To The Symphony

A couple of months ago, I received an email alert from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra about their Young People's Concerts. And I let myself think about our schedule around the time of their Christmas show (frightening), and I went online and bought a pair of tickets anyway.

I have a good friend with four young children, and they've been enjoying these performances for a few years now, so I knew it would be entertaining. But my real motivation for going was my tiny music lover.

Our youngest child is fascinated by the sounds of instruments and asks questions about them all the time.

Last year, when she was only three, she snuck onto her brother's drum set and did some improvisation. 

Then a few months later, she took up the harmonica and started composing songs. Her "me-monica" is still one of her favourite toys.

Lately, she's been spending time watching YouTube videos of violin prodigies. We borrowed a teeny tiny violin from a friend, and nothing makes her happier than carefully opening the case and holding it under her chin. We are waiting until she's older to explore lessons.

Though I tinkered with the recorder, piano, choir, trumpet and clarinet through elementary and high school, and I am a huge fan of music (listened to and live), we owe all musical inclinations and talents in this family to JB

Today's show, The Bear, was absolutely lovely. And I'm so, so glad we made the trip into the city (when we had one billion other things to do) to see the performance. It was her first trip to the Roy Thomson Hall (which has ample parking underneath) and she called out from the backseat, Mommy, we're going inside a diamond!

For parents with young children, it is a very interactive and dynamic show. She was easily able to sit through the performance—which included storytellers and dancers—and the intermission was well-timed and offered a fantastic hands-on art project by the Avenue Road Arts School


When we returned after the intermission, we noticed the the choir box above the orchestra was filled. There were a lot of questions about the teenagers she saw there.

How did those teenagers get on the stage? Who taught them to sing? Were you ever a teenager? Did you sing when you were a teenager? Will I sing when I'm a teenager? 

The Cawthra Park Secondary School Chamber Choir was absolutely magnificent, and when they opened their portion of the performance with In the Bleak Midwinter (one of my all time favourites of the season) I was mesmerized.

I looked over at my tiny seatmate right after the song started and saw that she had tilted her head back and was looking at the ceiling. Then her eyes started to water and her bottom lip began to quiver. She reached out for my hand and when she found it, she looked at me and said,

Mama, I'm starting to feel a little bit sad, because the music is so beautiful it's making me cry.

And so I joined her with some tears of my own, because I knew exactly what she meant.


Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works through Elan.Works and is a designer and content editor at GenderAvenger. They have been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health, Woman's Day, and Flow magazines and at TEDxRegina and on CBC News and Radio. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.