This weekend, after a spin around Jalan Sudirman and Jalan Thamrin during Jakarta's Car Free Day, Tim and I took a detour to Taman Suropati, a pretty little urban park in Menteng (former childhood neighborhood of little Barry Obama).
We had heard from folks around town and from ye olde internets that there was a really cool weekly event at the park: an informal orchestra session and free music lessons.
After waiting around a bit, we saw people of all ages carrying instruments begin to trickle into the park and join the bikers, families and pigeons already milling about. After some tuning, warm-up, and a morning drink, things got rolling with a group lesson for the violinists:
Kids of all ages played along with Ages Biola, the founder and main instructor at the Taman Suropati Chamber:
You can read more about the Taman Suropati chamber at "We Love Jakarta," but, in short, Ages, with the help of several others, provide weekly lessons to students of all ages, teaching basic music skills and also traditional keroncong music of Indonesia. Pretty cool!
It was pretty fun to see all of the kids playing together... The music session is definitely a family event, with people bringing picnics to the park or ordering bowls of noodles and iced coffees from nearby hawkers while they listened to the music.
After we watched the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star warm-up for a little while, the kids split from the main group and formed into smaller groups for lessons according to ability level. At that point Tim and I decided to roll out, but I would definitely return to Taman Suropati to relax and listen to the music again in the future!