Halloween as a Catalyst for Supporting an Interest & Exposure to the Symphony
One of the best ways to peak children’s interest in classical music is simply through exposure – and two special upcoming seasonal events offer families an exciting entry point into studies (or simple enjoyment) of classical music. By combining symphony performances and concerts with exploration of musical instruments, community-based educational resources, and close listening to recorded classical music, families can support children in gaining a deepened awareness of what defines classical music.
During the last week of October, student musicians at two local colleges will offer concerts of Halloween-themed classical music concerts, each designed specifically to cater to young audiences. On Friday, October 30th at 4pm, the Smith College Orhchestra presents a free Halloween Family Concert, featuring spooky music as well as Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens, meaning that audience members dressed in creature-inspired costumes will have be provided with a perfect soundtrack.
On Saturday, October 31st, Mt. Holyoke College presents two installments of Monsters Ball: Parallel Universes, which feature waltzes, polkas, cha-chas, and mambas broken up by Halloween-themed pieces from modern pop culture including Star Wars, Psycho, and The Twilight Zone. Audience members are encouraged to attend in costume! Shows will take place at 3pm and 8pm, with the 3pm concert catering to children and including opportunities for movement and learning about instruments.
Following these two special seasonal events, families can continue to utilize local resources in order to support further exploration of classical music. Smith College offers a free concert series during the academic year titled Music in the Noon Hour, where 30-minute concerts are given by members of the music department faculty at 12:30pm on periodic Tuesdays. Williams College’s Berkshire Symphony offers a robust calendar of free performances, including a MIDWEEKMUSIC series held at 12:15pm on Wednesdays. Both are great opportunity for homeschooling families, self-directed teens and life-long learners!
During the weekends, the Pioneer Valley Symphony’s 77th season offers very affordable tickets for youth audience members ($6 in advance, $7 door) and even features a kids program filled with music-themed activities designed to support acquisition of musical vocabulary and musical symbols, and includes tips for getting the most out of a listening experience.
Additionally, families can listen to classical music at home or in the car – beginning with the classical music episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show. Families can test out activities for expanding listening time in order to keep kids excited about classical music!