All eyes on the conductor

November 11, 2007

It all started with a JumpStart Toddlers computer game — do you know the one where the gopher is conducting a symphony with a flute, piano, violin, drums, etc.?  The child either presses a key or clicks an instrument to hear a few songs featuring it.  Well, M. LOVED that game to a degree that was a little frightening.  I didn’t know the difference between a saxophone and clarinet until about the 5th grade, so to have him recognizing not only their pictures but their sounds by age 3 was intimidating.

At around that time, seeking a way to tap into his interest in any music that involved a conductor, I discovered that the Saint Louis Symphony didn’t allow children under 5 to attend its performances.  It seemed ridiculously arbitrary; I knew M. would have sat still and listened for an entire concert.  They’ve since added Sunday afternoon concerts aimed specifically at the 3-to-12 age range, and if you haven’t gone to one, I highly recommend them.   (The tickets aren’t free, but they are cheap — $5 for kids and $8 for adults.)

But I figured no one could kick us out of a free concert, so I looked into the symphony’s many community performances.  Even though we’re now regulars at the Family Concerts series, I still keep an eye out for performances at other venues where the baby is welcome too. In the coming weeks, the schedule is particularly full; the next one is a Stained Glass series concert tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.  My kids do better at the afternoon shows than the evening ones, but there are some of each listed on the symphony’s homepage.


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