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I took my toddler to a classical music concert: Multitasking Moms and Dads

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A few weeks ago I took my almost 2-year-old son to a classical music concert, and I just might do it again. 

It was Apollo’s Fire performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and my son enjoyed it immensely. 

I know, I know, I’m like the Dr. Evil of moms, holding my pinky finger to the edge of my mouth, cackling maniacally as I announce my plans to take my toddler to classical music performances. 

The debate about the appropriateness of children at classical music concerts has created deep divides among both parents and music lovers.

Concerts have been interrupted by musicians and conductors alike, annoyed at children and babies in the audience. Violinist Kyung Wha Chung once told parents to “maybe bring her back when she’s older” following a coughing fit from a child in the audience. 

Of course, adults also cough during classical music concerts. They text, and sometimes their cell phones go off and occasionally they blow their noses or whisper things to their neighbors or slowly unwrap pieces of hard candy. My point is that disruptions come from people of all ages. 

I get that children are less likely to understand why they can’t talk or get up or fidget or have a snack. But shouldn’t children also be allowed to enjoy live classical music given the right circumstances?

Children’s book author Michael Morpurgo, whose “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” was set to music by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, encouraged young children to attend the piece’s performance. 

“At my concerts I’ve had people who bring children who wriggle and scream — it’s fine, it’s part of it,” he said according to classicalfm.com. “There are going to be half a dozen children who are going to be bowled over by hearing an orchestra and two or three years hence they’re going to pick up a violin and they’re going to love it. It’s life-changing.”

I hope he’s right, but even if my son doesn’t grow up to be a professional classical musician, he can still benefit from…

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