Today Tt + I went to a concert of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for Elementary School-aged kids. There were quite a few homeschool groups on the list – they almost couldn’t find our particular one, and we almost turned back and just hung out at Starbucks together for an hour.
Really, I wouldn’t have minded one bit.
However, they found us and in we went.
A room full of 5-10 yr olds… at a “serious” concert.
I brought candy to bribe my kid to be QUIET. I’m a bad, bad mother.
The first two songs we sat as still as possible, no talking, no moving. He was hating it, and I could tell. By song two he was already asking if it was going to be much longer… All you could hear were angry parents spitting “SHHHHH” to various wiggly children. FUN. Not.
(photo credit here)
So, for the next song which featured cute and plucky violins, we started tapping. We danced with our fingers on each others laps. Then I started to tell a story (in whispers) – “this sounds like cute little fluffy mice playing in a field, doesn’t it?”. Tt caught on quick (in not-so-quiet whispers) “YA! and now they’re playing in the bushes, around some raspberries that have no pointy things” and on we went (much to the person in front of us’s HORROR I’m sure). Good thing it wasn’t full and there weren’t many people around us.
The next song sounded like a big parade, with Knights and Nobles and Kings and Queens “and 50 pigs and 80 horses and…” passing by.
The next one was spooky, and we were walking through dark castle hallways. We started running faster and faster towards a lit up room as the music got quicker and louder. “The light is getting bigger!!” Whew! We just made it!!
At the end I asked Tt if he enjoyed the concert. He said “It was pretty good, but the beginning was really bad”. The beginning was boring to him – no moving, no stories, no imagination.
And I’m left wondering… WHY does classical music HAVE to be enjoyed only in silence and complete stillness of bottoms? Why can’t we get up and move around to it? Why can’t we imagine stories together as it plays? Why can’t it be treated more like a rock concert? WHY can’t it be more fun?
Whispering during Symphony concerts is widely deemed as HORRID, RUDE behaviour. But, Tt almost walked away with a lifelong distaste for the wonderful instruments and tunes of Classical music. We broke the rules, whispered away, and he left thinking it was all great.
It was a nice date (ending in, what else, Starbucks), and I’m going to buy some vibrant classical CD’s for the car – or better yet DVD’s for the surround sound plasma – where we can imagine to our hearts content, as loudly and as actively as we please.