Today my mom and I took the kids to the Seattle Symphony Tiny Tots program. We are happy season ticket holders to the series of concerts - well worth every penny! My son is Mr. Music - he's been a music makin' kid for as long as we can remember. Our house is FILLED with instruments - guitars, an ukulele, drums of every shape and size (ranging from a real conga and djembe to a Folgers's coffee can w/lid!), harmonicas, piano (upright and a First Act kid-sized grand) shakers, rhythm sticks, a glockenspiel . . . the list goes on. In fact, he's drumming right now on his bongos. Music fills our days.
I hold off on telling him that we have a concert because the anticipation of it drives him into an excited frenzy. I'm afraid if I tell him too far in advance that he'll be too worn out to enjoy the experience, or he won't sleep! Telling him this morning just a few hours before we left was the right amount of time. We talked about what the concert might include (we'd already seen shows with brass and percussion) and his hopes of there being a real conductor there (this kid is SO into music that he WAS a conductor himself for Halloween and actually has a Wagner "action figure" - complete with baton!).
He had the opportunity to hold and play a violin as we waited for the seating time. Little sister was THRILLED to play a xylophone, holding the mallets and grinning up at anyone that passed by. We stepped aside to let other kids explore the instruments and Mr. Music went right into his excited frenzy - hopping around, climbing and dangling off the benches, just being silly. Thankfully this was the right environment for such wiggles and there were other kids around with the same energy! This wait time was just what we needed.
Once the show got started, the wiggles ceased. Both kids' had their eyes glued on the stage, mesmerized by the performers and the string players. Kids throughout the auditorium were bouncing and dancing to the music, clapping their hands and giggling. My two were fixated, nearly motionless. Every so often I caught sight of a sly smile on my son's face or noticed him clapping to the beat or swaying ever so slightly. Little Sister got into the jumping portion of the concert during the "Winter" portion of the Vivaldi-themed show, but otherwise was content to snuggle into her Oma's lap and enjoy the experience while lounging.
The wiggles returned as we exited the concert hall and both kids were eager to inhale the snacks I had waiting for them in the car, but as soon as we got on the highway, all sounds of snacking and excitement over what we saw at the show came to a halt. They both fell asleep - mouths upturned in gentle, happy smiles, heads tilted to the side proving that gravity wins every time.
What a great show - a twin sister music educator duo leading the 30 minute show with the help of 3 professional musicians. They held the attention of several hundred audience members (most of whom were between the ages of a few weeks old - 5) the entire time and everyone left with smiles. We're looking forward to the next show in April!