3 Tips for Going to Concerts with Young Children

a full symphony orchestra playing in a large empty auditorium

 

You’re probably laughing at me. “Sonja, how on earth will I ever be able to get my children to sit through a performance of any kind without disrupting other audience members? Wouldn’t it be a nightmare if the conductor ended up glaring at me from his podium for bringing these orangoutangs into the concert hall?!”

I know. I’ve been there. I’ve trembled in my seat waiting for that candy wrapper to be finally unwrapped by my 3 year old. I’ve also painfully watched pencil crayons fly underneath people’s seats while my kids feverishly coloured their “Carnival Of The Animals” activity.

But, can I tell you that I’ve also been on the performers side of it too?

Seeing children attend concerts with their parents and soaking in good music brings such joy and satisfaction to the musicians on stage. The goal of a performer is not only to play and perform for other adults but to also inspire young children to pick up an instrument and love music! Most musicians love to meet children after performances. Many will be delighted to show your child their instruments and to dialogue about what they’ve heard.

Don’t let the myth of whether your kids will be bored, or make a scene dissuade you from attending concerts with them. Obviously, there is a good age to start as there shouldn’t be prolonged screaming, talking or crying during a performance. But, believe it or not, concert etiquette is something that can be learned over time. All you need are some strategies.

I’ve devoted one whole chapter in my music curriculum that explains proper concert etiquette as well as some tools and helpful games to play at home with your children before attending a concert together.

While you’ll have to wait until the Spring 2021 for the full length version, here are 3 tips to get you going:

  1. Sit up as close as you can to the front - I know it sounds counterintuitive, but this way, children can see the musicians playing up close. It is bound to keep their attention much longer than if they were sitting behind hundreds of people’s heads.
  2. Take some soft/quiet treats along. Give them as a reward at certain markers in the performance (ie. at intermission or at the 20, 40 or 60 minute mark).
  3. Arrange a meet and greet with the musicians at either the intermission or after the concert. If you can’t arrange something beforehand, approach a host or usher and see if they can help you get in touch with the musicians.

I hope that gives you a start! 

Now, all we need are those concert halls to open!

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