Bach to Baby - Classical Music For Babies and Children. Looking for reviews of Bach to Baby concerts? Check out our press clippings for what mums, bloggers, and various print and online press have said about Bach to Baby.
September / October 2015 - Bach to Baby in Baby London!
Really chuffed to be featured in the September / October issue of super glossy Baby London magazine, which came out on 21 August 2015. Read the full article as a PDF.
Friday 18th July 2014 - Bach to Baby in The Times!
We were delighted to be featured on the front of The Times 2 in July 2014. Read the full article here as a pdf, or click the image below.
Bach to Baby : MITK love it!
Bach to Baby is an innovative classical concert series for babies, tots and their carers to enjoy together. Featuring world-class performances for the enjoyment of all ages, and lasting one hour, hear exhilarating performances by outstanding musicians with your baby in tow. Children can dance, roam about, and listen to music the way they feel it.
With an introduction like that, Mums in the Know went to the concert at the beautiful St. Andrews Church in town on Wednesday 29th of January to listen to the Classical Accordionist Milos Milivojevic.
When my twins were babies I would put on cds with classical music as I had read that that would stimulate their intelligence, but as they grew older and Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder became favourites, I’m afraid the classical cds moved further away from the cd player. My little twinkletoes who is now 3, sadly never go to listen to these, so filled with excitement and curiosity we set off.
The St. Andrews church was specifically chosen for it’s interior. Instead of playing at modest community halls, all venues were chosen because of a specific sense of atmosphere. Founder and award-winning pianist Miaomiao Yu ( who is also a professor of piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama) became 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 and wanted the audience not only to enjoy sophisticated music, but to experience a fabulous atmosphere and acoustics.
The doors open at 10am for a coffee and mingle, a lovely range of teas and coffee and may I say delicious shortbread. The hall slowly starts to fill with mums, dads, grandparents with children aged newborn to 4 and I’m sure I spotted a few adults on their own. There is ample space for prams and pushchairs and baby change facilities are also provided.
At 10.30am the concert starts and Milos Milivojevic takes the time to explain a little about his accordian and explain about the music we are about to hear and about Bach himself.
Little Twinkletoes has climbed onto my lap and softly starts swaying from side to side. Child participation is positively encouraged and many children are dancing along in the aisle. I’m getting lots of cuddles, a little unexpected quality time! Whilst listening to a selection of Tango songs. One song is straight from Strictly Come Dancing and I really expect Vincent & Flavia to enter for a performance of one of their Argentinian Tangos.
Whilst Little Miss Twinkletoes is fascinated by Milos and the church building and starts exploring, I find myself being swept along by the music and for the first time in ages find myself completely relaxing and at the end of each song, I hope it wasn’t the last. The sound of a baby crying, a toddler talking and little girls laughing doesn’t matter, I am definitely “feeling the music” as the judges would say on Strictly. My daughter is playing in a safe and positive place and as I spot her sitting on a chair as transfixed as I am, all is well with my world. For the last song Milos is joined by the violinist Elizabeth Cooney who runs the Bach to Baby concerts in Surrey.
As the concert comes to an end, the children are invited to the front and we all join in with some well know children’s favourites. Twinkle Twinkle little star was definitely meant to be sung whilst being accompanied by an accordion and violin.
Klassik für die Kleinsten
26. Oktober 2013 Kommentare deaktiviert
ff Adendorf. Den Programmzettel in der einen Hand, Fläschchen und Spielzeug in der anderen, warten Mütter und einige Väter auf den Auftritt der Pianistin. Eine Konzertbesucherin fragt noch schnell nach einem Wickeltisch, während eine kleine Blondine erwartungsvoll in der Nase popelt: Dieses Klavierkonzert hat seinen eigenen Charme, die Virtuosin Miaomiao Yu spielt “Bach to Baby”, Klassik für die Kleinsten, ein origineller Programmpunkt der Adendorfer Serenade.
Mit andächtiger Stille war im Gemeindesaal der Emmauskirche nicht zu rechnen und sie war auch nicht gefordert. Einige Schubert-und-Schnuller-Fans umrundeten den Konzertflügel. Miaomiao Yu, selbst Mutter zweier Jungs, spielte mittendrin unbeirrt Fantasie und Fuge von Bach, eine Beethoven-Sonate, ein Impromptu von Chopin, dazu Mendelssohn und Mozart — ein ausgewachsenes Programm, kindgerecht moderiert und aufgelockert mit Liedern zum Mitsingen.
