October 30, 2014
An incident involving a conductor, a mother and her young kid at a concert in Miami Beach, Florida caused a stir in October 2014. The conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas, stopped a concert by the New World Symphony Orchestra because, he said, a young girl in his line of sight was fidgeting and causing a significant distraction. He asked them to move but the mom and her child did more than that — they abruptly left the hall.
This edition of Conducting Business looks at the questions: what is the appropriate age for kids to attend grown-up concerts? And how should they be prepared for the experience?
Host Naomi Lewin speaks with three guests:
- Orli Shaham, a pianist, mother of twins and artistic director of Baby Got Bach, a concert series intended for kids ages 3 to 6.
- Sedgwick Clark the editor of Musical America and a steadfast concert-goer around New York.
- Susan Fox, a founder and publisher of the online forum Park Slope Parents.
Also discussed are tips for parents who are considering bringing their children to a concert. They include:
- Select an aisle seat, preferably near the door.
- Bring chewing gum.
- Start with shorter concerts.
- Teach them to sit with boredom.