Saturday, March 31, 2012

Get some culture in ya!

I attended a musical high school so I think I appreciate the skill of young musicians.  My school prided themselves for their marching bands and musical theatre productions.  It was compulsary to participate in the musical program in the first year of high school whether that be via choir or learning an instrument.  In reflection my musical achievements for the 7 years prior had only resulted in a screeching note on my recorder that reflected a flock of seagulls surrounding a tourist with hot chips at Bondi Beach.  Therefore, I opted for the choir and also attempted to be a flag girl.  Unsuccessful.  I got kicked out of choir for giggling at the breathing and warm up exercises, and it turns out, if you have not mastered tossing your flag in the air, you can harm yourself, (and others).  My musical career was short lived, unless you count holding a great tune in the shower by myself.  But you will have to take my word for it, because as they say, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

My children have been introduced to classical music from birth as it was always played for them at rest times.  And truth be told they probably heard it in my womb also.  Do not be thinking I have Bach's Greatest Hits playing on road trips, this music has purely entered my life as relaxation or sleep assistance.  And truth be told it probably achieved this for me in a few school assemblies.  I think it is important for children to be exposed to experiences and cultures, in order to educate and allow them to make their own decisions.  My aim of taking the children to see the orchestra?  An appreciation of music, and an understanding that a double bass will not fit in the back of our car and would be awkward on public transport. 

Learning the basics...
 The Babies Prom is aimed to introduce children to the excitement of the orchestra and the joy of music.  The Western Australia Youth Orchestra (WAYO), performed tunes themed around movies.  These were perhaps aimed more at parents, as the presenter had children trying to guess tunes from Titanic, Superman, Jaws, 007 and Mission Impossible, all perhaps a little before my 4 year old's time.  Although to please all in attendance, the children (and parents) were encouraged to be interactive with marching, swaying and keeping rhythm with conducting, (it is now evident to me that majority of 'Perth parents', have no rhythm, must be something in the water)?  Children were introduced with a brief description and demonstration of instruments.  Apparently my daughters favourite was the 'Violino'.  I presume that this is a mixture between the piano and the violin?  Good to see my money for the tickets is not going to waste on her education.
First conducted by Maestro....

Then conducted by an 8 year old volunteer!

Making a quick get away!
A couple of children were selected to conduct the orchestra, and at the end the children were asked to stand with their favourite instrument while they played their final song.  I think the crowds overwhelmed my children slightly and they retreated, (quickly) before harmonies began.  But confidence aroused as the crowds dispersed, and they tried the double bass and drums, (2 instruments I would not encourage while we are in apartment living), but they seemed to enjoy themselves.

This was a great experience for us, and I have nothing but admiration for these young students dedication, talent and tolerance while the toddlers are plucking their well tuned strings!

Drum 1, 2, 3, left symbol, right symbol, then repeat 3 times!  Pretty good rhythm for a 2 year old.... unfortunately drums do not fit in the boot of my car, and are awkward to carry on public transport!

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