Wie dicht das Banale und das Bedeutsame zusammenliegen können, zeigte sich etwa in Mozarts zwölf Variationen über “Ah, vous dirai-je, maman”, das Thema ist bei uns als “Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann…” bekannt. Das “Bach to Baby”-Programm der vielfach ausgezeichneten, heute in London lebenden Pianisten ist gefragt, sie spielt es bis zu 20mal im Monat.
Übrigens: Miaomiao spricht sich “miau-miau” aus — und ist kein Kinderkünstler-Pseudonym, sondern in China ein gängiger Vorname. Am Abend gab die Pianistin dann am gleichen Ort ein ganz normales Konzert für Erwachsene.
Classical Concert for Little Ones
ff Adendorf. The program list in one hand, bottle and toys in the other, waiting with mothers and fathers on the performance of the pianist, an audience member asks another quickly after a baby, while a small blonde picks her nose expectantly: This piano concert has its own charm, the virtuoso Miaomiao Yu plays "Bach to Baby" Classical concert for the little ones, an original program in the Adendorfer Serenade series.
Reverent silence in Emmaus Church hall is not to be expected and it was not required. Some of Schubert and pacifiers fans circled the grand piano. Miaomiao Yu, mother of two boys, played in the midst of it all, undeterred Fantasia and Fugue by Bach, a Beethoven sonata, an Fantasie by Chopin, Mendelssohn and Mozart to - a full-fledged program, child-friendly moderated and loosened up with songs to sing along.
How closely the mundane and the significant can be together, was the twelve variations of Mozart's "Ah, vous dirai-ever, maman," the theme which is also for us known as a "Morning comes Santa Claus ...". "Bach to Baby" is an award-winning programme, mainly resident in London, where the pianist plays it up to 20 times a month.
Incidentally Miaomiao advocates "meow-meow" from - and is not a child artist pseudonym, but in China a common first name. In the evening, the pianist in the same place was then a normal concert for adults.
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Bach to Baby Beats Rainy Day Blues
It's been a while since I posted some music on here which is a shame as our house is always filled with music. Since birth, the Playful Baby has shown a strong response to music. She stilled to listen at first then would sit in deep concentration as she got older and now throws her hands in the air or asks an inquisitive 'do?' to a new instrument.
It's hard to find things suited to our needs when you have a feisty little one who does not appreciate sitting still in a circle or having to give back musical instruments she's barely began to explore. We've found one class which is pitched just right and often go to listen to piano playing at our local train station but on Friday we attended our first Bach to Baby. It was, in a word, perfect.
The idea is to provide classical concerts for babies, toddlers AND adults. I love this. As a mum I find myself in the land of farm animals and astronauts on an almost daily basis but something as stimulating as Mozart is a rare treat. The performance is broken up into different sections, with a little vignette about what to expect in between. It was helpful in keeping the babies amused by changing the pace but also a delight to be learning something.
We attended a concert locally, there's different venues and a regular turn over of musicians so its worth keeping an eye on their calendar. On this occasion we saw Andrew Brownell on piano and he was typical of the high caliber of musicians that perform. While prestigious and engaging, what I loved was that he remained completely calm and relaxed despite babies crawling round the piano and possibly the rowdiest audience he's ever played for. Watching a world class classical performer play twinkle twinkle was really quite sweet and utterly refreshing that it wasn't deemed beneath him.
It's not often you get to watch someone play with such passion and skill in such an intimate setting either. I took the Playful Baby right up to the grand piano to gaze in to its cavernous insides and watch the strings go to work. While she learned about sound and pitch, I mused that I could see every micro expression on Andrew's face: all his passion and commitment to his years of studying music. It made it all the more special.
There will be more mornings like this as it's a great way to bring music into both our lives and there's lots to choose from on the website. I especially like the fact that there's delicious cookies and Monmouth coffee for mummies to start off and plenty of time to explore and move round the venue both during and around the performance times, I could nurse and change little one easily and had I brought the pram, parked it with ease. I really approve of the loyalty card which means you get a free concert after enough attendance- that's a very nice touch.
A definite thumbs up from both of us.
