From the very first time I played him Vivaldi's Four Seasons at age two, Parker was smitten. He insisted it be played over and over, and developed a love for other classical composers as well. Max and I are still the arbiters of taste for him, as Sweet P is only really exposed to what we present, however his interest in classical music really exceeds anything we've done. I first wrote about Parker's love for all things orchestra here, about this time last year. At the time, he was almost three, and we took him to his first symphony. Looking back, I still can't believe we took a 2.75 year old to the symphony... but Parker was seriously the perfect audience member, and was totally jazzed to be there. We prepped him beforehand with this book:
It's still a favorite in this house and we even read it before bed just last night. Welcome to the Symphony goes over all the instruments in an orchestra, traditions, rituals and even has accompanying music played via buttons (all from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony). It taught Parker so much - at age two he was identifying all instruments and their respective sections as well as rattling off the random facts presented. I highly recommend the book for kids of all ages - it goes into great detail about what a night out at the symphony entails, so it's perfect for front-loading if you have a symphony night planned with your little one.
This year, our little guy was an old pro. Plus, I found a night when our Huntsville Symphony Orchestra was performing (among other composers) Antonio Vivaldi! Parker was stoked.
At intermission, we had multiple audience members come up to us commending Parker's behavior and attention. As a parent it's so nice to hear this because I still basically hold my breath the entire time, hoping Parker remains the perfect little audience member. At times the entire room was silent, and even a whisper would have been heard - but little man was amazing. We did have to give some redirections this year (like, we only clap, not cheer, at the symphony) so I was a bit worried what the people around us were thinking, but it made my heart so happy that they were so supportive. In our hearts, I know we think it's great exposure to be introducing, but I'd never want to take away from anyone else's experience. Luckily, a night listening to classical music is exactly what our little old soul was made for :)