It's never too early for children to get into live music. Why? Because music resonates with children right from the word go. It soothes them, makes them happy and want to dance to it, and it provides a place in which you can communicate through tones when words are not relevant yet.
During my maternity leave my energy levels were low and sometimes I didn't know what to do with my baby to entertain her - especially in the very early stages. That is when I started playing my cello to her and she instantly seemed happy and intrigued.
It wasn't until I was starting to get immensely claustrophobic sitting at home breastfeeding the baby all day - I decided to look into baby concerts to take her to. I found myself attending a classical music concert in a church for mums and babies, but I found it really starchy and not a great social space.
I craved a situation where I could socialise, relax and have something engaging for my baby to do, but it just didn't seem to exist.
I thought long and hard about how a rock music equivalent, to the mother and baby classical music concerts, would work and the idea came to me - 'Rock By Baby'. A musician friend and I re-arranged rock and pop music classic tunes and my baby literally told us (not in words but in noises and gestures) what she liked/disliked. Within six months we had a set together of chilled-out baby-friendly versions of classic songs played on the cello, guitar, using light percussion, and lots of soft vocal harmonies. The songs that she liked she bounced up and down and giggled, and smiled, and clapped along to. When she wasn't keen on something she literally cried. Although the idea of The Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony' seemed like a great idea to us with the wonderful catchy string parts - it wasn't appreciated by our boss - she kept crying every time we played it so we took that one out of the set! So - the set list that we ended up with is 100% led by a six month old baby. The tunes are upbeat, and happy, and everyone will know every single one of them.
Feeling confident with the set but not with the concept, because it hadn't been tried or tested before, we launched the concert in our local pub and...it went down a storm. Since the first gig in January this year we have performed sell-out concerts and it seems to have really caught on:
It is totally mind blowing being part of a baby's first taste of live music - and it may lead them to be inspired to go onto playing a musical instrument themselves, or wanting to go and see more live music as they grow up.
The next concert is at Europe's most prestigious recording studio and the birth place of music from our hero's, Metropolis London, Sunday 19th June. Adele and many rock and pop icons have worked there. This will be the most inspiring baby concert yet.
Tickets can be bought from our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/rockbybabyuk. This one is on a weekend - so you can bring the whole family.
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