Little Lambeth Review of Pimlico Concert Nov. 2012.
Bach to Baby - a Classical Music Experience for Parents and Babies
It came up in a discussion recently that most of the events for babies either benefit the child or the parent but rarely both. Bach to Baby offers something which both baby and mum or dad can enjoy - a session of classical music.
Each month Bach to Baby creates a theme for its choice of music. It then plays at different venues around the capital. Parents attend with their children. Adults cost £10 and kids are free. The children can make all the funny sounds and noises they like, wander around freely (though not straying into the path of the musicians) and enjoy the music. Adults get to also enjoy the music whilst knowing their child isn't having to remain silent (which we know under a certain age is pretty impossible!)
They have recently started holding a Bach to Baby event in Pimlico. I went to check it out. The venue for the concert is a gorgeous old Victorian church. Coffee and tea are available at a price. Buggies are parked in an area of the church. Then you just pick a pew, sit back and enjoy the music. After an introduction to the musician and some information about the musical theme of the month, Miaomiao Yu, who set up this wonderful event, explained some of the background to each piece of music before it began. I sure many mums enjoyed hearing about something which stimulates the minds and isn't baby related.
The concert almost felt like it wasn't long enough. I forgot how much I loved listening to live classical music. The baby loved it and banged along to the songs before sleeping though a bit of Gershwin and a rousing version of America!
Bach to baby is held at different venues across the London. One concert is at Clapham and two others are nearby at Dulwich and Pimlico. Concerts are an hour long including nursery rhymes at the end. The concerts usually start at 10:30am. For more information about these concerts, visit the Bach to Baby website.
I recommend everyone do this at least once during their maternity leave!
CULTURE VULTURE - The London Word online Magazine
Bach to Baby Concerts
Does the thought of the impending Christmas season bring out the worst of your cynical side? Do cheery middle-aged women ringing cow bells and wearing reindeer ears make you weep? When the family arrives with endless boxes of Fox’s chocolate biscuits making the same old jokes about the Queen’s speech while drinking globby glasses of eggnog, do you hide in your room and watch incessant reruns ofSeinfeld? If you said ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then a magical Camilla Pay concert played to a church full of babies with gummy smiles may not be your glass of glogg. For everyone else, grab your nearest niece or nephew, and treat yourself to a Bach to Baby concert.
These yummy mummy concerts are held all over London, and bring world-class classical performers to babies, toddlers and their parents. The series is organised by award-winning concert pianist Miaomiao Yu, who is the founder of the critically-acclaimed Classics With My Baby. Yu has travelled all over the world as a touring musician, and has featured on Channel 4 and the BBC. Yu said that after becoming a mother of two lively boys, she really missed popping out to watch concerts. Instead of moping about the house in her pjs, Yu decided to deliver a parent-and-baby series of concerts, where children could learn about classical music at a key developmental stage.
Guest artists at the series include pianist Grace Mo, Ruth O’Reilly on the French horn, violinist Elizabeth Cooney, flautist Saleta Suarez Ogando, Karen Stephenson on the cello, and many others. At St Alfege Church in Greenwich on Friday 23 November, it was the lovely Camilla Pay on her harp. She explained with a warm smile that she knew she wanted to be a harpist at just six-years-old. While babies crawled around determined to be the first to touch her harp, Pay, with calm intent and fierce concentration, played her way through memorable movie scores – theme tunes from The Godfather, Harry Potter, The Deer Hunter, Romeo and Juliet, and many others. Yu and Pay finished with a delightful set of nursery rhymes for the children. Pay has played her delicious harp with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and with artists such as Beyoncé , Michael Buble, and The Killers. Check out her music at camillapay.com
The strange thing about the concerts is that though you may go to one girding yourself up for a roomful of crying babies, you find instead that the music has a calming effect. Crawling and walking babies make a run towards the musician and their shiny instruments, while the newbies who are not quite mobile yet, find themselves drifting off to sleep in your arms.
Warning: You may just come out of a Camilla Pay concert thinking, ‘I’ve never been so happy in my entire life!’
Bach to Baby concerts take place across a number of London venues. Check out locations, timetables and prices here: bachtobaby.com
See below for what the press says about Classics with my Baby, Miaomiao's previous concert series.
Review by Philip Clark, Gramophone Magazine, 22nd February 2012.
