A Catalyst for Learning: NAC Kinderconcerts

Des enfants captivés par un Concert bouts d’chou au CNA

Children watch one of the NAC’s Kinderconcerts with rapt attention

Michel Dozois

Sitting together on mats in the NAC Panorama Room, the children are giggling. In front of them a young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is getting in trouble with his sister. The kids, and more than a few parents, find this hilarious.

“The kids were drawn into the Mozart character. They were laughing and cheering him on,” recalls Geneviève Cimon, Director of Music Education at the NAC. “At other times, they were so entranced you could have heard a pin drop.”

Cimon is talking about Mozart’s Flights of Fancy, one in a series of Kinderconcerts performed at the NAC for children aged three to eight. The series, a co-production with Jeunesses Musicales of Canada, features musicians playing chamber music and bringing it alive through storytelling and dramaturgy. The kids love it and so do their parents. Kinderconcerts have consistently sold out ever since they were created 11 years ago.

“Children can interact throughout the performance and discover new instruments,” says Cimon. “In fact, the artistry and storytelling of the Kinderconcerts often spark children’s curiosity and inspire them to want to learn an instrument themselves.”

And now, the magic of the Kinderconcerts will reach even more children throughout the 2014 –2015 season with performances taking place at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Ottawa’s east-end and Centrepointe Theatres in the west.   

“Families can’t always come downtown to the NAC especially with young children,” explains Cimon. “So we’re excited to offer these presentations in other parts of the city.”

The addition of the new venues is convenient for parents and means more children will be delighted by the storytelling and musical magic of the Kinderconcert series. “We hope it will introduce children who have never before experienced live music to the arts,” she adds. “We also hope it will inspire families to attend the TD Family Adventures series and come see the entire orchestra at the NAC.”

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Diana Boehm

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