Nod your head if you have you taken your child somewhere in the past few weeks and:
• Wished the second you were there that you hadn’t
• Had to leave early/immediately because of some kind of freak out
• Realised you’ve become ‘that parent’ ruining it for everybody else and wanted to dip your head in invisibility paint
I imagine you’d think all three of those would apply if you took your preschooler to a classical concert. But what if the following behavior was tolerated, even encouraged:
• Mounting the stage like a tiny groupie to stare at the musicians
• Trapping your adult minder into an awkward game of chase round the instruments
• Exploring the Church with curious steps and a precision eye for ornamental frippery
…would it change your mind?
Lilliput Concerts are a specially created program of music for pre-schoolers and babies, presented in short concerts in Bristol and Cheltenham. We went along last Saturday to check it out.
The sunny church filled up quite quickly with a big mixture of babies and toddlers, and their relaxed looking parents and, actually, lots of grandparents. It was reasonable chaotic as you’d expect with the target audience. Snacks were chomped, lots of seats were taken and quickly emptied as the sub-two foot crew called the shots on going in the mosh pit. We all basically just shepherded them whilst they decided where and how they wanted to listen to the music. Which was completely cool with everyone, which is what made it nice.
The harpist, who was glowing with talent and had one of those great auras that kids love and makes people happy, asked us not to let the kids loose on the instruments (she brought two, and they are so beautiful close up!) and then set off playing some awesome music.
I didn’t even know that harps had pedals, and that you played them with both hands and, like a piano, play two parts to the melody at once. It was so stunning, I nearly forgot that I was surrounded by 50 under fives at times. Most of the kids were transfixed. There were variations on nursery rhymes, some delicious classical music for the harp, and even some Sound of Music and the Peppa theme tune.
I left feeling really happy. I don’t know if Tibbs knew it was her first proper concert, but she was pretty content with herself and, though quite keen to explore the stage, wasn’t disruptive at all. I think I’d go again. Definitely something to try at least once this year, if you can get a ticket – they sell out really fast! Check out the Lilliput Facebook page, there’s another Bristol concert on March 14th and one in Cheltenham on March 16th.
Thanks to Lilliput for having us, it was a lovely morning.