If you are considering bringing your child to H+H for the first time, we especially welcome you. We hope it is a joyous, powerful, and immersive experience for everyone. Child seats are available at lower prices for anyone under 17.
Parents frequently ask how old their child should be before they bring them to our concerts. There is no right age, but your child should be ready to listen quietly for a sustained duration – most concerts run two and a half hours and longer. If you have concerns that your child may not feel joy while sitting for so long, or might distract neighbors, you may want to wait. Please note that Symphony Hall policy does not allow children under five to attend.
Here are some possible questions you may want to discuss with your child, before and after the concert:
What do you see on stage? Our orchestra and chorus are smaller than most contemporary orchestras; our musicians often stand; our instruments look and sound different from modern instruments. These choices reflect performances from the actual time of the composers – bringing you as close as possible to what the composer intended. Musicologists might call this historically informed performance practices – you can learn more here.
What do you hear? What story does the music suggest? When do the instruments and voices blend, and when do you hear one sound dominate? Are there repetitive or building phrases?
What happens during a live performance that is unique? What are the risks and rewards? How is the sound different? How is your personal focus altered? What does community add to the experience?
What emotions do you feel? Music is often considered a language deeper than words. What might have been the composer’s mood? What do you think the musicians are feeling? Can people with different life experiences share the same emotions? What insights or release is there for you in the emotions of others?
Whom do you meet? Our audiences often converse before and after concerts, attend our pre-concert talks, and communicate across social media. Will your child want to share new connections? We hope you engage in the ways that are most enjoyable for you.
Would you like to listen to the music and read more in advance? Our concert page includes links to hear selections from the music, and we publish extensive program notes online, shortly before each concert. Please check your concert page to learn more. There is a pre-concert lecture before each performance, and your program book that you receive at the concert will also contain more information.
We look forward to the privilege of meeting your child – let us know how we can make your visit more enjoyable by calling us or sending an email through our Contact Us page.