Certain activities are stereotyped to be able to be enjoyed only if you are wealthy or snobby. Sailing, polo, golf are just a few examples. You never really hear about a kid from the inner city getting his cricket bat stolen. And it’s not just sports that have this stigma. Areas like art and classical music are quick to be labeled elitist. But it couldn’t be further from the truth.
The same thing can be said about the symphony. If, like me, you never played an instrument, you might have assumed that the Symphony is all about Bach, Beethoven and bunch of rich people. Older,well dressed, enjoy fine wine and drive luxury sedans kind of people, kind of like a Lexus commercial. I assumed that the Symphony and I would not hang out in the same crowd. Thankfully I decided it was time to stop being an ignorant child and start being a grown up with an open mind. This past fall, I was asked to model in the Kennett Symphony fashion show fundraiser. I didn’t quite know what to expect but I can sheepishly admit that I was surprised when I saw that the ballroom was filled with people of all ages. The music director, Michael Hall was funny, witty and young. I met all kinds of musicians and other members of the community, all were fanatical about supporting a devoted group of musicians from all walks of life.
Classical music is truly around us everywhere, even if we can’t name the title of the piece. It’s the foundation that modern music and many current songs have even used samples of these classical works of art in their own songs. Remember the song by rapper Nas titled “I Can”? The song is a powerful anthem urging kids to stay on track, and the background beat? It’s the very beautiful Für Elise, by Beethoven.
Or how about the classic Tom and Jerry cartoon when Tom keeps getting interrupted by Jerry while he is playing Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody no.2?
If you have kids you probably at some point purchased a Baby Einstein DVD. The series was meant to be played to very young kids, even babies, and introduce them to the classics in music, books and art. I bought them because I thought it was my parental obligation to make sure my kids were cultured. But somewhere along the way good intentions got lost in teething, toddlers and sports. I honestly just kind of forgot, and here we are years later, and my kids probably think Bach is the sound a chicken makes.
But it’s not too late! Not for me or for my kids. The key to introducing things to young kids (say elementary school age) is to do it in a fun way. Nobody wants to buy a tux and take their 2-year-old to the opera. And you don’t have to! This Sunday , March 13th, at 2pm, the Kennett Symphony Orchestra is presenting their annual Family Concert. The theme this year is “Music Can Change The World”, and it’s being held at West Chester University. It’s only $5 per person, and that includes a post concert “instrument zoo” where the kids can meet the musicians and see and hold up close the various instruments. Oh and the best part? This is a FAMILY concert, meaning kids will be encouraged to be engaged by prompts from the Music Director. Stomping feet and making noise is totally acceptable, so there is no need to feel pressure to shush a babbling baby. The songs are presented in an interactive method, with conversation before and after each song, within a time frame of about 45 minutes, totally doable for kids to stay entertained. The second best part? This is an informal event, so no pressure to make sure the kids are wearing freshly pressed khakis and new dresses. The main point of this particular concert is to expose kids to classical music and to make it fun. Michael Hall, the music director wants kids to FEEL something when listening to the different pieces, helping to them to understand the power of music to say something without words. Expression through music is fundamental, whether we are the ones producing it or just enjoying listening to it. And that just may be powerful enough to change the world.
All photos below courtesy and property of Kennett Symphony of Chester County
So now that you know your kids can pretty much wear what they are comfortable in we can focus on you. Here are some ideas for some fun and casual outfits perfect for family outings.
all outfits via suziegaffney.com
*Insider Tip – Make a plan.
If your kids are like mine, every day they are not in school starts with the same question…
What are we doing today?
If, you are like me, answers like laundry and grocery shopping are not exactly greeted with cheers of excitement. I don’t believe in being the full-time source of entertainment for my kids, but once in a while it is nice for all of us to have some sort of plan in place for the day. If you can make it out to Sunday’s symphony I strongly encourage you to visit some of the really great places to eat and shop in West Chester during your visit. Here are some of my favs.
- Dia Doce. – the most amazing cupcakes you will ever have in the most adorable location you will ever see.
3. Need something more than a cupcake to fill your belly?
Rapidough Pizza Pies – owned by the same amazing peeps that have The Classic Diner and Sovano Bistro – so you know it will be amazing! And the kids will love the tablet ordering station, in fact they will probably know how to use it better than you!
4. Maybe the kids were a little loud at the symphony and you need a brewski…
Iron Hill is family friendly (think crayons and cute kids meals – they even a gluten free and allergy menu for the little ones) and if you are lucky to sit outside the kids will have endless amounts of ideas for I Spy!
Thanks for reading!