Taking kids to the symphony is a really awesome opportunity to help them understand how relevant learning an instrument is while also gain appreciation for musicians, musical instruments and different musical styles.
I often share in my livecasts and on my blog posts how important it is to nurture love and appreciation for music in your child. What better way to do this than through a live musical performance by excellent musicians?
I’ve been taking my own children to performances since they were toddlers. So if you’re thinking about taking kids to the symphony, I have all kinds of tips, tricks and ideas for maximizing the experience.
TAKING KIDS TO THE SYMPHONY NEED NOT BE EXPENSIVE
If you heard the word “symphony” and immediately associated it with “expensive”, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be!
Many symphony orchestras offer free or low-cost performances for families outside of their regular season packages. The symphony in Montana — where I used to live — held one family concert each year for free. Though I’m in a larger city now, the orchestra puts on outdoor events at local parks for free during the summer months.
I’ve known of symphony orchestras who have offered “dress rehearsal packages”, and for just $50 for an entire season, I was able to take my young kids to the dress rehearsal of each orchestra performance.
Insider tip: sign up for the e-mail list of your local symphony! You’ll be the first to know whenever they have special offers and sales or promotions. (Our family of four scored season tickets for the children’s symphony for under $100!)
make symphony outings special
I’ve given my kids symphony tickets as birthday presents, to add excitement to the event and also let them know that taking them to the symphony is an experience to be treasured.
We often dress up for symphony events. This doesn’t mean we go over the top with fancy dresses and three piece suits (though you can certainly be over the top if you’d like to!). It does mean that we don’t wear the same clothes we go camping in to the symphony.
Incorporate other elements in to make the event extra special. I took my daughter (6 years old at the time) to see Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Afterwards, we made a special stop to a fancy restaurant for dessert. Three years later, she still talks about the fancy doughnut holes she had after “Ode to Joy”!
teachable moments and interactions
If you’re attending a children’s symphony, then chances are it’s going to be highly interactive. It will likely include playful instruction about instruments, composers or other musical elements..
If you’re not attending a performance that’s geared specifically towards children (or even if you are!), there’s still plenty of ways to use it as an educational experience.
- Learn about the composer of the music before the event! Checkout my Composers for Kids eBook or visit Classics for Kids for loads of kid-friendly composer resources.
- Get familiar with the instruments in the orchestra by reading this fun picture book before you go.
- Print my Symphony Scavenger Hunt to bring with you to the performance. Help your child identify the different instruments in the orchestra using the printable.
- Following the performance, talk about what you saw. Ask your child specific questions so he knows that you value his input. Were there parts he found exciting? Was there an instrument he really enjoyed listening to? Did he have a favorite song?