By Jeffrey Friedberg

How to Make the Most of Your Child's Live Music Experience

June 6, 2013   |  HOW TO GUIDES   

A music therapist and award-winning children's musician offers tips on bringing your child to a concert or other live music performance, including how to choose the best venue, prepare kids for the show, and help them engage with the music.

kids at a concert

Match the performance length with your child's age.

Don't overdo it or undercut your child's ability to manage a music performance. Recommended length of performances:

- 30 – 50 minutes for toddlers
- 60 – 75 minutes for preschoolers

 

Explore different music venues.

Sharing live music with children doesn't have to be expensive or at a fancy theater. Take the kids to listen to music at: 

- performing arts centers
- community performances at libraries and local parks
- performances by students or parents at schools or in the classroom
- or in your living room—dust off your high school flute and share some songs!

 

Prepare kids for the show.

- Use the bathroom!
- Teach audience manners (clap after a song to show appreciation, try to sit with your hands to yourself, ask an adult in quiet voice if you have a question or need to leave during the performance).

 

During the performance:

-  Model good audience behavior (no texting!).
-  In a quiet voice, point out names of instruments and explain the ways they produce sound.

 

After the performance:

-  Talk about what you saw and review impressions—ask children what they liked best and least about the performance.
-  Answer your child's questions.
-  Read books about subjects related to the performance, such as the type of music performed or the instruments used.

 

Jeffrey Friedberg, MA, MT-BC, is a certified music therapist and award-winning children’s musician who performs with the Rockland County-based Bossy Frog Band. Friedberg received his MA in music therapy from NYU and has 15 years experience as a music therapist. He has more than 30 years experience performing as a professional musician. As part of the Bossy Frog Band, Friedberg sings and plays banjo, guitar, saxophone, flute, harmonica, and piano.

 

Also see:

Live Music is Good for Child Development

Ask the Expert: Can Music Improve My Child's Reading Skills?

 

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