Kids’ Concerts: Surviving the Scratchy and Squeaky Music Years

I have opinions. Oh do I have opinions on practically everything. Today, I’m going to talk about my opinions on kids’ music concerts. Not that I am musical at all.

I only played an instrument in 6th grade. True, I played THREE instruments in the 6th grade, but since I don’t play any of them now I can’t exactly call myself a music afficionado, can !? Although I was in the choir in middle and high school, I don’t read music.

But still I have opinions…lots of them…on music in general and in particular school concerts. Though I have no musical training whatsoever, years of attending concerts has to count for something, right?

Here’s how kids’ concerts breakdown:

Preschool Concerts

  • Absolutely adorable
  • I marvel at how teachers can get 3- and 4-year-olds to stand in a group together, let alone sing.
  • Charge up that video camera the night BEFORE the concert as you won’t want to miss a second of the cute.
  • This is very hard for me. Get to the concert early to get a seat

My three-year-old at his preschool holiday concert. He’s the dapper, and very tall, guy with the clip-on tie









Piano Recitals for Elementary Schoolers

  • The piano recital is the culmination of a year of lessons.
  • Parents and grandparents love to hear their kids play the songs they have practiced for months.
  • Take my advice leave babies, toddlers, and even preschoolers with a sitter or one parent should stay at home and the other go to the concert.
  • The odd off key note adds to the charm of the event.
My teen at her piano recital

My 9-year-old at her piano recital with her grandmother











Elementary School Strings, Band, and Chorus Concerts


The 4th grader at her Chorus concert


  • Get. To. School. Early!! I cannot emphasize this enough. I have sat in the back more times than I care to think about. It’s annoying. You can’t see your child. If you are with older relatives, you will have to scramble to get a seat for them.
  • A little pre-planning goes a long way.  For me, the key is to plan ahead. I set out the concert clothes the night before. I CANNOT tell you how many I have discovered that the black concert pants are too short. The white shirt is riddled with stains and stuffed in the laundry bin. I have more than once drive to the store to purchase emergency concert clothes.
  • I order dinner in on concert nights. Sadly, we have no delivery places near us, but usually my dad or husband will pick up. The kids think it is a treat to have a special meal on concert nights and I don’t have to cook. Win!
  • Charge the video camera and download the contents of the card to your computer. Is there anything worse than not being able to record as the card is full?
  • To bring flowers or not to bring flowers for the performer? I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it is always nice to honor a special occasion. On the other hand, what does a 9-year-old want with a bunch of flowers? Even I am not crazy about flowers hanging out on the kitchen table until they are droopy. So after a couple of piano recitals where my oldest got flowers from Grandma and Grandad, the tradition ended…and a new tradition was born. Ice cream and donuts! For the last few years after concerts, we stop by Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins…with all the other elementary and middle school musicians and their families.

The Boy and Mr. Cello

Middle School Concerts










  • If you can make it through the cute, but distracted, preschoolers in concert and the musician-in-training elementary school concerts, there is a treat in store for you.
  • Middle school concerts are surprisingly polished. The 6th graders “play up” to mesh with the 7th and 8th grades. I was truly impressed by how well the middle school band sounded. I took my son to a middle school strings concert, which was very good as well.

We’ve had a clarinetist…my youngest daughter…and two pianists…my oldest and youngest daughters…and now we have a cellist. The kids got their musical abilities from my husband who as a teen was a church pianist and organ player.  He also played family weddings and funerals. All I can say is that if you survive the elementary school scratching/squeaking years, the middle school band/orchestra are so much better.





The scratchy years of music are shortlived.

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