I took the girls to the opera over the weekend. It was our first performance of the fall season, (and Lyra’s first ever- she did GREAT!) and it worked our perfectly because it was Benjamin Britten’s The Little Sweep. Benjamin Britten is well-known for his children’s orchestral piece The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra; and The Little Sweep is his educational operatic version that proved just as informative and entertaining.
I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy taking my girls to events such as this. I’m not claiming our occasional attendance at performances will turn my girls (or myself for that matter) into aficionados- but it does give us an enjoyable afternoon/evening out together. We look forward to it ahead of time, we get dolled up in our fancy duds, and after the performance we discuss it together. We talk about our favorite or least favorite scenes and characters, the songs, props and sets, the tone of the music, etc. On the walk back to the car we take turns belting out our own arias. (Some of us more vocally and enthusiastically than others.)
So yes, I believe in exposing your children to live performances of opera (and other forms or classical music) at young ages.
Don’t just assume your young child will get restless and not enjoy it. Give it a try.
If possible, get a box seat so your little one can stand up and move around without disturbing other spectators. Or contact your local performance hall, opera house, or symphony and see about the possibility of attending a dress rehearsal. That way, if your child does need to leave you won’t feel guilty about walking out early. Plus, most cultural art centers do offer some sort of family performance of some sort where everyone is welcome.
Don’t have an opera house nearby???
- Check out this fabulous FREE online resource that includes digital versions of the Opera for Everyone series of CDs along with downloadable Teacher’s Manuals.
We opera! Do you?
For more suggestions on injecting classical music in your lessons, check out my post- Seven Tips for Instilling a Love of Classical Music In Your Children.