the symphony

Feb 19, 2012

I have several friends in the Symphony and sometimes I am able to get cheap tickets to their performances. On a spur of the moment decision, I decided to get some $5 tickets and plan a triple date with my friends…can’t beat a $10 date, right? One friend decided they couldn’t go, then the other friend’s husband hurt his back and so they couldn’t come, so just few hours before the concert I was stuck with six tickets. I decided to try to sell them on Facebook. That didn’t work, so I decided to sell them to those in the waiting line. Then Richard decided we should have everyone get all dressed up and take the whole gang.

I thought he was crazy, but decided we could give it a shot. Maybe, just maybe, by some heavenly intervention, Fisher and Annesley could sit, not only still, but also silently, for two-plus hours.

Riiiiiggghhhhtttt.

No can do.

Now to give them credit, they did do pretty well. Well enough that at the end the people behind us thanked Fisher and Annes for being so well-behaved and not being like other children they have had to sit by at prior events.

But not well enough that the people in front of us didn’t move. Granted they seemed to be grumpy, uptight folks, but we were much to alive for their taste, so they moved to a section at the very top where the nearest person was three rows away.

Annesley loved having an almost running discourse about each instrument, each dress, each bang of the drum. She pretended to play the harp, the violin, and the cello. When our friend, Jesse, had his solo, she called out in her best excited whisper “That’s my Jesse!” She also drew a keyboard in her notebook and typed the night away.

Fisher did a little better in the quiet department, but he was definitely ready for it to be over the very moment the last note was played. He drew lots of pictures and tried to figure out when to clap and not clap (not between movements, after each completed piece, and lots and lots and lots at the end).

Fisher: What are we doing now?
Me: Clapping
Fisher: Still?
Me: Yes, clap.
Fisher: Isn’t it over? Isn’t it time to go?
Me: The music is over, the clapping is not. Right now we clap.
Fisher: Why do I have to clap?
Me: To tell the musicians thank you and great job.
Fisher: What are we doing now?
Me: Clapping
Fisher: Still?
Me: Yes, clap.

After the clapping was finally over, they were thrilled to go out to the lobby and have cupcakes and punch. I don’t know that either of them will want to go to the symphony again any time soon, but at least they will know what it is like should they ever get a hankering.

Lessons learned?

  • Have a notebook for the little ones to draw in. They both drew for quite a bit of the night and those papers and colored pencils were life-savers.
  • Should have brought a few water bottles so we could have given them a drink when they were certain they were going to die of thirst.
  • Sit away from grumpy, uptight people.
  • My children’s knowledge of music and instruments was quite helpful. I was able to whisper in their ears about what was going on and they knew what I was talking about. So, if you are planning on taking your children to a fancy-schmancy concert, put some time into preparing them.
  • Sit little one, big one, little one, big one to have the wiggling, noisy children spread out between older, more responsible ones. We didn’t start out that way, but throughout the night we rearranged into that formation and it worked much better.
  • Make it a big deal by dressing up. I think it really helped them to sit more quietly with Fisher in his suit and Annesley in her dress.
  • Most people are enamored with little ones…at least they were with mine. We had a German lady help Fisher navigate the crowd with his punch, many grandpas and grandmas talk to them about music and what they liked about the performance, and we got smiles all night long. I can only assume people thought we were either incredibly brave and were trying to give us encouragement or incredibly stupid and they were giving us sympathy looks.
  • Attending the Symphony is one piece of the musical education I provide my children. We sing, dance, write our own songs, play a variety of instruments, mingle with many musicians, attend fiddle events, bluegrass competitions, and all sorts of other types of performances (preferably down by the river where we can dance and wear our blue jeans), take music classes, attend MAT Camp, take private music lessons, practice incessantly, and attend high-brow events like the symphony. I hope this is giving them a panoramic view of what music is and can be in their lives. I’m not up to a Symphony type event on a weekly or monthly basis, but perhaps once a year we will try to add this piece into their lives.
  • Parents that take their young children to the symphony deserve a lot more than a cupcake at the end! I needed a hot soak and massage!

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1 Comment

  1. Anne

    That sounds so fun! I can’t believe all the things you guys do! You’re amazing! Does Richard like the Symphony? Did you call QB or Boo? Mikelle will be in SLC on Wed for the little procedure. I don’t know if that would work for you . . .