Beethoven Heroic Years II
May ’17

Sometimes, a composer can feel so far from us.  Do they really feel as we do ?  Do they also face struggles as we do ?

In this session, we wanted the children to go home with a closer friendship with Beethoven.  Like us, he had his struggles.  And like us, he had to find a way to overcome difficulties.  The children followed along Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 95 ‘Serioso’ live with our musicians, after recalling a personal experience of their own struggle and triumph over a road block, in a reflective activity.  Then with a stress ball in hand, they went through Beethoven’s own struggles and triumphs expressed in his musical work, through identifying tension and release in his music.

See, Beethoven is really not that far from us !

Visit our Youtube channel here for a peek into this session.


Beethoven Heroic Years I
May ’17

Crafting an interactive programme that works for 200+ children ages 0-6 and their accompanying parents, is not an easy feat.  We have the best of intentions, but sometimes one or two children will fall through the cracks.  However, we continue to bring these programmes to our audiences, because some of them will believe what we believe.  Which is that children may seem like they are not listening, they may seem distracted.  But what they hear when they are young, will stay with them for a long time.  And this is what we aim to do – bring the best quality live music to these young ones.

In this session, the 200+ children got to hear each instrument in a string quartet and familiarise themselves with each of their special timbres.  They were then presented with the challenge of identifying the exact combination of string instruments being played, without using their sense of sight, just with their ears.  You’ll be surprised, but many of them managed to ace this !

Visit our Youtube channel for video clips from our Beethoven Heroic Years Concerts for Children here.


Beethoven First Years II
Dec ‘16

Beethoven was a bold composer. His music is always immediate and honest. He wrote ‘I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must (come) out; that is the reason why I compose’.

So it follows that his music is an honest and direct expression of his thoughts, beliefs and emotions. In this session, the children discovered the emotional messages in Beethoven’s music through his joyful Sonata for Piano and Violin Op. 12 No. 3 and his dramatic c minor Sonata Op. 30 No. 2 with Italian pianist Luca Buratto, Singaporean home-grown violinist Tang Tee Khoon, and our engaging and fun facilitator Cheryl Kjm.


Beethoven First Years I
Dec ‘16

Beethoven loved nature. He took daily walks around Vienna and its surrounding countryside with a sketchbook always in his pocket. Many musical ideas occurred to him during these walks, and he would make notes whenever these ideas came to him.

The Solo Piano Sonata ‘Pastorale’ Op. 28 is an alluring example of music written by Beethoven that is inspired by nature. The children got to exercise their great sense of imagination as we discovered bubbling rivers, rustling trees, woodland creatures, thunder and rain in this wonderfully descriptive Sonata ~ played live for the children by Italian pianist Luca Buratto.


Beethoven Last Years II
Mar ‘16

Beethoven had 2 huge predecessors when it came to the genre of string quartet. They were Joseph Haydn, nicknamed ‘Papa’ Haydn by the musicians under his care, and the prodigious Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In this interactive concert, the children (ages 6-12) were treated to a mini story of the evolution of the string quartet, starting from ‘Papa’ Haydn, through the joker Mozart, and into the hands of the serious Beethoven — all this interspersed with live musical excerpts from works by the composers themselves.

We ended off with a competitive quiz between the 5 different coloured groups, and the children really showed us how much knowledge they had retained from the session !


Beethoven Last Years I
Mar ‘16

When one thinks of a string quartet, Beethoven would be one of the first composers to come to mind. He wrote 16 unique works for this genre and it is the dream of many chamber musicians, to be able to play all 16 of these quartets.

We wanted the little ones to have a taste of how beautiful a string quartet can sound and to learn about the 4 instruments that make up a string quartet. After much introduction, can they then distinguish the different instruments when the performers cheekily swap seats while playing behind a screen?  =)


The Parisian Chevaliers II
Nov ‘15

Ravel was a highly skilled composer. He knew each orchestral instrument in detail and how to make use of their characteristics to the fullest. Ravel was also an admirer of music from foreign lands. With his compositional skills, he would often write music for classical instruments to mimic music from these exotic lands.

In this concert, we introduced jazz music, gypsy music and music for the voice to the children. They also got to hear Ravel’s take on them when we played excerpts from his jazzy Sonata for violin and piano; his infamous Tzigane and his Berceuse, a lullaby he wrote for his friend’s new born baby.


The Parisian Chevaliers I
Nov ‘15

Debussy was a great admirer of art and painting. Much of his music is also very descriptive and vivid. So we chose a few of his short pieces, some transcribed for the violin and piano, to play for the children.

They got to exercise their imagination and draw what they think Debussy was trying to evoke with his music. They also came up with titles for the musical pieces they heard. When they ran out of ideas, they followed along the live painting of these musical scenes by Marvin Chew, vice-president of the Singapore Watercolor Society !


Transcending the Ordinary II
May ‘15

Schubert loved poetry and was best known among his circle of friends for his songs and dance works. In this Concert for Children, we introduced Schubert’s love for setting poetry to music and the children had an opportunity to create a poem in a group before hearing ‘Die Forelle’ (The Trout) sung to them by tenor Adrian Poon, accompanied by pianist Sam Haywood.

‘Die Forelle’ is a poem by Christian Schubart and the song Schubert created for the singing of this poem was then famously turned into the Trout Quintet for violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano. Which this group of children ages 6-12 was able to hear live, played by our musicians, at the end of the session !


Transcending the Ordinary I
May ‘15

Introducing the instruments of a western orchestra to children can be very fun for adults. But for your children, it may be the first time they are challenged to use their sense of hearing to distinguish between instruments.

In this session for children ages 0-6, we learnt all about the 4 string instruments in an orchestra – the violin, viola, cello and double-bass. With the help of our pianist, Sam Haywood, each string player presented lovely excerpts for the children, from ‘The Swan’ by Saint-Saëns to Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces.

Then, the challenge came. Can they distinguish between instruments, behind closed doors ? Cellists and violists commonly perform the Arpeggione Sonata by Schubert. Sometimes violinists and double-bassists also take this Sonata as their own. Switching seamlessly between instruments behind a large black stage cloth, our little ones got the chance to use only their ears to tell the difference =)


Love and Friendship
Sept ’14

Learning about the lives of composers, as one embarks on getting to know their works, bring a different dimension to the process and may spark in a child a greater sense of interest.

In Love and Friendship, the children were able to listen to stories about the friendships between the great German Romantic composers – Felix Mendelssohn, Clara and Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms – while hearing musical excerpts from their works.

The fun session of learning ended with a round of musical charades, a game that the Mendelssohns used to play with each another, and a drawing time for the youngest ones in the hall.

Thanks to media support from Little Magazine, 2 children were also able to receive a special backstage tour prior to the concert, led by the musicians.

Click here to read fun facts in the mini-website we created for this project.


Russian Colours
March ’14

Designing an interactive concert for children is one of the most endearing activities one can do as a passionate educator.

In Russian Colours, we led the children on a journey through time, in the far off land of Russia. They got to hear music that spanned about over almost a 100 years, created by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, and also heard fun anecdotes and facts from the lives of these composers!

Some of them got in on the action, when they got a chance to conduct Tang Tee Khoon and Sam Haywood, as they played movements from Prokofiev’s Sonata for violin and piano. The children faired very well in the friendly competitive group quiz at the end of the session, showing they had really remembered what they had learnt !