For the first time ever, the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony brings its popular Kinderconcert series to Elmira.
Music From Around the World is a musical production by Faith Levene, Sarah Granskou and Sue Hutchinson, geared to children under five years of age.
“The Kinderconcert Series is one of our longest-running programs at about 25 years,” KWS communications manager Nancy Schnarr said. “We often hear from people who attended as children who are now taking their own children. The Kinderconcert Series is such an important part of what the KWS does because it introduces music to kids during their formative years and stimulates an interest that often continues throughout their lives, providing a link to the many benefits that music has to offer. Working with the Woolwich Memorial Centre to bring Kinderconcerts to Elmira enables us to reach a new group of people by bringing the music to them in a wonderful and accessible space.”
The show takes place at the WMC October 18 at 10:30 a.m. and is designed to give children an immersive musical experience.
“This is part of our cushion concert series, so the kids sit right down on the floor in front of us,” explained Levene. “I have collected instruments from around the world for many years, so I bring many of them, and I think it is fun for the kids to get to see a lot of new things.”
The show runs at a brisk pace through a variety of musical styles and genres – representing different cultures around the globe – for 30 minutes.
“We don’t spend a lot of time playing long pieces of music,” said Levene. “We do very short pieces of music to keep the kids interested.”
Storytelling is incorporated into the event, along with the chance for kids to try out many of the unique instruments that are involved.
Kids and parents alike have an enjoyable experience, added Levene.
“I try to make the styles really informative and interesting. For example, we use a native flute and talk about Canada and Canadian music.”
She continued, “The native flute can be made to sound like a loon, and also like a wolf howling. We make sure to connect kids to the stories we are telling with the music, and they really seem to enjoy it.”
The musicians keep things simple, but they don’t play down to the audience.
“It’s easy for the kids to relate to the music and the stories,” Levene said. “It’s not babyish. I don’t think the kids need to always be babied. I think they can appreciate a variety of music as long as it keeps moving, it doesn’t get too bogged down, and it has a good storyline.”
The Kitchener Waterloo Symphony’s Kinderconcert series begins in Elmira at the WMC October 18 at 10:30 a.m. followed by performances at Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts November 1 at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and finally at the Waterloo Region Museum November 8 at 10:30 a.m. Tickets cost $10 for children and $12 for adults and can be purchased at www.kwsymphony.ca or by calling KWS patron services at 519-745-4711 or 1-888-745-4717.