"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Music for the Little People

We used to live not far from the campus of Yale University. It was my first brush with something as entirely upper crust as The Ivy Leagues. (there really is ivy in quantity if you wondered) I was cowed and awed and underwhelmed all at once.

This week I took my two oldest boys back for a special big boy outing with Mommy to hear the symphony perform their annual concert for children. It was a beautiful day and we wandered around campus both before and after the show, meandering under a Calder sculpture, jumping a few puddles, and counting gargoyles on the tops of walls.

I feel fond of Yale now. Fond of the oldness and the careful, minute beauty, fond of the importance and yet approachableness of it all. Anyone can wander into The Bieneke Rare Books Library or ancient, hallowed concert hall where we sat above a glowing russet string section and listened to Beethoven. Its all very lovely really and hard to believe this great alma mater of presidents is really also part of own tapestry of life, the place where my first child was born.

The concert was magnificent. Beautiful little dances and pastorals performed with great feeling by very young artists, directed by an apple cheeked, tweed elbowed young man who was an echo of Ru's godfather. The musicians wandered the aisles before the show and let little fingers run up and down their instruments and warmly explained what all the keys and holes did. And the energy in the hall was really vibrant and humming, nearly 1,000 school children all packed shoulder to shoulder in seats, the lower open level all bussed in children from various institutions in the area with their various teachers eagerly flanking their charges and then the great balcony above all homeschooler parents and their little free-spirited young. So amazing to look all around the great room and feel the hum of the eager kids watching and listening for the first note.
My favorite part was when Dee, sitting on my lap for a better view yelped happily and began bouncing when he recognized The Arabian Dance from The Nutcracker. That's my four year old there, recognizing and loving Tchaikovsky! Having my children feel some ownership and kinship in the arts makes me feel so good. The world is their oyster, as it is for any child...if they can wiggle to Tchiakovsky or play under a Calder so much the better. I hope they always feel the freedom to enjoy even the most pretentious appearing forms of beauty and feel that beauty is created for no man...and yet for all.


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