So, as I was saying, we go to a lot of concerts. I wanted to be able to share this with N., so from an early age, I took him to outdoor concerts, childrens’ choir and youth symphony performances, and I’d occasionally sneak him into the second half of the Sunday afternoon performances of our city’s symphony. We’d sit in the back, and just hear a movement or two and then leave. (We’d do the same with the UNC School of the Arts dance performances.) N. always liked going to concerts with me and he had no trouble sitting still (I’d bring something for him to hold on to like a matchbox truck or stuffed animal); his main difficulty was not liking anything too loud. Once I took him to the second half of an afternoon symphony concert only to discover that the 1812 Overture was on the program, so we had to leave before the cannons boomed!
Tim and I subscribe to the symphony and during the year that N. was 3 he started asking regularly why he couldn’t go to the concerts with us. So when he was 4 we switched our subscription from Tuesday night to Sunday afternoon and bought three season tickets. The concerts are often challenging for N., yet he still wants to go. Last year, he would sometimes fall asleep on my lap during the second half of the concert. The music director of our city’s symphony often does very gimmicky programming and picks pieces that adhere to the theme he’s chosen for the concert rather than simply choosing really excellent music, and it seems to me that N. is least engaged when the music isn’t really moving or striking. For example, the mushy movie-music of the score to The Red Violin didn’t capture his attention, but when they played Beethoven’s 9th (on another day), N. was literally sitting on the edge of his seat for the entire piece.