The Power of Pondering


Awakening empathy and imagination with the transcendent power of music


"[T]he presenters engaged the young audience in a discussion about different plants and animals, and what sounds you might hear in a forest. They then invited everyone to select their own part of the forest to act out... The result was a room bursting with the rustling, chirping, cawing, and growling sounds of nature! I love that my story helped create this experience for these schoolchildren—it's a perfect example of how creativity inspires more creativity in others!"

—T.A. Barron, author of "Tree Girl"

Si-Yo Artist™ Tomoya Aomori and Katherine Lerner-Lam perform excerpts of the educational program at a private reception

Si-Yo Artist™ Tomoya Aomori and Katherine Lerner-Lam lead students at Primoris Academy in an imaginative exploration of nature sounds

Si-Yo Artist™ Tomoya Aomori and Katherine Lerner-Lam perform excerpts of the educational program at a private reception


For children ages 8 to 13, The Power of Pondering is an educational outreach series that combines original musical performance with spoken word. It aims to have music spark the act of pondering to expand their imagination, empathy, and appreciation of their surroundings.

The initial program is based on T.A. Barron’s children's book “Tree Girl." Running approximately 30 to 45 minutes long, this presentation is intended to be performed in libraries, bookstores, nature centers, and community centers. There will be a minimum number of two performers—a reader/narrator and a musician (cellist, pianist, or player of another musical instrument). There is also the opportunity for creative movement and dance. 

This presentation is very different from traditional musical introductions (such as “Peter and the Wolf”) that focus primarily on introducing the musical elements and language to the students (i.e., "Music in Major sounds happy because..." and "Music in Minor sounds sad because…"). By contrast, the "Tree Girl" performance combines creative performance elements to enhance the storytelling and message of the original novel. This experience also supports enduring values such as creativity, imagination, community, and education.


Introducing children to music by emphasizing music’s place in the natural world, this project is a new way to advance our mission of inspiring a global community through classical music. 

This program debuted in 2018 at Primoris Academy in Westwood, NJ; it is currently in beta. For general inquiries or to request a performance, email

Interview with T.A. Barron 

Program debut photo album