In 2013 the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO) told us of a new program they were considering for very young kids. Called the “Link Up” program, it is a product of the Carnegie Foundation. Under Link Up, recorders (the little flute-like instrument that sticks straight out of the mouth and that you likely played at some time as a child) are provided to third- and fourth-graders, about as young as most will express an interest in instrumental music). The idea was that local youngsters would get acquainted with their recorders for a couple months and then be invited to Benaroya Hall to play their recorders with the Seattle Symphony. Music4Life™ thought it an inspirational idea that would create life-long memories and agreed to help.
The first year we provided 200 recorders to Highline Public Schools as a test case. Link Up quickly proved to be a resounding success, so the next year we provided 400 recorders and 800 the next year. Everett Public Schools was added in 2017 with 80 recorders. In 2018, Music4Life provided 1,558 recorders to Highline and Everett has grown to 230.
Most importantly is the experience the kids have with the SSO’s Link Up. Several times in March the main floor of Benaroya Hall is packed with kids who are rockin’ with the Seattle Symphony. Parents, other relatives, teachers and others fill the galleries. It’s a real happenin’ and, if you haven’t seen it, you should! Click here for more information about the SSO’s Link Up program.