Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Chamber Music with Falling Leaves

I recently posted on BlogHer about Introducing Kids to Classical Music.  Our children have been taking piano and violin lessons for some time now, so they are quite familiar with the music. But they have never attended a classical music concert.  I grew up attending classical music concerts, ballet, and the like, and always remember falling asleep at those events. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I really began to appreciate them.  So was it too early to think about taking the kids at ages 10 and 7 to a classical music concert?  It hadn't really dawned on me to take them until our violin teacher suggested that we see one to watch the technique of the violin players.

Our first opportunity came in form of a Groupon to see the Worcester Chamber Music Society. Sadly, many of our family activities come in the form of a Groupon like last summer, but heck, it works for us.  When we asked the kids to join us for this very adult program featuring contemporary works by South American composers, Adam refused but Dova was game because she got to dress up.  Not wanting to "force" him to attend, we set him up with a babysitter and ventured out with our precocious seven-year-old.
PIAZZOLLA                    Four for Tango
GOLIJOV                       How Slow the Wind & Lua Descolorida
VILLA-LOBOS                 Duo for violin & viola
                                  Assobio A Jato
GINASTERA                   String Quartet No. 1

Maria Ferrante, soprano; Tracy Kraus, flute; Krista Buckland Reisner and Rohan Gregory, violins; and Peter Sulski, viola
With Guest Artists Gabriela Diaz, violin and Jan Müller-Szeraws, cello
Mom and Dova at her first Chamber Music Concert IMG_1847 IMG_1842

The concert performance was phenomenal. Doug and I thoroughly enjoyed the music which included wild techniques on the violin as well as a theme based on the open strings of guitar. The music in the program was new to all of our ears, but the musicians made it quite accessible.

We allowed Dova to bring a bag with quiet activities such as drawing in case she got bored. Dova was attentive, thoughtful and quiet through most of the performance.  She even bopped her head around during the rhythmic portions of the program.  The only time she took out her Hello Kitty notebook was to write about what she was doing and compose a poem for school.

"today I am at the chaber music concert. tomorrow we might go to the corn maze. On monday I have computer. I have to write a poem that has words that spell Fall. I am going to write Fun jumping in the leaves. all the fun is in  fall. Leaves fall red yellow and orange. liveing in the fall. I hope we go apple picking tomorow"

Sure enough, we did go a corn maze and apple picking the next day (which I posted about one day later instead of 5+ months).  And Dova created her Falling Leaves poem in Computer class the following day.
After the concert, there was a reception with the musicians.  If it had been Adam, he would have sulked behind us not wanting any attention drawn to him.  But the musicians and audience members alike all gravitated towards Dova, exclaiming how well-behaved and grown-up she was.  She smiled and spoke  clearly to everyone with grace and charm.  I explained that she was learning the piano and violin, which served not embarrass her, but to hold her head up high.  It was a proud parent moment to have their child carry herself so well.

Many years ago, I met Yo-Yo Ma's daughter Emily when she was about 10 years old.  I was amazed at how precocious and well-spoken this young lady was.  I thought that someday I would be very pleased and proud have a child like this. This day has come. We love you Dova! You can be an handful, but you more than make up for it with moments like these.


Anonymous said...

I am happy to know that you and Dova and Doug had such wonderful time at the concert. You cultivated the kids with hardworking and loving care to let them appreiciating the classical musics, and always having company to play a family chamber music, beautiful!

Unknown said...

Very nice post. You have written the whole experience very effectively. It is important to introduce Kids to Classical Music at the right age. A simple google search would get you such Concert Tickets at discount rates.