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Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts

Rabbi-Sol 14 Mar 09 - 10:35 PM
katlaughing 15 Mar 09 - 12:12 AM
Janie 15 Mar 09 - 12:13 AM
katlaughing 15 Mar 09 - 12:21 AM
Celtaddict 15 Mar 09 - 12:24 AM
Celtaddict 15 Mar 09 - 12:26 AM
Seamus Kennedy 15 Mar 09 - 01:52 AM
DebC 15 Mar 09 - 11:39 AM
Midchuck 15 Mar 09 - 11:51 AM
Seamus Kennedy 15 Mar 09 - 12:00 PM
Rabbi-Sol 15 Mar 09 - 10:13 PM
katlaughing 15 Mar 09 - 11:51 PM
GUEST,Golightly 16 Mar 09 - 05:48 AM
Mr Red 16 Mar 09 - 06:24 AM
Celtaddict 16 Mar 09 - 03:26 PM
wysiwyg 16 Mar 09 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,hg 16 Mar 09 - 04:59 PM
Seamus Kennedy 16 Mar 09 - 05:24 PM
Maryrrf 16 Mar 09 - 05:41 PM
Seamus Kennedy 16 Mar 09 - 05:50 PM
Celtaddict 16 Mar 09 - 06:50 PM
Liz the Squeak 17 Mar 09 - 03:03 AM
Marilyn 17 Mar 09 - 04:35 AM
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Subject: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 10:35 PM

It is no secret to the folks here on Mudcat that folk concerts attract mainly the 50 and above crowd. Because of religious reasons (my Sabbath), The Borderline Folk Music Club of which I am the President, hold its concerts on Sunday afternoons as opposed to Saturday nights.

I really have to work hard at getting audiences. What is my biggest competition? Not other music venues as many may think. It is that many of my potential concert attendees get stuck with the task of babysitting for their grandchildren on Sunday afternoons.

When mommy and daddy are both working hard all week they want a day off. It is very difficult for grandpa and grandma to say no when they are asked to babysit for the children, especially in these hard times when parents can not afford to shell out extra money for a professional babysitter. I would not mind if the parents came to my folk concerts, but because they are young you know that they are going to go to Rock & hip hop events.

For my past 3 concerts I can count at least 50 potential attendees that have had to cancel reservations because they were stuck babysitting the grandkids and belive me, they were not at all happy about it.


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 12:12 AM

Would it be inappropriate for them to bring the grandkids with them? There are concerts I would want to take my grandson to, to expose him to live music, esp. as long as it was an appropriate venue, i.e. children allowed.:-)


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Janie
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 12:13 AM

That was my thought, Kat. (Great minds think alike?)


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 12:21 AM

What better way to make them into folkies, eh, Janie.:-)


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Celtaddict
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 12:24 AM

I am a grandmother.
I love Sunday afternoon concerts.
And I am dismayed by the idea of people being "stuck with the task of babysitting for their grandchildren." It has always bothered me when fathers say things like, "I can't, I have to babysit the kids." I think of that as being a father. I think of time with the grandchildren as being a grandparent, whether the generation between is present or not, and I like some of each, both sharing all the generations and having one-on-one time with a little one.
However, how family friendly are your concerts? I love to see kids at traditional music events, and most of the musicians I know are delighted to see youngsters take some interest in traditional music. Naturally children attending any public event, restaurant, play, session, concert, must be of an appropriate age (with my older son this was from toddler years on; my younger son was not really ready to go to music events until about middle school age), must have been instructed on how one behaves in such places (and this learning process requires going to such events), and must have the attention of the adult in charge of them, and the adult must be prepared to step out with the child if needed.
Is your post a plea to parents not to leave children with grandparents on Sundays? If on the other hand you are simply venting your frustration, I certainly sympathize, because no matter when an event is, there is always something else going on, and while I put together events at various times, weeknights, weekends, daytime, evening, there seem always to be people who would come if... (In CT tonight, folks had to choose between Gordon Bok in Glastonbury and Brian Peters in Branford among others.) I am not sure I would feel better if my potential audience was in a bar than at synagogue or with their family. But as an audience member I am often frustrated by the feast-or-famine situation in which there seems no good live music for weeks then they all seem to happen at once...We always used to try to convince our kids this is a win-win situation as no matter which you do you will be glad. But I still think of the ones I have to miss.
Celtaddict who is going to try to catch three different events in two states tomorrow...


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Celtaddict
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 12:26 AM

And while the above great minds were chatting briefly I was typing....


