Did you know that The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) run sessions specifically for pre-schoolers? The musical sessions are called “Jams for Juniors” and run once a month. Recently Missy Moo and I went and had a jam together with the MSO….it was just incredible.
So what is Jams for Juniors? The MSO describe it perfectly….
“Jams for Juniors is a 30 minute musical adventure for children aged 0–5 years and their parents. Children are encouraged to listen and respond to popular orchestral repertoire, and perform together with musicians of the MSO.”
So let’s talk about how that works logistically. The sessions do change location from time to time and we saw our session at The National Gallery of Victoria in the Great Hall. All the kids and their families are seated on cushions on the floor with a variety of instruments spread throughout the space. There were also chairs up the back if sitting on the floor isn’t your thing.
Each session is loosely based on a particular musical piece, and our session was based around a particular opera (although as a non super musical person that didn’t mean much to me).
Here’s a little snippet of how it goes…you’ll need to put your sound up.
Ok…the good bits.
I honestly think it is amazing that the MSO put this on for the community. Yes there is a charge ($15 per person), but that is nothing to watch these talented individuals play. Afterwards the kids were welcome to go and chat to the musicians, and a few had a go at the drums or the keyboard too.
The woman who was conducting/entertaining the kids did a fantastic job. She was engaging, animated, funny, and interesting for the toddlers and parents alike. She really helped to keep the attention of everyone throughout the songs.
Go back through the pictures and take a look at the background art…it’s ok…I’ll wait.
You had a look? Pretty spectacular place to watch live music, right? Beats the old church hall where we have been doing music classes in the past that’s for sure.
Loved that there were plenty of instruments for everyone, not just the kids.
So overall it was really great, but I do have one area for improvement….
Currently Jams for Juniors is being held at the National Gallery of Victoria, with sessions at 10, 11, 12, and 1..we had booked at 10am time. Unfortunately the gallery itself doesn’t open until 10am meaning we had to walk around to a side entrance to get into the building. Although we arrived at 9:45am, by the time we figured out that the main door was locked, walked around to the other entrance, then took Missy Moo to wee (different direction), then got to level 3 for the show we were a few minutes late. For this reason I’d really make sure you turn up half at hour early to allow yourself enough time to get through all the doors, and elevators (and wee stops) so you don’t miss any part of the performance.
But as for the performance itself, I personally don’t see any areas of improvement. I thought it was great as it is. If anything, perhaps a few more dancing or wriggling activities as it was a long time to be staying in the same space for my two year old. Perhaps kids a little older might sit for longer perdiods of time a bit more happily.
Get your shaking on….
Jams for Juniors is $15 per ticket. So if a parent and child went, this would cost you $30. To see the orchestra perform in such a nice venue is well worth it I think.
Want to book it?
We both thoroughly enjoyed Jams for Juniors with the MSO, and would really encourage you to book your kids in for a session. I’d rate it a 8/10.