When our eldest was 8 months old he developed a fascination with vehicles and we have since sought out every kid-friendly place in the city where you can get hands-on with all means of transportation. When our youngest was 8 months old he developed an intense interest in all things musical, which is why I was delighted to discover the NAC Kinderconcert Series.
Each year the NAC puts on a series of 4 concerts for children between the ages of 3 and 8. Four shows are scheduled for each Sunday performance: 9:30 and 11:00 am shows for 3 to 6 year olds; 1:30 pm show for 5-8 year olds; and a 3 pm French show. The events, geared towards families, take place in the Panorama room at the NAC and you're encouraged to bring a cushion to take advantage of an up-close view of the action (although the mats they provide are actually pretty comfortable)!
With our two boys in tow, we ventured out to the NAC half an hour early. We knew the escalators and big red staircase would provide lots of entertainment. Outside the Panorama room there were several tables set-up with an instrument-making craft, colouring, and even instruments for the kids to try out. It was a good opportunity to burn off energy before the concert started.
Eager to get the full experience, we sat on the floor with the boys at the front of the room. There are chairs and plenty of seating for parents and kids who would rather not participate in the melee at the front of the room.
The Giggle and Stomp concert was a hit with all the kids, many of whom were younger than the suggested 3-6 year old audience age. The percussionists introduced the kids to the five different ways to make noise with percussion instruments, interspersing their explanations with jokes, physical comedy, and of course, lots of music! My 4 year old was enthralled with the entire performance: he laughed out loud at their antics and clapped and stomped along with the music. Our youngest, who is 23 months, sat for the entire performance but enjoyed the musical interludes the best. No surprise that he wasn't interested in hearing about five ways to use percussion instruments: he just wanted to listen to them! There were lots of opportunities for audience participation and the performers were funny and engaging. A true testament to the show is the fact that the kids stayed seated for the hour-long performance: no small feat when you have a room full of toddlers and preschoolers.
In 2010-2011 there are some great shows to look forward to: Anabelle Canto; Orfea and the Golden Harp; Peter And The Wolf; and How the Great Turtle Rebuilt the World. Take advantage of pre-HST prices by subscribing to the series before April 30th. The cost for the concert series is $40 per adult, $20 per child, or $100 for a family of four.
If you don't want to wait until Fall 2010, there is still one show left for the 2009-2010 season: A Journey to Dixieland on June 13th.
Sara is mom to 4 year old Ben and nearly two year old Spencer. You can find her at her blog My Point of View.