Community Outreach


The Des Moines Symphony Academy offers hands-on experiences for children ages 3 and up at area schools and community libraries through our Instrument Petting Zoos. This fun and interactive introduction to a stringed instrument lasts 30 minutes and is designed for up to 15 children to participate at one time. These experiences are offered at no cost to the hosting facility or children in attendance.

During the Petting Zoo, children will explore the following:

  • Listening to the difference between stringed instruments
  • Exploring the different parts of the violin & cello
  • Learning about the instrument’s sounds and dynamics

Their hands-on experience will include:

  • Introductory time on the violin & cello
  • Bowing all four strings
  • Holding the violin & cello on their own

For further questions or to schedule an Instrument Petting Zoo at your school or library, please contact Amanda Drish, Manager of Beginning Strings & Community Connections, at or by phone at 515.280.4000 x4005.