As part of her In:Spire series, Annabelle Lawson invited Polly Ives, who plays cello in the Woodfield String Quartet, along with Julie (viola), Hannah (violin) and Rosie (violin) to hold one of her ‘Concerteenies’ concerts for parents and children from 0-3 years in St Andrew’s Hall on Saturday, 11th January.  The idea is for very young children to be exposed to music and for their parents to relax and enjoy a mixture of classical and pop. Polly asked the grown-ups not to talk to each other, or their children, but just to listen to the music.

What an exciting occasion it was. A large mat of many colours was spread out on the floor for little ones to sit on, with chairs behind for Mums and Dads with little babies on their knees. There were 90 adults and children for the first concert (10.30am-11.15am) and 84 for the second (11.4am5-12.30pm). The quartet played Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik andCorelli’s Christmas concert when great clouds of bubbles were released to the children’s delight and Handel’s Fireworks when the children threw coloured nets in the air or over themselves. There were fluffy white balls looking like snowballs to throw around when Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Largo for Winter was played. The musicians walked around the children playing nursery rhymes, encouraging actions: Twinkle twinkle little star, London Bridge is falling down and the Grand Old Duke of York. Stuffed soft toy animals were handed out while playing The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book, A sky full of stars from Cold Play which brought coloured lights swirling round the room, along with Don’t stop me now from the pop group Queen. The whole experience was fun from start to finish. Seeing parents together, sharing a happy, relaxed time with their children was a delightful experience for all of us who were there to help.