Something very excited happened on Saturday, the girls, my husband and I went into the city to see the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) perform a special childrens session called “Movement Makes Music”

This unique collaboration between the MSO and the Australian Ballet Dance Education Ensemble will engage children aurally and kinetically. Performers will highlight the links between movement and music during this 50-minute show, in which audience members will be moved, inspired and enchanted.

We were really looking forward to the outing as Heidi’s aide had been telling us about her children’s PreSchool excursions to the MSO and how much fun they had.

Heidi was very impressed with the MSO’s ‘Wiggles’ like appearance, which we found out during the show was a special code to help us tell the different sections of the orchestra apart.

Blue – String Section
Green – Woodwind
Red – Brass Section
Yellow – Percussion

Dancers (Patrick, Alex, Polly and Hannah) from the Australian Ballet Dance Education Ensemble were fantastic and talked to the children about music and how it linked with their dance moves. Such as the “The Three Cornered Hat: Suite” where the music got faster and louder, through to a fun competition between dancer Patrick in his tap shoes and Rob from percussion to see if Rob could matching Patricks rhythm and vice versa.

Heidi enjoyed the music far more than Annie did; interestingly they were both quite engaged in the performance up until we heard a piece of music from ‘The Hours’ by Phillip Glass. Heidi curled up in her chair for a snooze during the music and was not impressed when it stopped. Annie became increasingly cranky from that point on, apparently ‘One person in the orchestra looked to me like Captain Hammer’ and that started to bother her.

 

Some things to note:

  • The girls chose to sit as far up the back as possible, Annie because she didn’t want to get chosen to do anything, Heidi because there was more room to move around. The MSO had a variety of seating available – with children able to sit on the floor right in front of the orchestra, or further up the back as we did.
  • Heidi struggled with talking between musical interludes. Same with discordant tuning up which really bothered her. Once the music started she would stop moving / talking and simply become entranced in the piece. Next time we take Heidi to the MSO we will try to arrive as close to the start time as possible to avoid the tuning up noises. We were early on Saturday to help familiarise the girls with their environment beforehand but the strange space didn’t seem to bother Heidi half so much as the tuning up sounds.
  • We packed noise cancelling headphones for the girls in case it got too loud for them, however aside from at the beginning while the orchestra was tuning up; neither was interested in using the headphones.
  • I should have given the girls something to eat before the performance which was at 10am, as I suspect part of Annie’s crankiness was due to being hungry.

 

The 50minute show was the perfect length, holding the childrens attention without being too long.  Heidi was thrilled at the end to have an opportunity to meet the dancers and some musicians. Although she was more interested in showing off her awesome new jacket and dress than talking about the music :grin:

Heidi with AJ & Milla (from SuperRelish) meeting the dancers & musicians … and showing off her outfit

 

My husband has fond memories of visiting the MSO as a child and really enjoyed sharing the experience with his girls. He is planning to go back again with Heidi as a special father/daughter outing as she seems to immerse herself in the music, much like her Dad.

The MSO has more family friendly performances coming up and ticket prices are very reasonable – being about the same cost as a trip to the movies.

20 – 22 October: Clowning Aroung with Melvin Tix

Peter Vabog has been performing as Melvin Tix for more than 21 years throughout the world. In these concerts he presents a delightful program of classical favourites, warmed by his own unique humour and magic.

His concerts are a mixture of music, balloon sculptures and lots of laughs. Melvin Tix is not only the conductor, but the master of ceremonies, the soloist, the balloon-making genius and the music arranger. Clowning Around with Melvin Tix will be an exciting performance for everyone. The 50-minute, interactive and highly engaging show is suitable for children aged between 3-8 years old.

Peter and the Wolf

During the school holidays we have a collaboration with ACMI called Peter and the Wolf, which will see the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra playing Prokofiev’s magical music live under a screen which is showing the movie.

Prokofiev’s story of the irreverent Peter has resonated deeply with generations of children, enchanted by its power and sense of fun. Now BreakThru Films and Se-ma-for Studios, in collaboration with BAFTA-winning director Suzie Templeton, bring this mesmerising and enchanting classic to the big screen.

Disclosure: We received free entry to the MSO ‘Movement Makes Music’ performance. No financial payment was offered nor accepted for this post. All opinions expressed are purely my own.

‘Look mum it’s lotsa Wiggles!’ – We Visit the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

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