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 01:52 AM

Sol - I do a couple of house-concerts out on the left coast where the organizers have me do a 40 minute kids show before I do the 'adult' performance.

After I've done the children's performance with all the appropriate participation/singalong bits, the kids go to another room in the house with a chaperone to watch videos.

Then I do the first half of the adults show.
There's a break for coffee/soda/cookies, where the kids may join the adults (if their movie's not very enthralling), and I do the second half of the show for the adults.

I'll finish with a brief adult/kid singalong.

How does this sound to you?

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: DebC
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 11:39 AM

That's been my M.O. as well, Seamus. Worked really well with a house concert I did in Idaho last year.

Deb Cowan


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 11:51 AM

Would it be inappropriate for them to bring the grandkids with them? There are concerts I would want to take my grandson to, to expose him to live music, esp. as long as it was an appropriate venue, i.e. children allowed.:-)

Unfortunately, a substantial portion of the present generation of children have been raised under the concept that not letting children express themselves when they wish is damaging to their self-esteem. Any crowd with a significant number of children in it will include a sufficient number who won't shut up and let others listen, to ruin the concert for everybody.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 12:00 PM

Midchuck - hence the format that DebC and I like to use. It works, unless the kids are mid-teenagers. Then nothing works for those little turds.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 10:13 PM

The kids here in question are little ones and would become instantly bored. They would then proceed to disturb everyone else attending the concert. I am talking about children under the age of seven and probably closer to four years of age. They can not be expected to sit still under the best of circumstances.

I run one concert a month. There are 3 other Sundays in the month that can be spent with the grandkids. The middle aged/senior adults should at least have one Sunday a month free to attend concerts. The problem is that people no longer know how to say "no". Grandpa & Grandma are free babysitters and the children feel that they are owed something rather than it being the other way around.


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Mar 09 - 11:51 PM

Well, I know I am his grandma and I probably brag too much, but I can tell you my Morgan, now 5 years old, would enjoy the concert and mind his manners, though he might not sit still. When he hears music he likes, he moves to it, although it can be in an unobtrusive way. When he was three years old he attended a classical concert and did really well with only a few questions which were too loud. Once he remembered to whisper it was okay. He was naturally curious about the instruments. Kids need the experience in order to learn how to act properly.

I do hear you, though, about parents and grandparents not saying "no" often enough these days. I know it happens. IF the grandparents had the kids more often they might be able to say no. Having Morgan almost everyday, I have found it easy to say no, though I have to be firm with him sometimes. His parents always support me in my decision.

As it is, if it's the one day of the month your concertgoers get a chance to see the grandkids, then I'd say the grandkids win out over a concert, for better or worse. It seems sad, but I know if I only had one chance to see Morgan per month, it wouldn't matter what was going on...I'd say yes to watching him.


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: GUEST,Golightly
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:48 AM

"When mommy and daddy are both working hard all week they want a day off."

Well, that's the phrase which bothers me.
I almost always have my little niece at my house on a Sunday, but it's not because her parents feel they are entitled to a day off from her. It's because I'm at work all week too and I want to spend some of my free time with her.

Her parents would fully accept it if I didn't see her every week, just as I accept it when they want to do something with her as a family on their day off work.

I find it quite depressing to think that young parents don't want to spend their limited time off work with their own kids. It's also shocking that they can't see that their own parents might want to vary their routine occasionally.


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 06:24 AM

A phrase I always trot out at times like these.

"Families that play together, stay together"

But taking the kids to a concert would be a good idea. I envisage a separate room for kids to play together and GParents taking it in turn to supervise. And maybe a little exposure to the music, even if via a loudspeaker. Is that an option?


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Celtaddict
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 03:26 PM

I love the dual concert idea Seamus and Debra describe, and it also would allow for slightly more mature (note, not necessarily older) kids to stay for more of the 'adult' concert, and to have a place to take kids who have enjoyed some but are not ready to stay for all the concert. This is about the way many churches run on Sunday mornings too; allows kids exposure without overtaxing them or the adults.
We have done this informally a couple of times, when kids stayed for a while then went to another room to watch a movie; that worked well.
About the 'mid-teens' who are likely to feel they must not like anything their parents like: I had a concert one time when my son was about 15. Of course I told him and his friends they were welcome, and of course he declined (polite enough he barely showed how incredulous he was at the idea) but during the event they came into the kitchen for snacks/drinks. They did not realize I could see them in the mirrored back of a cabinet. There were half a dozen teenaged guys in my kitchen, entirely quiet as they sipped their drinks and tapped their feet and bobbed their heads to the music. I suspect lack of duress is a bigger issue for that age than what particular event is offered. If I offered them steaks with us or hot dogs on their own, they would take the dogs to cook out at the stone fire ring as they wished.


