I’ve always been a lover of live music, ever since I was a kid but it wasn’t until I became a Mum that the importance of music in early childhood education really struck me.
Why live music?
You see we hear music on the radio, TV, computer and tablets every day but how often do you see a live musician playing an instrument?
For kids, learning this cause and effect is such a powerful thing. This instrument makes that sound. It’s not just the name of the instrument, it’s what it’s made of, what it sounds like and what happens when you put it with another instrument.
I remember when Lily was a toddler, I took her to the babies proms at The Sydney Opera House, Mark was playing the bass and after the concert the children were able to touch the instruments, seeing that emotional connection between the child and the performer was really magical. This was a real life changing moment for me and one of the reasons why we still do meet and greets with families after every show. (it’s the best bit on the show:)
Why learn to play a musical instrument?
My kids are now big, Lily is 13 going on 16 and Emily is 10. They both play instruments and we have the constant teenage struggle at our place of “why do I have to learn an instrument?”
It’s hard, let’s face it. Learning an instrument is challenging, it requires concentration and patience. These are life skills but you can’t reason that with teenager. You can however take them to a show or concert. I can’t tell you how delighted I was when the Harry Potter score was picked up by Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and our 10 year old became obsessed with the sound track, suddenly orchestral music was accessible, it was main stream and the instrument she had been battling with (violin) was a vehicle to Hogworts!
What I was struck me about the Harry Potter SSO discovery was was how inspiration and passion made the impossible completely doable in the space of just one day and that’s the magic of music.
Suddenly practicing was not hard it was exciting. The violin was not difficult it was fun!
Live music is a gift for kids and adults alike
Live music is a way of inspiring, engaging and best of all educating in a fun an interactive way. Kids are like sponges, they don’t have any preconceptions about what style of music is ‘good’ or what kind of instruments are ‘better’, they are open to sound and excited to explore.
I’m a big believer is exposing kids to different musical genres and instruments from all around the world, allowing them to develop their own musical pallet.
Music for kids doesn’t need to be over simplified, it can be rich in texture and challenging in rhythm, so next time you hear a great band playing or see someone busking or come across a live performance, stop, take a moment and enjoy with your little one.
Live music doesn’t just have to be for adults and experiencing live music together as a family can be a truly amazing gift for kids and adults alike!