NSM Review: Mini Maestros Musical Opposites Concert


A Mini Maestro concert is a wonderful chance to take kids to a stunningly good music production where they are able to experience (and learn from!) a live performance. Laura Loveridge took her three children (aged 3, 2 and 6 months) and shares her experience!


My kids love music, so when I was invited to attend the Willoughby Symphony’s Mini Maestros Musical Opposites concert in Chatswood during the summer holidays, I jumped at the chance. Having played in an orchestra when I was younger and after introducing the kids to my old violin over the Christmas holidays, I thought it would be a great way to experience to orchestral music and it didn’t disappoint.

Mini Maestros Conductor

The Venue

Mini Maestros was held in the Civic Pavilion at The Concourse in Chatswood. We arrived with plenty of time to grab a coffee in the neighbouring Italian restaurant before heading into the venue. Whilst I had brought my own snacks for my kids, you should note there were none on sale in the pavilion (but of course you have Westfield and Chatswood shops just around the corner). Outside snacks and drinks were allowed in the venue but prams and strollers had to be left in the buggy parking area within the entrance hall of the building. If you had a very young baby this might have been a problem but there was plenty of space at the back of the concert hall that I am sure they could have made available.

The Civic Pavilion at The Concourse

When we arrived, the orchestra were already set up  and there was a space for the kids to sit on the floor right in front of them. My kids are aged 3, 2 and 6 months and we went with a friend who has a 3 year old and 10 month old so it was great that the room was all one big enclosed open space and carpeted so the 10 month old could crawl around freely. Knowing how much our kids love to dance we took up a spot at the side so they could see but be free to move around if needed! Most of the older children were sitting on the floor at the front.

Dancing to the Music

The Concert

The audience was made up of children from 0-12 years, including families and large groups. Initially I did have my doubts about how they would keep the children entertained for the entire length of the concert, but I was pleasantly surprised!

The conductor came out right on time and was lively and upbeat from the start. He introduced each component of the orchestra and then went into the musical opposites as the concert was named. The instruments were played to make high and low sounds, fast and slow notes as well as soft and loud sounds, all with active audience participation. The kids were made to think of different actions to represent the different articulations and some volunteers were brought up to the front of the stage to demonstrate as well as have a go at conducting the orchestra! Various classical pieces of music were played and the concert lasted for approximately an hour with no interval. There was also some singing and for the last 10-15 minutes, the entire audience were invited to stand in and around the orchestra to get up close and personal with all the instruments whilst they were played! My kids absolutely loved this and it was definitely a fantastic way to finish the show.

When they had finished playing, the children were allowed to touch the instruments and ask the very friendly musicians any questions they had.

Children were Invited to Conduct the Orchestra

Up Close with the Orchestra

Watching the Wind Component

These drums are noisy!

Overall

The concert is advertised as being “informal and interactive” which was most certainly the case. The venue was great and very easily accessible and the staff were very friendly and helpful. You can enter the venue half an hour before the show starts so if you want to get front row seats I would recommend this as it was free seating. However, no matter where you sat, you still had a great view of the orchestra.

All my kids enjoyed the concert. My 2 year old was a little to young to grasp the concepts, but she loved dancing to the music and interacting with the orchestra at the end. My baby slept for most of it so was clearly very good white noise! If you or your kids have a love for music, in particular classical and orchestral music, or you just fancy doing something different with the kids, then Mini Maestros is a great introduction and exposure to orchestral and classical music.

Watching the Viola

Learning the Trombone

Upcoming Concert: Crowns & Tiaras

Keen to introduce your child to the orchestra? Mini Maestros will be returning to The Concourse in July for a ‘Crowns & Tiaras’ show, and tickets are on sale now! 

  • Where: The Concourse, 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
  • When: 2pm, Saturday 27 July
  • Tickets: $26 (0-12 months free)

BOOK TICKETS

Other details

  • Parking: There are lots of nearby parking options – The Concourse (1 hour free) or Westfield or Chatswood Chase.
  • Pram Friendly: Yes
  • Refreshments: Lots of restaurants at The Concourse, or many other dining options around Chatswood

Laura lives in St Ives with her husband and three children who are all under 4. Laura is a trained nurse and midwife but has been a stay at home mum since the birth of her second child. Laura is originally from the UK but lived in The Netherlands prior to moving to Australia last year. Life is always busy but Laura and her kids love finding new activities and days out to experience in and around Sydney. When Laura is (rarely) not being "mum" she loves photography, baking, scrap booking, playing sports and socialising with friends.

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