Concerts for babies
Is it ever too early to introduce your child to live classical music?
Philip Clark 11:29am GMT 22nd February 2012
What age is too young to introduce your child to live music? As a relatively new parent – my son Humphrey was born in January 2011 – that’s a question I started pondering almost as soon as the first nappy was changed and the handlebars were fitted to the pram. Nursery rhymes are an essential rite-of-passage and the ditties my wife has picked up at the various playgroups she’s taken Humphrey to – ‘The Say Hello To The Sun Song’ and ‘There’s A Worm At The Bottom Of My Garden (And His Name Is Wiggly-Woo)’ – are charm itself. But my son’s named after Lyttelton and Searle! And if he is to become the hot jazz trumpeter or the 12-tone symphonist of my dreams, I needed to act now.
Which is exaggeration for comedic effect of course. Humphrey will discover his own pathway through life, but the parental instinct to share that which has been so rich and nourishing in your own life is triggered pretty much instantaneously, and so, on a perishingly cold January morning, I found myself at one of the Wigmore Hall’s For Crying Out Loud! concerts, aimed at ‘new parents and their babies’ – Humphrey balanced on one leg and a concert programme on the other.
Two weeks later Humphrey experienced his first London Symphony Orchestra gig, a concert for under-5s at LSO St Luke’s; then last week a violin and piano recital in Hampstead as part of the series Classics with my Baby. Never before at a concert have I witnessed one audience member hit another over the disputed ownership of a toy truck; never before have I sat through a programme that included Stravinsky and ‘The Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round’.
A subtle but key distinction became clear from the off – there are ‘conventional’ concerts made baby-friendly, while other concerts have been tailor-made for young ears. The Wigmore Hall concert, well intentioned as it was – and I’m bound to say very well attended – fell awkwardly between the two. The Wilhelm Quartet opened with Vivaldi (Humphrey cried), Mozart (Humphrey ripped up the programme I’d given him to stop him crying), Schumann (Humphrey slept, worn out by the effort of ripping up the programme), Tchaikovsky (Humphrey was transfixed) before, bizarrely, the quartet played the slow (and very quiet) movement of Shostakovich’s Eighth Quartet just as a crescendo of bored, fidgety baby cries hit its peak. The Shostakovich was completely inaudible to parents – but shouldn’t a concert open to babies be trying to engage with them anyway? Stiff onstage announcements added to an uneasy formality, suggesting a concept that needs fine-tuning.
The LSO concert, by contrast, was spot on. Part-concert, part-music lesson, part-story time, part-pantomime, presenter Vanessa King and five players from the orchestra (flute, trombone, violin, cello, double bass) used ‘Goldilocks and The Three Bears’ to introduce children to the instruments of the orchestra. Daddy bear was the bass (Gramophone readers ought to be clued up enough to work out the rest), scampering up stairs was symbolised by some pretty mean pizzicato bass playing; a door slam by way of a Bartók pizzicato. Unlike For Crying Out Loud!, chunks of The Nutcracker Suite and Peer Gynt were given a context by King’s spirited story-telling skills. Paul The Trombonist, as he was introduced, was directly in front of us. In truth, Humphrey was too young to appreciate the story; but he knew there was something special about the sound of this grown man and his strange golden metal toy.
Classics with my Baby concerts happen in ten venues across London. Founded by pianist Miaomiao Yu and violinist Philippa Mo shortly after they became mothers, whatever the Wigmore Hall got wrong, they manage to get right. Short pieces by Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, Schumann, Peter Warlock, Offenbach and Grieg was a programme I’d happily sit through under any circumstances. The babies danced, crawled and were moved in time with the music, and could interact with each other on strategically placed playmats. The concert ended with requests for nursery rhymes. Babies and parents left satisfied.
Given that he lives already in a musical environment, with Beethoven, Mingus and John Lee Hooker regularly blaring in the background, what am I expecting Humphrey to gain from the experience? It might be that he gets nothing out of it at all, and the whole classics-for-babies thing is just indulgent, wishful thinking. Then again, no one thinks introducing your child to ideas of language and narrative by showing them picture books is a waste of time, and I’d like Humphrey to be sonically literate too. Especially as, to be honest about it, the prospect of having to play football in the park fills me, Mr Indoors, with dread and I’m leaving that job to his mum.
Philip Clark, Gramophone