Since C was 8 months or so, we’ve enjoyed attending various music groups. Mini Mozart, the Academy Tots sessions run by the Royal Academy of Music (both right next to Regent’s Park) and the Royal Albert Hall’s Storytelling and Music Sessions fit the bill for a long time, but recently I’ve felt that C has ‘outgrown’ those groups – the age range was just too broad (trending to too young) and the classes didn’t hold her interest well. So we were both very pleased to discover the Wigmore Hall Chamber Tots.
Recently re-envigorated, the sessions are interactive, allowing children to discover new instruments, songs and stories in a 1 hour slot. Each session ends with 10-15 minutes of ‘real’ music performed in the Auditorium – a great introduction to attending a concert as an adult, and learning appropriate behaviour in a concert environment (listening, applauding, not running around too much – though there’s no side-eye if your child is not interested in sitting!). The chief facilitator is an experienced musician and the supporting musicians are generally music students/emerging chamber ensembles – we’ve seen a string quartet and a recorder ensemble so far. Both were excellent.
The sessions are split into two streams – 1-2 years and 3-5 years. In general there hasn’t been too much crossover in terms of the age groups (with siblings etc, sometimes unavoidable with childcare of course!) which has meant everyone has been able to enjoy them and get the most out of the opportunity.
Tickets are children £7, adults £5, with a maximum of 3 children and 2 adult tickets per booking.
Wigmore Hall runs a range of other family activities, including the For Crying Out Loud concerts for babies under 1. All of these events sell out, so it is worth booking ahead or getting on the mailing list to avoid missing them.
In terms of general facilities, pushchairs/scooters are able to access the Auditorium and other rooms with no issues, and coats and bags can be left securely in the Bechstein Room where the sessions are held. Toilets and baby changing facilities are top notch and located downstairs.
More information and booking here. C has asked to go back, so maybe we’ll see you there soon too!