West Shore instrument petting zoo teaches children musical literacy

The event was part of Family Literacy Week

West Shore community members celebrated Family Literacy Week along with the rest of the province on Saturday and many made their way to an instrument petting zoo to gain some musical skills.

West Shore residents engaged in story walks, library literacy activities, physical literacy and musical literacy.

The Victoria Conservatory of Music in Langford hosted an instrument petting zoo where families were able to see, touch, play and hear different musical instruments like violins, pianos, guitars and trumpets.

Children were able to be introduced to different instruments and pick them up and play them as well. Teachers at the conservatory were there to help guide children and show them how to play the instruments.

READ MORE: West Shore celebrates Family Literacy Week this weekend

Tereza Anderson, the marketing manager for the Victoria Conservatory of Music said it was a fun family activity to do on a colder day. She said she has a four-and-a-half year old child herself and said opportunities like this are great for kids to be able to try something new.

“We brought in some of the smallest violins, so being able to try something at a child’s level is great,” Anderson said.

Children at the event moved from room-to-room testing out different instruments and learning basic things like how to hold a violin or how to blow into a flute.

Music of all types could be heard throughout the conservatory space and some parents even tried to play some of the instruments.

READ MORE: Public library battles ‘summer slide’ in children’s literacy

Other literacy events in the West Shore on Saturday included a Story Walk where families read a storybook as they walked along Garry Oak Grove Trail, physical literacy where families got active at the YMCA-YWCA in Langford and literacy activities at the Greater Victoria Public Library Juan de Fuca Branch.

Mitra Evans is the West Shore literacy outreach coordinator and facilitates literacy activities on behalf of Decoda Literacy Solutions, a province-wide organization. Evans said developing literacy skills can help children succeed in life and in school.

Anderson noted that literacy is more than just reading.

“You can take literacy as literally learning how to read but it’s also different components of learning,” Anderson said. “It’s just being able to learn in a different way, using a different part of your brain to learn and using that literacy component.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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