Fewer words, more experiences.
Less conflict, more harmony.
In an increasingly dissonant world, I am so very grateful there are still cheap seats at the symphony. I do believe music was meant to be heard live. We can lecture about the arts but if we want our babies to fall in love with them they must have the opportunity to experience them closely. The best recordings cannot capture the wild gesturing of the conductor nor the bows slowly fraying. Sitting up close to the stage gave us just that experience the other night.
Brahms and Shostakovich were the featured composers for the evening. I was fairly familiar with Brahms, one of the three B's we have studied a great deal, but admit that I have been on a rabbit trail researching Shostakovich, the cold war composer whose music was purportedly an indictment of Soviet rule. Making the work more intriquing yet was the quest cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan. His performance was physically intense and engaging.
I was pleased to notice other children in the audience. It is a thrill to pick out the perfect dress-up outfit, to be handed programs and escorted to your seats, like the very important little humans they are. Will they be able to fully appreciate Shostakovich's irony and double meaning? Will they pick up on the melancholy of Brahms? Is that even the point? I'd say no. A piece I read not long ago sums up best:
"The foods we serve, the activities we prioritize, and the books we read as a family communicate to our children what we value and what we want them to love when they are grown."
"We take our child into nature to try to spot a red-tailed hawk or the first bloom of spring even though they may not grasp the full extent of the magnificence of what they’re seeing because we want them to love them. We memorize Robert Frost poems and read The Hobbit together because they are good and good for them, knowing they will not understand every word. We stop everything every week for the Lord’s Day and share worship through music and teachings from the scripture because it is more important for our family than anything else, even though they may not follow everything they hear. If we wait until our children are “ready” for good foods, great stories, life-changing events, and the Truth, we may never have the opportunity to share them."
- Jessica Burke, Let Them Eat Steak
The best things in life speak different messages to us at different times in our lives. All equally valid and necessary.
"Give your children good things, the best things you can, even when they can’t appreciate them fully, in hopes that, when they are grown, they will have a hunger for them."
These books and cd's are keeping the experience alive around the house this week: