Edit ModuleShow Tags

San Diego Symphony Launches Sensory-Friendly Concerts

The new series is aimed at families with children on the autism spectrum


Published:

The San Diego Symphony has introduced a lineup of sensory-friendly concerts as part of its Kinder Koncerts program. | Photo courtesy of San Diego Symphony

It’s late Wednesday morning and about a dozen members of the San Diego Symphony’s string section have taken the stage within the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad. On the floor in front of them is a group of children, each one seated on a colorful piece of square carpet. This is the first in a series of sensory-friendly concerts, launched by the San Diego Symphony’s Kinder Koncerts program and aimed at families with children on the autism spectrum.  

According to The Musical Autist, sensory-friendly concerts are “performances of the fine arts, which include those with disabilities who may not be able to sit still in a traditional concert venue, such as a symphony hall.” Some adjustments include flexible seating options, comfortable lighting, and lower volumes.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for these families to come and just be who they are and feel welcome, to feel like they can engage with the music in whatever way feels natural for them,” says Adrienne Valencia, the Symphony’s director of youth education, and the driving force behind the new initiative.

After a welcome song led by music therapist Julie Guy, the orchestra opens up the performance with a sensory-friendly rendition of Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Throughout the concert, the children are encouraged to experience the music using different toys, such as balls and streamers, and by moving, dancing, and clapping along.

“We were really excited about presenting a concert performance where the children in the room felt free to simply engage with the music,” says conductor Sameer Patel. “Whether it’s an educational concert or a masterworks concert for adults, you want people to feel like they’re able to respond to the music in some way.”

According to Adrienne Valencia, only a handful of orchestras around the country are currently doing these types of concerts. In San Diego, the initiative is following in the footsteps of The Old Globe’s sensory-friendly performances of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Into the Woods, which were designed to create a safer and more enjoyable experience for families with special needs.

Wednesday’s concert was the first of three this week. The next two are planned for Saturday, February 18, at San Diego’s Ballard Parent Center. They are free and open to children with autism and other sensitivity issues, as well as their families. Spots are limited, so those wanting to attend are encouraged to email Adrienne Valenica at avalencia@sandiegosymphony.org to reserve their seats.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Photo of the Month: An Otherwordly View of Torrey Pines State Beach

UCSD graduate student captures a stunning night view

Romance Is in the Air: Where to Staycation in San Diego

Leave reality behind for a weekend with these 6 romantic local getaway ideas

'Ultimate Dinosaurs' Exhibit Brings Rare Breeds to Life at theNAT

Augmented reality technology allows visitors to see full-size replicas of dinosaurs
Edit Module

Subscribe to the Blog

 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Cityfiles

Local News Updates And Things To Do In San Diego

About This Blog

San Diego Magazine's editorial staff (Erin Chambers Smith + Erin Meanley + Kimberly Cunningham + Archana Ram + Sanna Boman Coates + a handful of smart, thoughtful contributors) blog about everything from restaurants and bars to behind the scenes gossip to the best events happening this weekend. Looking for foodie and restaurant guru Troy Johnson? He's got his own blog here.

Recent Posts

Archives

Feed

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Cityfiles Feed »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 103 Dishes to Eat in San Diego before You Die
    Here's Made, our little black book of San Diego's best food
  2. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies and attractions
  3. Why Restaurants Are Adding a Surcharge, and Why Diners Should Gladly Pay It
    Restaurateurs are finding ways to deal with the challenges of the minimum wage hike
  4. The Dog Lover's Guide to San Diego
    Here are 52 ways to experience San Diego with your four-legged friend
  5. 67 San Diego Holiday Traditions You Don't Want to Miss
    'Tis the season for fa-la-la fun in San Diego
  6. Meet the Founders of the New Officine Buona Forchetta
    Native Italians Matteo Cattaneo and Mario Cassineri talk recipes, family-friendly dining, and the virtues of good bread
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module