I’ve been able to take Reid a lot of places where my solo presence would have been questioned – like Kindermusik classes and the Family Adventures series at the NAC – and have, consequently, been able to learn a lot about music about which I wouldn’t have otherwise known. I think of it as being undercover. On Saturday, we went to the National Arts Centre Orchestra performance of “Bravo Beethoven!” (part of the TD Canada Trust Family Adventure Series). Reid had a chance to play a violin during the Tunetown (before-the-concert) activities. She was able to make sound immediately, something that didn’t happen with the stringed instruments. And, before you ask, it didn’t sound like cats being tortured. At the end of her turn, she declared, “This is my *favourite* instrument now.” If only I could have had a turn.
I was impressed that I recognized most of the musical pieces that were played. I guess Beethoven is ubiquitous so that even a musically-challenged individual like me can recognize his work. Think of a rapid, “dunt, dunt, dunt, dunh” and Ode to Joy (or “Drink milk. Love life.”) Reid seemed to have a serious case of ants in her pants while the concert was in progress. She didn’t often take her eyes from the stage – the music was lively and the interplay between the conductor and “Beethoven” was interesting – but she was a squirmer.
One of the themes of the concert was that Beethoven had been deaf for much of the time he composed. They spoke of how he heard the notes in his head but not through his ears. Bott, the conductor, noted that if he’d lived now, Beethoven would have needed only a hearing aid to correct the problem and then he gave him one. Though I’d known Beethoven was deaf, it was only when the actor portrayed the joy at hearing the orchestra play his music that I thought of how tragic it would be to not hear what you created. Reid got stuck on the fact that the actor had been pretending to be deaf and then pretending to be excited to hear and so didn’t think anything tragic about the deafness. We’ll have to talk about it again.
There are a series of books/compact discs/DVDs about classical composers, like Beethoven Lives Upstairs, that I’ll have to check out to see if they’re right for Reid yet. Parenting is so much fun!