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27 January 2015, 11:27
Former children's laureate Michael Morpurgo claims that even very young children should be welcome at classical concerts.
Morpurgo's version of The Pied Piper of Hamelin is being set to music by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and, as he told The Times, he was surprised to learn that promotional material advises only children aged seven years and over will be suitable.
"You mustn’t blame people for being there when they're 'too young'," commented Morpurgo. "At my concerts I’ve had people who bring children who wriggle and scream — it’s fine, it’s part of it."
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"There are going to be half a dozen children who are going to be bowled over by hearing an orchestra and two or three years hence they’re going to pick up a violin and they’re going to love it. It’s life-changing."
The author's comments are in stark contrast to events that unfolded at a recent concert by violinist Kyung Wha Chun (full story here).
During the concert, a comeback after a 12-year break from shows in London, Chung told the parents of a coughing child in the audience, "Maybe bring her back when she’s older."
Is there room for all ages of children at classical concerts? Or should we be encouraging them to go when they're older and more likely to sit still? Have your say in the comments below.