Boost Your Children’s Cognitive Development 10x with Music!

Click to read about how exposing your child to music can help in all areas of child development, including their cognitive, language, motor and social-emotional skills. This article explores the essential relationships between music and mathematics, spatial-temporal intelligence and motor development and all the ways that music can benefit your child’s life. At Hands On, children are exposed to all the instruments of the orchestra through musical storytelling that is bound together through a progressive curriculum, developing and strengthening all the skills mentioned in this article. Sign up for a music class today!


Summer Session Begins Monday!

Hands On! presents its original program, The Travels of Punchinello. We will accompany Punchinello, the celebrated clown, as he journeys to many countries. Children will enjoy Punchinello’s many antics as he plays musical tricks and entertains us with his beautiful fairy tales drawn from various countries.

Summer & Fall Registration Now Open!

Don’t forget to sign up early to receive our early registration discount! Sign up before May 26 for $50 off the Summer, and before August 4 for $50 off the Fall.

Meet the Marimba: Instrument of the Week

The marimba is part of the percussion family as it consists of wooden bars that are struck with a mallet to produce their sound, which has been described as “dark, mellow, velvety, melodious and hollow”. The marimba looks almost exactly like a xylophone, but it is much larger and therefore has a lower register and a wider compass. The marimba has its origins in Africa, more specifically from the 13th century in what is now modern-day Mali.

Click below to see the marimba in action!


A Note-Worthy Instrument Collection, by Christopher Hornung

Christopher Hornung was only in elementary school when he picked up on an issue that plagues many public schools nationwide, including those in his Southern Californian school district: little to no musical instruments owned by the schools. Without enough instruments to loan to students, students are either forced to come up with the money for an instrument themselves or to forgo this activity altogether.

Now a senior at El Diamante High School, Hornung has made it his mission to fix this problem. He is a saxophone player in his school’s band and the marching band’s drum major as well as a Boy Scout on the verge of earning the highest honor awarded by the association, the Eagle Scout award. In order to earn this award, he has organized a drive to collect instruments for distribution across the Visalia Unified School District.

Hornung hopes to better the lives of children and teens through music. Being in band gives people a family, he says, and helps to build confidence and a sense of commitment. Click to read more.

NY Philharmonic’s Longtime Archivist & Historian Shows Us Her 10 Favorite Pieces from the NY Philharmonic Archives

As she prepares to embark on her newest adventure, getting her doctorate from Oxford University, the New York Philharmonic’s first archivist and historian Barbara Haws reminisces on her 10 favorite pieces that she has encountered during her 30 years of working for America’s oldest orchestra. She has photographed thousands of pieces in the collection, making much of it available to view in their digital archive. Among her favorites are the diary belonging to Philharmonic founder Ureli Corelli from the early 1800’s and a response letter from Leonard Bernstein to an annoyed audience member. Click to discover just a few of the other treasures Barbara has come across!



2002 Hit Children’s Novella “Coraline” Turned Into a Grand Opera at London’s Royal Opera House

Having sold over 1 million copies since its 2002 publication, “Coraline” has developed quite a large fan base among children and parents alike for its coming-of-age themes set in an eerie and dark fantasy world. Written by Neil Gaiman, this story about a brave young girl trying to navigate a world of crazy grown-ups and even crazier animals is being picked up by composer Mark-Anthony Turnage to be adapted into an opera for London’s Royal Opera House. Click to read more about this work in progress, such as the unusual theatrical challenges faced, like how exactly one might recruit a mouse orchestra.




Click to read a fascinating article on Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang’s project that restored over 400 broken Philadelphia public school instruments!

After budget cuts in the Philadelphia public school system left over 400 broken musical instruments with no hope for repair, students and teachers began saving them with the hopes that they could one day be fixed. Thanks to Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang’s project and composition both titled “Symphony for a Broken Orchestra”, these instruments were able to be repaired and also brought together 400 students and teachers together to play this symphony together. The musicians ranged from age 9 to age 82.

Click here to read more on this remarkable project.

This week we meet the Trombone!

The trombone is part of the brass family, which means that sound is produced when the player’s vibrating lips cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate. Trombones are an exciting instrument – with a slide that goes up and down to change the pitch!