What to Do With Little Ones at a Concert - Plus Free Concert!

 Looking for something to do on a Friday night in Pasadena? The Pasadena Community Orchestra has another concert coming up and it has a terrific looking program.  You can see the concert description here.

First the basics: 
When: Friday, November 10th at 8:00pm
Where: Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene

This is one of those perfect triple threats: Fun, Free & Educational. The Church of the Nazarene has  a very large auditorium and balcony seating, so even if you have younger kids and would like to show up for as much or as little of the show as they can handle, you can choose balcony seating, and not worry about disrupting the concert! I am planning to attend, so if you do come, please let me know! (I wouldn't recommend this for under 5's, especially as it is later in the evening, but older students would most definitely benefit.)

And -insert drumroll- here is the program!
  1. The show will start with a bang with the epic Fanfare for the Common Man by Copland
  2. Followed by Haydn's Symphony No. 100 
  3. Then we'll hear the passionate Tragic Overture by Brahms
  4. And the evening's entertainment will finish with the Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas (which you may have heard in Disney's Fantasia!)
You can prepare your young student by talking about concert etiquette before the show. (Did you know it's good concert etiquette NOT to clap between movements? or ask your little one How can we let the musicians know that we appreciate what they're doing?). Also, give them a connection to the show you're going to see, research the music and try to discover something about it that your child will connect to. In this case maybe you could watch the Sorcerer's Apprentice scene from Fantasia before you come so they can visualize Mickey trying to handle all those brooms & buckets during the piece.

And I'd definitely recommend coming prepared with some ideas of what to do during the performance. Bring a notebook and a pencil and try out some of these activities when you start to feel a little antsy (And pro-tip, some of these are great ideas for our upcoming recital too!): 

For younger students:
  • Draw a picture of what the music makes you feel.  
  • Write the plot of a story or movie that you imagine would fit the music. 
  • See how many instruments in the orchestra you recognize and write them down. (Then do it again but only using your ears, which instruments can you hear?)
  • Write which part of the show was your favorite and why.
  • Watch the conductor for a while, what is their job? Can you conduct along with them? (Carefully, you don't want to put anyone's eye out with that pencil!)
For older students: 
  • What is the composer trying to achieve? And what do they use to do that? 
  • Is the piece in a Major or Minor mode? How can you tell? 
  • Write a poem or sketch an image of the impression or emotion you get from the music. 
  • Jot down some notes to tell me about the use of dynamics at the next lesson.
  • Create a comic or storyboard to fit the music. 
  • Be a critic! What do you like about the orchestra's interpretation of the music (the way they're playing it), and what don't you like? 
Hoping I'll see you there!