Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Snowman Musical - Countdown to Christmas

On Monday, we took the children at school to see The Snowman Musical, a screening of the animated classic, accompanied by live orchestra and choir. For a four-year old, sitting still for such a long length of time is really quite a challenge. Add to this a less than modern-type animation, no dialogue and a whole lot of noise and you've got yourself a potential recipe for disaster. 

But, to my very pleasant surprise, there was not a disaster in sight. Every single child absolutely loved it. They sat up straight, heads up, eyes wide, some of them not even blinking. Not a whisper, not a fidget, just complete and utter awe. 

Their excitement started the second they walked into the theatre. "Instruments! Real instruments!". The overture began and, were they to have been filmed in slow motion, I'm certain it would have caught them all straightening alongside each other. The reflection of the snowman flying across their eyes was nothing short of delightful.

And it reminded me of something that I've felt for a while. Speak to any well-meaning adult and they will tell you that childhood just isn't what it used to be: children don't play, they don't explore, they simple sit, sedentary, before a screen, gawping. They do not appreciate tangible things, don't understand art, work only with technology and sofas.

In my experience, this could not be further from the truth. Certainly, childhood is far more influenced by technology than it ever was and yes, sedentary lifestyles are rising in prominence but, to me, the suggestion that children no longer appreciate those things that we used to is nothing short of absurd.

No matter how expensive the toy, if I give any one of my children a cardboard box and tell them to 'just play', their faces light up. If I give them the opportunity to dance, sing or make music, their little hearts swell. And they most certainly do appreciate live work: the number of times they have begged to go back since Wednesday makes a sure thing of that. 

If ever there was a time for taking children out and giving them the chance to enjoy some of the most magical delights our culture has to offer, it is most certainly. So, no matter how computer obsessed or art-ignorant you think the children in your life are, take them some where magical and just see what happens. 

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