Tune Aid 

Musical fears quelled!

MON 8/25

Is it too early to start your child on piano lessons, or too late? What if he or she is really more suited to the cello? Have music lessons changed since you were young? What if the teacher turns out to be all wrong, just like the teacher who was so bad-tempered, or strict, or too lenient, or just a plain old bad teacher, that you yourself stopped music lessons as a child? Stop worrying! If any of these questions resonate with you, get yourself over to the Castro Valley Library (20055 Redwood Rd.) this Monday, August 25 at 7 pm. Stella Saperstein, co-author of The Harmonious Child: Every Parent's Guide to Musical Instruments, Teachers, and Lessons , will be talking about how to find a good music teacher, when your child should begin lessons, and how to nurture a lifelong love of music, whether or not you're living with the next Horowitz. For more information, call 510-670-6280. -- Sarah Cahill

SAT 8/23


Kids train to try out

Some kids take piano lessons because their parents say so. Others learn how to play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a school-loaned recorder, and leave it at that. But there are other kinds of children -- focused, bright, artistically inclined children -- who know and love that musical stuff. And for those kids, there's the Berkeley Youth Orchestra, wherein musicians in the fifth through tenth grades play everything from Mozart to Satie. The BYO will be holding auditions for its 34th season during the first week of September, and to help hopefuls get a leg up, they'll be holding an audition clinic today from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Laney College in Oakland. Participants in the clinic will get to pick up a sight-reading sample and learn about audition expectations, which include multi-octave scales. Visit Byoweb.org for more info on this prestigious orchestra. -- Stefanie Kalem


Hurry, Hurry!

His hair looks like the New Jersey Palisades, only bright orange. He bungee-jumps, walks a high-wire, and takes numerous pratfalls. He's Bello, number-one clown of this year's edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus , which was reportedly inspired by producer Kenneth Feld's viewing of Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge. Once you get over Bello (a cross between Evel Knievel and Carrot Top), take a gander at Johnathon Lee Iverson the singing ringmaster, or animal trainer Mark Oliver Gebel, or boss clown Jay Stewart, or Asia the Elephant, or the Torres Brothers and their Globe of Death motorcycle act. That's right, kids, the circus is in town -- today through Monday at the Oakland Arena. Step right up. Ringling.com -- Kelly Vance


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