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 04:19 PM

attendees get stuck with the task of babysitting for their grandchildren

The only grandparents I know who have the chance to see their grandbabies and grandkids don't feel stuck at all-- they glow with the privilege they know they have.

If the concert environment can become more child-friendly-- as I HAVE seen done well at house concerts-- then there's your audience. If you continue to see kids as the problem, or their parents as the problem, there's where your audience is draining away out of a big, fat hole.

You are a provider of entertainment. You have to know your market and program accordingly. If your "prime" market has grandkids in tow, that's part of your market.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 04:59 PM

Sunday afternoon is the only choice? I would think Friday and Saturday night concerts would have better attendance. The constraints of your religious services schedule seem to be as big a problem as the audience's grandkids. Just my 2 cents


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:24 PM

Guest hg - it's a bit unreasonable to expect anyone to forgo their religious beliefs for the sake of a house concert.

So the Fri/Sat thing wouldn't work for Rabbi-Sol.

Let's find what would work, and there have been a few good suggestions here.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Maryrrf
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:41 PM

The other thing to keep in mind is that Rabbi Sol is able to book many of the people who appear at his house concerts precisely because they fill in a day which would very likely be unproductive for the performers, many of whom are on tour. Friday and Saturday evenings would be prime gig times and the fees would likely be prohibitive for a house concert.

I have mixed feelings about young children at concerts. At a house concert, the idea of a babysitter and a separate room for the kiddies is a good one and would enable the adults to enjoy the music while the little ones were amused and entertained.   I'm all for exposing kids to music, but there are very few young kids that can sit still without making noise or fidgeting for two 45 minute sets of a concert that isn't designed for children. We have a concert series that is held on Saturday nights (not in a house) and occasionally people have brought kids. Almost inevitably they did not sit still and were somewhat disturbing to the rest of the audience. We've never asked anybody to remove their child but some have done so of their own accord and we were grateful. And a lot of people swear "Oh (s)he's very mature for X years, (s)he'll behave...."and (s)he doesn't. I think outdoor events, such as festivals, might be a better environment to expose young children to live music.


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:50 PM

Mary - you said " I'm all for exposing kids to music, but there are very few young kids that can sit still without making noise or fidgeting for two 45 minute sets of a concert that isn't designed for children."

That's why DebC and I do a show strictly for the kids, with lots of noise, singing, shouting, participation and movement, before they go to another room for a movie.

It has worked every time I've done it.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Celtaddict
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 06:50 PM

You are absolutely right about festivals being an ideal place for younger children to be exposed to live music.


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 03:03 AM

"When mommy and daddy are both working hard all week they want a day off."


So what happens to the child when mommy and daddy are working hard all week? I have this image of a poor child never spending any time with its parents because during the week it is in school or at the childminder/babysitter and at weekends with its grandparents, presumably alternating a set each week... Might as well employ a nanny or an au pair and have done with it.. or just brick it up in the nursery and leave it.

Guest hg - I think the clue is in Rabbi Sol's name... it's very hard for priests and ministers of any denomination or faith to keep taking their busiest working day off. Besides - what respect would you have for a minister - or anyone of faith - who tells you to keep Holy the Sabbath day and then does the opposite themselves?

Maybe the mixed family concert is the best answer - although I'm curious as to what you consider 'adult' material - unless you do a lot of versions of 'the cruel mother' and other jolly childcare ditties?

My experience of Roy Bailey concerts is that adults enjoy a good action/singalong song too - 'You need skin' is a great example - simple enough for the littlies, icky enough for the first graders and tuneful enough for the older members. Only the 'mid-teenager turds' are uncatered for and they're usually plugged into something electrical playing My Chemical Romance anyway.

Oh, Seamus - as the owner of one of those budding 'mid-teenageer turds', I should take offence but to be honest, it's spot on!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Grandchildren Compete With My Concerts
From: Marilyn
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 04:35 AM

For me and mine Sunday late afternoon and evening is 'family time' when we get together for a meal and to catch up on one another's news. My unmarried daughter comes every week and my son and his wife and baby son come every few weeks.

This family meal is precious to us, a family tradition that goes back generations and there is very little that I would consider important enough to consider cancelling it for.

Perhaps some of the people you are hoping to attract aren't actually baby-sitting but spending time with their families?


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