Top Tips for Taking Your Child to a Classical Music Concert
Introducing your child to the world of music is one of the greatest gifts you can give them, and one way to really engage them is to take them to see live music. However, the thought of this can often horrify parents, so the team here at Practissimo have come up with some tips and tricks to make live music an enjoyable experience for all!
Michael Morpurgo, whose books you and your child may be familiar with, said this of taking young people to see live music;
"There are going to be half a dozen children who are going to be bowled over by hearing an orchestra and two or three years hence they’re going to pick up a violin and they’re going to love it. It’s life-changing"
Before the Concert...
Before taking your child to see a live classical performance, you should be giving them the opportunity to listen to classical music at home.
Gradually increase the length of time that they are listening to music for, up to the length of the concert you plan on seeing with them.
Speak to your child about the music you’ve been listening to!
Ask them what they liked, what they didn’t, what they think the music is about, and what instruments they could hear...this way, you’ll get a feel for what they like, and what they’re more likely to sit through!
Before choosing a concert, listen to the programme yourself to check that it’s something you think your son or daughter would enjoy - maybe even choose a slightly shorter concert, or one with several shorter pieces, so you can leave early if need be!
Play the programme to your child in the run up to the concert, and encourage them to draw pictures, and tell stories based on the pieces - if they are enthusiastic, and sit quietly whilst they’re listening, reward them by offering to take them to see a real life performance!
Explain to them what will happen on the day, such as picking up tickets, finding your seats, and sitting quietly whilst the music is performed. You can tell them about the interval, and how you can talk then, as well as having a drink and a snack!
Buy tickets near the back or at the end of an aisle in case your child needs the bathroom - then you can sneak out without too much disruption!
During the Concert...
Make sure you set ground rules beforehand, such as, placing your hand on their shoulder if they are fidgeting or making too much noise, and make sure they understand that you’ll have to leave if they do not behave appropriately (like kicking the seat in front and talking)
Make sure they use the bathroom before the concert, and at the interval, so they don’t need the toilet during the performance
Make sure they are well-fed beforehand, or if you can, take some quiet snacks in with you
After the Concert…
Discuss the concert with your child to find out if they enjoyed it, and what their favourite parts were
Ask if it’s something they’d like to do again, and why not discuss what they think they’d like to see next?!
Ask if any instruments stood out to them - these could be potential ideas if they display signs of interest in learning a musical instrument!