Not just for the grandparents
by Kristine Berey
The gift of music is one of the most precious you can give a young person, who only needs to experience its power to fall in love with music for life.
But how do you convince a child that classical music can be more fun than video games?
The answer is to combine live music, CDs and food — and the earlier you start, the easier. Take (drag or bribe if necessary) the young person in your life to concerts and then treat them to a CD of the music they ’ve heard. If you know which concert you plan to go to, try to have the child listen to a recording of it. This is especially effective if the CD is by the artist the child will see.
A complex musical work must be listened to many times until it’s really heard for the first time.
Don’t be afraid of “boring” your child — sometimes profoundly moving musical experiences kick in years later, like this writer ’s memory of Arthur Rubinstein playing Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude. The piece came as one of five encores after a seemingly interminable concert. Forty years later, I ’m deeply grateful to my mother for “forcing me” to go and giving me a chance to hear this great pianist in person.
Don’t be too proud to offer a treat, perhaps a meal at a fancy restaurant before or after the concert. The pleasure you find both in each other ’s company and in the music are a guaranteed long-term investment.
Now is the time to take advantage of substantial savings by subscribing to concerts in advance. Musical organizations are announcing their next season and often there are special rates for seniors and students. Concerts are scheduled with varied audiences in mind. Music in Montreal has never been so accessible. Here is a tiny sampling of the many wonderful concerts starting in September:
• ProMusica offers Sunday morning concerts within its Topaz series including piano for four hands and a horn ensemble. Info: (514) 845-0532
• I Musici’s Piccoli series was created for children. Performed Sunday afternoons in Tudor Hall, the concerts blend music and theatre. Info: ( 514) 982-6038
• The Montreal Symphony Orchestra will play Beethoven’s perennial 5th Symphony as part of Les Grands Concerts series. Info: (514) 842-9951
• Opera de Montreal will present one of the most celebrated operas, Puccini’s Madama Butterly. Supertitles make it super easy to follow the story. Info: (514) 985-2258