Sunday, 8 May 2016

Live music for toddlers near you?

I live in the South West, and whilst this obviously means we don't have the range of activities that the South East has in terms of the performing arts, living near(ish) Bristol and Bath means that lots of cultural events are still relatively accessible to us.

One thing I have recently discovered is a company called Music for Miniatures which runs classical concerts for 0-4 year olds in Bath (and sometimes out in Somerset). 

A bit of the blurb from their website reads: 
Music for Miniatures is a series of short live classical concerts specifically designed for parents, grandparents and carers to enjoy in the company of babies, toddlers and young children (aged 0-4).

The best thing about a Music for Miniatures concert is... we don't mind noise! Babies can sleep, cry, babble and crawl whilst toddlers are free to explore and enjoy in their own way without being told to "ssh". Older little ones can dance, play air-instruments and get right up close to the performers. We don't even mind if the audience needs a nap!

I've been to a few of the concerts which they held out in Somerset with my two and was impressed. 

By ZUU Mumu Entertainment (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

My baby either slept through them or sat watching everyone and everything - well he was only around six months old so I wasn't expecting a great deal, but when he was awake he didn't fuss at all which suggests he was quite content. 

My daughter had a bit of a mixed response: some instruments/pieces kept her engaged and then others she definitely wasn't interested in and started pestering for snacks... There were lots of ribbons and scarves out for the children to play with but she wasn't really interested in those. She did enjoy it when the egg shakers came out as she got to join in with the music (which is possibly what she wanted to do all along - all of the other music she is exposed to is at groups where the children are exposed to familiar songs and encouraged to sing and join in). However, she loved getting the chance to play real instruments at the end of a couple of the concerts. We heard for days afterwards that she had played the violin and she still sometimes brings it up, several months later. I think in another year's time she could be really engaged by a whole concert, given the right pieces.

I fully appreciate how lucky we are, having this nearby.  How about the rest of the UK? Are there similar opportunities for under fives to see live performances near you? Any recommendations? Do you run a similar organisation? Please feel free to plug it below

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