Can you believe it? This is what a four-year old said to his mother after going to a concert of classical music! His name is Joe and he has two brothers. This is what they said about the same concert:

“I really enjoyed the concert. It was amazing to see a big orchestra so close up. When can we go again?”
                                                                                                                                                            Will, age 9.

“My favourite bit was the musical postcards when we had to think about where a piece of music was from and what it was called.”
                                                                                                                                                            Josh, age 12.

It was this family’s first ever experience of a classical music concert—and they all absolutely loved it!

So what was this exciting concert that has made these kids so enthusiastic? Well, it was another CBSO family concert (on Sunday 20th March). Did you read my article about the last one? The music from that one was out this world. This time the music came from all over the world!

We had music from Ireland, USA, Brazil, China, Russia, South Africa… As Josh said above, sometimes we weren’t even told where the music came from and we had to make a guess! It was so exciting to go on a musical tour of the world.

But for me, there was something even more exciting about this concert than the music itself. What was even more exciting was the way the music was performed! Music is about far more than just sound! It is about seeing too—seeing how the sound is made and seeing the people involved in making it. Unfortunately people who only listen to CDs or iPods never realise this.

So what was so good about the way the music was performed. The answer in two words is Alasdair Malloy. He was the presenter at this concert—and a very entertaining and enthusiastic one he was too. But he was much more than this. He was also a performer. It was amazing to watch someone so enthusiastic about music—and so talented too! He simply joined in with the music in any way he could think of—with different types of drums, a guitar, and even a glass harmonica….

A what? Yes, a glass harmonica! Have you ever filled up a glass with water and rubbed your hand over it to make a sound? I’m sure every silly dad in the world has tried this! I know I have (and I know I’m silly too!!). But can you imagine turning this into an instrument? No? Well, it can be done. Just take a look at the video below to see what I mean. This is a very famous piece by Johann Sebastian Bach. It is written for the organ. But just look at it being played on glasses:

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor played on a Glass Harmonica!

Isn’t that amazing to watch? Do you see what I mean now? Music really is about so much more than sound. It is about things, places and people. In fact it is about everything that you can possibly imagine. In short, it is about being human. That’s why music is exciting. That’s why the family above found the concert so exciting.

And this is why you too should go to a concert. If you’re in the Birmingham area, the next CBSO family concert is on Sunday 15th May at 3pm. And the theme this time is ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. So from out of this world, to round this world, we’re off to the world of fairy tales!

See you there!

P.S. By the way, the girl I took to the previous CBSO family concert was so enthusiastic about it that she dragged her whole family along to the latest one! And they all loved it! Hopefully I can persuade one of them to write a comment below…

Video credits:
  1. Glass harp-Toccata and fugue in D minor-Bach-BWV 565. Toccata and fugue in D minor by J. S. Bach
    played on glass harp (musical glasses) by Robert Tiso.