The program offers adults the chance to learn to play a string instrument


When I asked my mom in her twenties if she was glad she had kids she stopped, uh oh, then said, “Yeah, but I had to give up so much. (She was a writer.) Adults seem to put more emphasis on their children’s activities than themselves, and that may change this month.

Beginning September 27 at Bell Trace Retirement Community, professional string players will teach adults how to play these four instruments: double bass, cello, viola and violin.

Courageous participants – all from experienced beginners to newbies – will learn to read music, use an instrument, and make music in groups.

“We’ve been dreaming of doing this stuff for years,” said Andrea Kleesattel, former member of the Lexington (Kentucky) Philharmonic Orchestra, Madison (Wisconsin) Symphony and Opera Orchestras, Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan and Spectrum Symphony Orchestra of New York, among other positions.

Usually programs like these are meant for bands – think horns and drums; this however, is for more classical music.

Kleesattel and Hilary Glen, cellists, kicked off the Bloomington chapter of New Horizons. The parent organization is New Horizons International Music Association, founded by Roy Ernst, who believed that people aged 55 and over should not stop learning.

Hilary glen

“Hilary and I both taught a lot,” said Kleesattel, who is herself a beginner – piano, marshal arts and Dalcroze education (a fun style of teaching and learning music through rhythmic movement, ear training and experimentation). So, they understand patience with beginners – and practice. Learning an instrument, like many things, is mostly an almost daily practice.

Dividing it into 10-minute morning and evening sessions seems to be the most effective, Kleesattel said. This is what she calls getting in shape or learning how to practice well. Try to keep track of what you’ve accomplished, she suggests.

Three local luthiers – and if you don’t know these are people who make stringed instruments, you need this class as much as I do – are planning on renting instruments at reasonable prices.

Glen reflected on the possibility for adults to meet other soul mates in a fun community atmosphere.

“The adults will come together to express the beauty of the music,” she said.

Glen teaches music appreciation to non-musicians at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and is also deputy director of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Atlanta section. Ballet Orchestra. She is able to maintain this rigid schedule by limiting her Jacobs classes to eight weeks each.

The women are hoping that students will continue to take the ropes course in the spring, and some will find ways to start their own chamber ensembles.

New Horizons International Music Association is an international non-profit organization. He believes people make music together and help local New Horizons bands thrive.

In addition to Kleesattel and Glen, Sarah Strickland and Audrey Jo Williams will teach.

If you are going to

WHAT: New Horizons Bloomington String Orchestra for Beginners.

WHEN: 7 p.m.-8.30 p.m. Mondays, Sept. 27-Dec. 6.

OR: Bell Trace Retirement Community, masked and distanced, 725 Bell Trace Circle.

COST: Cost: $ 150 tuition, plus $ 50 registration fee, plus instrument rental, if applicable.

FOLLOWING: Those who register for the course will receive a free year of New Horizons membership.


CONTACT: Find New Horizons on or on Facebook at Email them at [email protected]


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