by Ming and Alice Wan
Once a violinist said “there is no right age limit. Some kids can sit still in a concert for a couple hours at age 6, some have to wait until age 13. Every child is different so don’t try to force the issues. You will know when your child is ready.”
Last November Alice and I went to a young violinist Iskandar Widjaja’s Hong Kong recital debut. This concert was recommended by Ms. Diane.
It was not the first time Alice and I went to concert. But still I was concerned about whether Alice can sit through the whole recital given it is a 100-minute concert. C. Franck, Bach, Handel, Schuman, will she really understand all those?
We arrived in City Hall twenty minutes earlier. So, Alice had enough time to get ready, and I can remind her to keep quiet during the performance. I had been promoting that Iskandar was once a Suzuki student, which got Alice excited.
Iskandar was young, energetic and handsome, and his varied techniques on sonic nuances and facets were impressive. Alice concentrated on the violinist’s performance and seemed much enjoyed. The second piece was C. Franck’s Sonata in A major, 28 minutes long. That raised some challenges to Alice and she started to move around in her chair. Then I had to place my hand on her shoulder to remind her.
Alice and I left the concert a bit earlier than its ending. Alice told me two things: first, she thought the violinist’s dress looked funny, and secondly, she wanted to become a violinist just like Iskandar. When I asked Alice if she enjoyed the concert, she gave me a firm “yes”.
Bringing kids to concert is challenging as it is usually hard for our kids to sit through a concert. However, sharing beautiful classic music is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child and each concert can encourage children’s imagination and creativity. I’m glad that I brought Alice to the concert and will continue doing so.
Last, FYI, the American violinist Rachel Barton Pine will perform in the coming June in HK. Rachel was a Suzuki student and once taught by Ms. Diane at a summer camp. This time she is going to play two pieces from the Suzuki repertoire!