Part of the Bay Area News Group

FAB FIVE: Intro to Music

By Jackie Burrell
Monday, March 23rd, 2009 at 2:01 pm in Family Entertainment.

Davies Symphony Hall How do you turn your child into a music lover? All you have to do is expose them to the joy and wonder of the art form. Let them fall asleep to classical music recordings – we loved Mozart’s “Magic Flute,” particularly the CD and beautifully illustrated book set adapted by Anne Gatti. Take your kids to hear your local high school’s orchestra or symphonic band perform, or to catch the school musical. Play Wii Music. Get them a recorder. Start piano lessons. It’s all good. And if you live in the Bay Area, you have a treasure trove of musical opportunities in your very own backyard, including these five upcoming concerts that are perfect for children of all ages:

1. Amazing music and a 3-D extravaganza? The California Symphony’s spring concert features piano prodigy Conrad Tao, age 14, performing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, and a stunning, 3-D film that accompanies Mussorgsky’s famous “Pictures at an Exhibition” on May 3 and 5 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts.

2. The San Francisco Symphony’s “Music for Families” series features Lemony Snicket and Nathaniel Stookey’s “The Composer is Dead” this weekend and next, and a concert devoted to the four elements of music – composer, conductor, musician and you – on May 9. (And for those of you non-Bay Area-ites, check out the symphony’s SFSKids.com web site too.

3. The next installment in the Crowden School’s adorable, free “Very First Concerts” series is June 6 in Berkeley, and this one calls for a little dancing to the music.

4. Catch the 100 youthful members of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra performing on May 17.

5. And if you’ve got older kids and live on the Peninsula, you might want to check out the Peninsula Symphony‘s May 15 and 16 performances of Carl Orff’s famous “Carmina Burana,” featuring the San Jose Symphonic Choir and Grammy winning Ragazzi Boys Chorus, and the latest young winner of the Klein Competition, which is open to gifted string instrumentalists ages 15-23. (Tell them they’ll recognize Carmina Burana from YouTube.)

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