Activities

Introduce your child to the joys of live classical music at a Bach to Baby concert

The session begins with a 'formal' concert and ends with a sing-song round the piano, with requests taken and singing encouraged

What?: The perfect example of an adult activity made child-friendly, Bach to Baby is a series of relaxed yet polished classical concerts aimed at people with children. Founded by concert pianist Miaomiao Yu after she grew tired of being unable to attend formal recitals following the birth of her sons, Bach to Baby offers a variety of super-chilled shows with piano by Yu and supporting performances from a comprehensive roster of brilliant guest musicians. Our concert was equal parts lovely and hilarious, with music by Vivaldi and Beethoven and indiscriminate snack pilfering by Bab, who managed to swipe, in no particular order, a piece of French toast, a handful of dried apples, a tub of raisins and an oatcake from assorted children. Honestly, you would think I was starving her.

Where?: We went to the Spring to Spring Easter Family Concert at Burgh House in Hampstead, but Bach to Baby runs a varied programme of concerts all over London, as well as a couple in Essex and Surrey. Check the website for your nearest performance.

Duration: One hour. The session is split into two parts, beginning with a ‘formal’ (though still incredibly laid-back) concert and ending with a good old nursery-rhyme sing-song round the piano, with requests taken and singing and dancing strongly encouraged.

Best Bits: I was impressed with how well organised everything was. Yu and guest violinist Katie Stillman were on the door to welcome everyone and explain how everything worked, and I liked that they weren’t afraid to tell people to shut up. Ok so they didn’t actually say “shut up”, but there were clear rules to stop everything from descending into chaos. Both performers were ridiculously talented, and the whole thing was utterly exhilarating and put both me and Bab in lovely, zen moods, which these days is my only real ambition in life.

Worst Bits: I’m really clutching at straws because I thought this was the absolute shit, but perhaps a slightly larger venue might have suited the school-holiday crowd. I dunno though, I quite liked how all the kids were clambering over each other, stealing each other’s food and poking around in strangers’ handbags. It sort of added to the fun. And when I say “all the kids” I basically just mean Bab and to be honest the concert could have been held in an aircraft hangar and she’d still be sitting on top of everyone, eating their food and climbing into their handbags.

Cost: £8-12 for adults, free for kids. I paid £12 and it was worth every penny.

Facilities & Activities: Monmouth coffee and cakes, baby changing, step-free access, buggy parking, professional photographer with photographs available to download after the concert for a nominal fee, free Bach to Baby sticker to take home.

Would We Come Back?: I would do this every morning if it was at all practical or financially viable.

www.bachtobaby.com

Bab enjoys the Spring to Spring Bach to Baby Easter Family Concert at Burgh House, Hampstead

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