Inspiration Days

Listening to Children – phase two

Earlier this year, we asked children from four Youth Theatre groups to tell us why they loved the arts as part of our Listening to Children project. We were delighted to devise this video, which was sent with a letter to MPs across the country.

On 20 November we will launch Listening to Children – phase two at the National Theatre. As part of this, we want to hear from children across the country – those who have access to the arts, and more importantly those who don’t. We are calling on you to help us reach those children. If you would like to be a partner organisation on this project, please email our Development Officer Mimi Doulton at: mimi.doulton@childrensarts.org.uk

Tony Gouveia Remembered

Tony Gouveia Remembered

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the death of TYA practitioner, Tony Gouveia.
Tony was part of TYA and ASSITEJ UK for many years and recently became an Adviser for ACA.He was unique, hugely talented, charismatic and caring.
He was greatly loved and will be sorely missed.

TYA UK and ACA representatives attended his funeral.
He is a remembrance from his great friend and work colleague, David Johnston. Please click here to read it.

There will be a memorial for him in July, at the Arcola Theatre.

Details will be released nearer the time.

ACA Supports Bach to Baby

ACA Supports Bach to Baby

The critically acclaimed classical series Bach to Baby, is set up by mum and pianist  Miaomiao Yu after becoming frustrated at not being able to take her children to the sort of quality classical music concerts that she regularly enjoyed as a professional musician.

Miaomiao, an award-winning pianist,  wanted to perform for her son in a concert setting, but found it unrealistic for many reasons, including the late nights.

“And then I thought, this is silly: why not play for him and his friends and other babies and toddlers, at a kid-friendly time? The idea grew from there,” said Miaomiao, who is also a professor of piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Miaomiao set about to design a rigorous musical programme for babies that wouldn’t have been out of place at the Proms. Programming range from Bach to Barber, from Chopin to Shostakovich. “I didn’t want to dumb it down for children. Studies show the positive effects of classical music and children are like little sponges at this stage.  Why shouldn’t they be allowed to experience the same high calibre performances as that enjoyed by adults in the best concert halls of the world?”  asks Miaomiao.

“I’ve been bringing my son Aubrey to concerts since he was 2 weeks old. He listened and slept and bounced to music,” says the mother of two rambunctious boys.  “He is enthralled, and proves my theory that children will thrive in a concert setting as long as they are given the opportunity in the first place.”

Miaomiao was encouraged by the overwhelming response to her first concert — one fan posted this video on Twitter . Bach to Baby now performs in 46 venues across London, Surrey, Kent, Thames Valley, and Essex, with special events at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace and the Royal Albert Hall.

Instead of playing at modest community halls,  venues with a specific sense of atmosphere were chosen. “I want babies to enjoy sophisticated music and that’s aided by fantastic atmosphere and acoustics, as well as fabulous guest artists, ” said Miaomiao, adding that exhausted parents deserve an inspiring setting as much as anyone.

Being a mum first and foremost, Miaomiao welcomes all the frenzy that comes along with being a parent of a young child. “It’s about Mozart and Bach, feeding and crying, and dancing to music  – all of it,” said Miaomiao. “We haven’t made it through a concert without at least one nappy change. That’s the way it should be,” she said.

Concerts run from weekday mornings and afternoons, as well as Saturdays in locations across the South East. Their pre-concert “ Monmouth Coffee Mingle” offers much needed calories and company for mums.

ACA Inspiration Event The Snowman and Peter and the Wolf

ACA Inspiration Event The Snowman and Peter and the Wolf

Milton Court Concert Hall, The Barbican pre-concert talk presented by Neil Brand for Action for Children’s Arts.

How does music fly?

1pm, Saturday 19th December
Free to ticket-holders for the 1.30pm performance.

A fascinating introduction for children and adults about how music helps to tell a story. Writer, composer and silent film accompanist Neil Brand will explore flying music in films such as How to Train Your Dragon, Superman and Star Wars. The audience will be invited to contribute ideas for a flying theme, improvised by Neil at the piano.

Click here for more details.