Backstage Pass: Musicians at Home

Backstage Pass: Musicians at Home

As we all stay at home, many families are looking for enriching activities to do together, and the households of Houston Symphony musicians are no different. Some have been involving their children in joyous music-making and encouraging you to do the same through video and photos shared on the Houston Symphony’s YouTube channel and social media.

Three Symphony musicians discuss what it is like to be a part of a musical family and share this art form with other during this difficult time.

Robert Johnson, associate principal horn

“When they do what we do, when we speak the language of music together, it’s incredible,” Rob said. “People need song now more than ever.”

Weekly videos feature the family’s “Music Time.” Rob leads music activities with his children Ezra, 5; Reuben, 5; and Avi, 2, all filmed by his wife, flutist Ariella Perlman.

“Especially now that our kids are not at school, they spend their days being creative,” Ariella said. “They love to sing and act things out. They are great at spending the day with music.”

Megan Conley, principal harp

Photos and videos show Megan performing Debussy, Schubert, and more. Occasionally she performs with her husband, bassist Shawn Conley, and their son Osian, 3. She has also performed a virtual duet with her father, cellist Danny Levin.

“I’ve been playing the harp since I was five years old, and it’s always been my greatest love and comfort,” Megan said. “I’ve never met a child who didn’t show interest in music. Osian loves to do what we’re doing, and one of our favorite things to do is make up songs together.”

Mark Griffith, percussion

The video “Make Music at Home! Percussion with the Family” features Mark on drums with Katie, 9; Ben, 12; and Adam, 6, showing how families can play together using instruments made from household objects.

“My wife and I met in music school, Adam is just starting on piano, and Katie is a beginning trumpet player,” Mark said. “Ben has been learning trombone for a few years already. Making music with family is tremendously fun. Like any activity that an individual is passionate about, sharing it is perhaps the most deeply satisfying aspect.”

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