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Carnegie Hall Goes DIY

Kids make their own instruments.


Kronos Quartet  

Kronos Quartet, the brilliant new-music string quartet that collaborates with everyone from Philip Glass to Nine Inch Nails, will perform a rare just-for-kids concert December 6 at Carnegie Hall. “It’s one of our very favorite kinds of concerts—it’s not only a concert to listen to but to play,” says David Harrington, violinist, Kronos founder, and grandfather. The interactive aspect will be spearheaded by Craig Woodson, a musician and instrument builder. He’ll help children make their own instruments out of easily found materials like Styrofoam, cardboard paper-towel tubes, and fishing line, “things most people throw away,” says Harrington. “It’s something that doesn’t know barriers in terms of money. They’re very tactile.” The results will be blown, scraped, and plucked during the concert. But before the audience members chime in with the quartet, they will hear pieces from China, Iraq, Mexico, and Serbia. Woodson will whip up a drum to play a piece from Zimbabwe. Finally the kids will be invited to join in on two songs—one from a Warner Bros. cartoon, the other “a wild piece where everyone makes as much noise as they can.” The takeaway is intended to be much more than the fun handcrafted instrument. Harrington says, “We hope to give the audience a sense of some of the music that exists in the world. Music is a great way to learn things. One thing it teaches us is that there are so many different ways to do it, so many ways music sounds and can feel. It’s great for kids to be exposed to all kinds of music from the earliest possible age. It will just enlarge imagination and create a sense that there is lots of variety in the world. And variety is great.”

12/6, ­instrument-­building at noon, concert at 1 p.m. Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, 57th St. at Seventh Ave. (212-247-7800 or; from $9.


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