I’ve been a music educator for 34 years, since the day I started teaching piano to kids as a teenager. With the exception of one year, when I moved from Vancouver to Toronto, I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s been documented that music studies are beneficial to developing young minds, and helps people with analytical skills, deciphering crazy amounts of detail all at once, and of course, the discipline aspect and learning to see projects through to the end. Today, I credit anything I achieve to my music (and ballet) studies as a kid.
When I chat with people who studied music and found it to be nothing but a chore and an unpleasant experience, the majority of the time, their parents did not take them to children’s concerts when they were young. There are so many reasons why I recommend parents take their kids to concerts. The first is obvious – the kids see the fruits of a music student’s labours – performing on stage – not to mention developing an attention span longer than a few minutes. The other is more subtle: learning the art of being “on”. Not everyone is destined for a career on the stage, but as adults we all have to learn to perform in one way or another: a job interview, giving a presentation in a board meeting, or meeting extended family members for the first time over Thanksgiving dinner.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has a Young People’s Concerts series specifically aimed at families. On Saturday, November 3, there are two chances to hear “The Mozart Experience” at either 2 PM or 4 PM. It’s a chance to learn about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as told within a story. Sameer Patel conducts the TSO with Magic Circle Mime Company featuring baritone Johnathon Kirby and violinist Duncan McDougall, the winner of the 2017/18 Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition winner. Take your kids. You’ll fuel their imaginations.
See you at the Symphony!