Get a Handel on Bach Before Bedtime
BBB presents classical music concerts for young children. Concertgoers are introduced to the magic of classical music in a multi-dimensional, interactive chamber music experience, after which they meet the musicians and explore their instruments.
Now in its 11th season, BBB is renowned amongst young families for its innovative way of exposing children to the world of music. The performances run 45 minutes during which excerpts from classical music pieces are woven into a bilingual narrative. Children are encouraged to participate by identifying the instruments and volunteering onstage to conduct the musicians.
Artistic director Dorothy Fieldman Fraiberg works with colleagues to draft a script and select accompanying music with the intended audience in mind. The narration provides children with context to help them learn how to listen to classical music.
Why BBB is note-worthy
Studies have demonstrated the significant benefits of classical music on children’s development. BBB fills a void since there are very few music-education programmes with a classical repertoire for pre-school aged children in Montreal. Parents get a break from the typical “Old Macdonald” tunes ensuring that both children and parents alike appreciate BBB concerts.
Concertgoers are immediately struck by the inclusive nature of the concerts. Young families feel welcomed in venues more typically reserved for adults-only. Kids are encouraged to participate and percussion instruments are even distributed to them towards the end of the show. Ultimately, this initiation into the world of classical music is in an intimate and friendly setting.
BBB is also inclusive in a wider sense; it partners with daycares and schools throughout Montreal and provides financial support to children and communities for whom cost is a barrier. As a result, children who many not otherwise have access to live classical music are still able to attend and enjoy BBB concerts.
Fraiberg is playing the long game and is building a future generation of classical musicians and patrons. There is little doubt she is succeeding: BBB has become a magical experience for all involved and its first concert of the upcoming season sold-out in one day!
Last season, BBB performed 25 concerts at Place des Arts and McGill University attended by nearly 3,600 children. Its exciting upcoming season starts in October and runs until the end of May, and will feature dancers, acrobats, opera and more!
Salle Claude-Léveillée, Place des Arts, 175 Rue Sainte-Catherine Street West:
- October 20, 10:30 m. and 4:30 p.m.: The Rite of Spring with Ensemble Paramirabo and dance in partnership with PROJECTION: A Week of Dialogue (SOLD-OUT)
- October 29, 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: Halloween!
- November 19, 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: Space
- December 10, 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: Speeding Down the Spiral with Deborah Goodman Davis (author)
- March 24, 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: The Menagerie’s Musical Journey
- May 5, 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: A Day at the Park (11 a.m. SOLD-OUT)
Tanna Schulich Hall, McGill University, 527 Sherbrooke Street West:
- December 15, 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.: The Nutcracker with Stefania Skoryna (dancer)
- January 26, 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.: Acrobatic Adventures with Basile Philippe (acrobat)
- March 22, 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.: PJ Day at the Opera with singers
- May 24, 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.: with special guest Ranee Lee (author, illustrator and jazz singer)
Tickets for the upcoming season are available at www.bachbeforebedtime.com.
This article was written by Caitlin Wetherly
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