- A pre- or post-show snack
- Scout out a concert. Look online, in the newspaper and on community bulletin boards for upcoming concerts.
- Check the website. Concert hall websites may offer a virtual tour, pre-concert games, musical activities to do at home, composer bios and more.
- Preview the instruments. Go to DSOKids.com to see and listen to a variety of string, percussion, woodwind, brass and keyboard instruments. You can hear the sound each instrument makes, how it would play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and how it sounds playing with an orchestra. Play an instrument-matching game at NYPhilkids.org.
- Explore music. Learn about the elements of music such as pitch, tempo, rhythm, harmony and more in the music lab at the San Francisco Symphony's website for kids. Go to SFSKids.org.
- Clap your hands and stomp your feet. Set up a rhythm and a beat and see if your child can copy it. Then you follow his lead.
- Arrive early. Leave plenty of time to find parking, pick up tickets and visit the bathroom before the concert begins.
- Go on a scavenger hunt. As you wait for the concert to begin, see how many instruments your child can spot. Look for a clarinet, drum, flute, harp, oboe, saxophone, trumpet, violin, xylophone and so on.
- Preview the program. Read it together to help kids know what to expect. Children's concert programs may have games to play while you wait for showtime.
- Enjoy the show. Be careful that kids aren't talking too loudly, kicking the seat in front of them or otherwise disturbing other concertgoers. Take advantage of any intermissions to stand up and stretch your legs.
- Investigate. Ask your child open-ended questions:
- What's your favorite kind of music?
- Can you sing your favorite song?
- Would you like to play an instrument? Which one?
- Did you like the concert? Why or why not?
- Read all about it. Check out Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop by Christopher Raschka, Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra by Andrea Pinkney, Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney, The Philharmonic Gets Dressed by Karla Kuskin, This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt and Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss.
For more exploring, play Dora's Great Big World game, find do-together Dora crafts, recipes, and activities, and print a personalized Explorer Kit for your child at DoraTheExplorer.com.
You can also get Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure app on iTunes!
Thanks to Susan Hood
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