Rhinegold Photo credit: Jae yip


Inspiring Kids

1:35, 7th October 2019

How children can benefit from joining an orchestra


Karen Karana Tse, a music educator based between Hong Kong, Canada and UK, founded Inspire Kids Orchestra (IKO) to introduce classical music training to children ages five to 12. IKO offers a supportive environment for children to grow their musical talents and gain on-stage performance experiences. The youth orchestra is led and trained by internationally renowned musicians and conductors including Scott Price and William Tang.

Music Teacher hears from Tse about why young children, regardless of their level of experience in music, can benefit from joining an orchestra.

  1. Be engaged in group learning. Joining an orchestra is a great opportunity for your child to learn music in a group setting. Just like practising any other language, it is more effective (and fun) to learn the language of music through interacting with other people.
  2. Learn how to harmonise melodies. Musicians harmonise different musical instruments by adding notes and chords that blend well with the overall melody. Being a part of an orchestra allows children who play solo instruments like the piano, violin and cello to better understand how their instruments can harmonise and create a depth of sounds with others.
  3. Meet new people. Being in a symphony orchestra like IKO, where there are 80 members, means your child can socialise with other young musicians and learn to play in a team set-up.
  4. Figure out what you like. When your child starts learning to play music, they may not know which musical instrument to pick up. Through being a part of an orchestra, your child can become familiar with a broader range of instruments and be able to tell which sounds they prefer.
  5. Build confidence. Through performing in public as a member of the orchestra, your child can develop their confidence as a musician.


The team behind Inspire Kids Orchestra introduce themselves:

Karen Karana Tse, founder

As a music educator for young children, I want to cultivate a community to bring together young talents to learn classical music in a formal yet friendly environment, with the support of internationally renowned musicians and conductors, which is what IKO embodies. I hope to provide children with opportunities to develop their team spirit and gain on-stage performance experiences. At the same time, I want to create a platform to introduce and promote Hong Kong’s young classical music talent to the bigger community.

William Tang , Tse Karana Karen & Scott Price. Credit By Jae yip

Scott Price, principal conductor

As an examiner for ABRSM for more than 10 years, I have been lucky to spend a lot of time examining in Hong Kong. I have seen at first hand how amazing the young people there are, and how much they love music and music-making. It will be exciting to be involved in developing young musicians in Hong Kong in a different way with IKO, and I look forward hugely to the challenge of guiding the orchestra in its development.

William Tang, music director

Learning music is similar to learning a language. You can take lessons once a week and practise at home, but if you don’t have the opportunity to strike conversations with others, the learning progress will be slow, limited and even lonely. I was lucky enough to be able to play in different orchestras and ensembles from a young age. This connected me to a community of friends who share the same interests, making rehearsals something that I looked forward to. I am honoured to join IKO to help create a supportive environment for young talents to play music together.

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