You might well know that the City of Birmingham has its very own orchestra. You might even know that the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra ‘CBSO’ perform Family Concerts several times a year. But did you know that the CBSO also run mini-concerts for little ones?
Last week, we were lucky enough to be invited to watch the Christmas Notelets Concert at the CBSO Rehearsal Space. Performed 3 times throughout the year, the Notelet concerts are aimed at babies, toddlers and pre-school children and at only 45 minutes long, are the perfect introduction for your little one to the world of classical music.
On arrival, you are invited to take part in a craft activity. For each concert there is a different craft to get you focused in on the theme of the day and this time it was, of course, Christmas themed!
The rehearsal space itself is small, so with prams left outside the room, you are invited to either take up a seat on one of the chairs on the tiered seating, or sit on the floor in front of the performance space.
All of a sudden, the lights were dimmed and as the Christmas Tree lights twinkled, we were treated to a Christmas Carol from members of the CBSO Choir to start us off…it really was rather magical and a hushed silence fell across the room as all the little ones took in the beautiful sounds of the choir…
The rest of the concert was a mix of popular children’s Christmas songs and traditional carols, all presented in an enjoyable and visual way for the children to access. We were all invited to get up and march round the room with Rudolf (who made a special appearance!) and encouraged to sit quietly to listen as a Christmas story was read, with the gentle music of members of the CBSO playing along.
The Christmas Notelets was a wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit. My toddler was certainly interested in both the sights and sounds and although not as confident as others when invited to get up and dance along to the music, certainly spent the whole 45 minutes watching and listening and taking everything in.
Based very much in central Birmingham (we parked at Brindley Place which is a little pricey, but worth the extra cost to mean that you are only a 5-minute walk from the venue) with a multitude of child friendly eateries to choose from, this was a perfect day out for our toddler. There are several themed concerts throughout the year and although they are only short, combined with a little crafting time at the start, the Notelets are certainly a worthwhile activity for a young family, we already have the date of the next concert in our diary!
NB: Rachel received entry to CBSO but all views and opinions are her own.