has transformed my life. It’s impacted me to the point where it’s just driving me every day. I’ve seen the impact that music has made on other people,” Schuessler said.

“I’ve invited everyone to my performances, even my English professors and what not, and they just love it. Seeing the joy that other people get from it gives me joy.”