Nov 222012

index (4)New Bedford Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Tales, a music and literacy program, will be presented at the Library on Thursday, March 27 at 10 am. The event is free.

In Symphony Tales, pre-school children attend a reading of a popular children’s book while being accompanied by a live musical performance by an NBSO musician.The program is designed to reinforce the fundamental literacy skills that children need in order to become strong readers. Conductor Dr. David MacKenzie composed the music specifically to imitate the prosodic elements of the text,such as stress, pitch, contour, rhythm and tempo. This concept of linking the prosody in text and music is based on current findings in cognitive psychology that show that music and language have a shared neural perception system and have strong similarities in syntax and semantics processing. Thus, music perception skills can strongly contribute to the development of linguistic skills, phonemic awareness, phonological memory andvocabulary development in young children.

This year’s Symphony Tales program uses the book The Grannyman by Judith Byron Schachner, which tells the story of an old cat who finds new purpose in life as he takes a kitten under his wing. As the story is read, the violin speaks the text using notes and rhythms. Following the performance, the children will participate in two interactive activities that draw their attention to the prosodic elements of text phrases from the book.