The Salon of Princesse de Polignac ~ In Search of Lost Time for ages 6-12
Nov ’22

The Salon of Princesse de Polignac ~ In Search of Lost Time for ages 0-6
Nov ’22

The Salon of Princesse de Polignac ~ Proust and his vignettes of Debussy, Fauré, Satie and Ravel for ages 6-12
Apr ’22

The Salon of Princesse de Polignac ~ Proust and his vignettes of Debussy, Fauré, Satie and Ravel for ages 0-6
Apr ’22

Beethoven250 for ages 6-12
Dec ’21-Jan ’22

Beethoven250 for ages 0-6
Dec ’21-Jan ’22

Mozart 36 for preschoolers ages 4-6
Nov ’19

Despite being an abstract art form, when we listen to music, it can often be very easy to paint a scene in our imagination.  During this session for preschoolers ages 4-6, we allowed them to explore their sense of imagination as they looked out into the distance from a top of a Ferris Wheel.  3 specially chosen musical excerpts from Mozart’s Sonatas for piano and violin provided them with a basis from which to build their imaginary storylines from.

With the lead of our animateur Cheryl Kjm, the live music by Italian pianist Luca Buratto and Singaporean solo violinist Tang Tee Khoon, and the support of creative writing mentors from The Writers Studio, the hall of children explored descriptive words as the music of Mozart flowed along to provide each individual with inspiration and instigation.

Mozart 36 for preschoolers ages 0-4
Nov ’19

Perhaps Mozart is an extremely popular character 😉

In Oct 2019, we found ourselves completely oversubscribed for our pair of interactive Concerts for Children by TTK Homegrown Series, at Esplanade Recital Studio on 1 Nov 2019.  And had to immediately open up an additional pair of Concerts for Children by TTK Grand Series for the following Friday morning, which ended up being fully subscribed as well.  On this boisterous morning, preschoolers joined us in celebrating the characterful music of Mozart.  We explored 5 specific musical excerpts chosen for their unique musical personalities that were reminiscent of 5 different iconic animals which the children reiterated through a fun connect-the-dots activity in their specially designed programme booklets.

Thank you for joining us on this active and energetic morning !

Mozart 36 for ages 4-6 and 6-12
Nov ’19

Whilst designing our Concerts for Children, we often turn to combining different art forms with live music, so as to encourage the inner development of each child who come through our doors.  Music is an abstract art form and using other art forms to support the appreciation of music can be very useful in instigating the love of music in children.  In our Concert for Children ages 4-6, the children boarded an imaginary Ferris Wheel and together with Mozart’s music, exercised their imagination through creative writing ~ creating storylines for what they could see in the distance from the top of the Wheel.  And in our Concert for Children ages 6-12, the children entered an imaginary Masquerade Ball and with the help of carefully selected excerpts from Mozart’s Sonatas for piano and violin, created characters they meet at the Ball and a backstory for each of them !

Mozart 36 for ages 0-2 and 2-4
Nov ’19

Our interactive Concerts for Children are always designed using age-appropriate activities in combination with live music from our internationally acclaimed classical chamber musicians.  Throughout 2019, we had the opportunity to share the Whitebox space at The Artground with our little listeners – a space that inspires intimate interaction and cosy stories.  In our Concert for Children ages 0-2, babies and their parents went down an imaginary bubbling brook on a swaying gondola under the twinkling night sky, together with the music of Mozart.  And in our Concert for Children ages 2-4, children explored the connection between musical personalities and characteristics of animals they are all too familiar with.

Mozart 36 for ages 4-6 and 6-12
Jun ’19

22 Operas, 41 Symphonies, 27 Piano Concerti, 18 Piano Sonatas, 23 String Quartets, 36 Sonatas for piano and violin – all this and more created in just a short span of 35 years of life, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born in Salzburg, continued to be prolific until the last year of his life in Vienna, when he produced some of his greatest works ‘The Magic Flute’, his Clarinet Concerto and the unfinished ‘Requiem’.

From day to night, from dark to light, children explored the full colour palette of emotions in the music of Mozart with our engaging animateur and internationally acclaimed chamber musicians.  Listening carefully to musical excerpts and jotting down their feelings both in words and images, the children explored their varied sense of emotions through the written word and expressive artwork, with the support of world-class music.

Mozart 36 for ages 0-2 and 2-4
Jun ’19

TTK Grand Series dedicates much of our effort to providing international level music even for the youngest of minds and smallest of ears.  In this programme designed for children ages 0-2 and 2-4, the children discovered the lightness of being in Mozart amidst bubbles, feathers, balloons, and streamers, with our fun animateur and internationally acclaimed chamber musicians.  Moving rhythmically with world-class music, we created a space within The Artground for children to physically revel in the lightness and joy of Mozart’s music.

The Golden Prime – Schumann, Adès, Brahms II
Nov ’18

On 11 Nov, we held an interactive Concert for Children ages 6-12 where we broke down Brahms’ Rain Songs Op. 59 No. 3 & 4 for the children with the dedicated support of language teachers from the Writers Studio.

Each group of children familiarised themselves with stanzas from the poetry as well as key words that Brahms’ would bring about to life through his music ‘rain’, ‘dripped’, ‘heart’s very beating’, ‘downpour’, ‘rain pattered’ etc. They later heard Luca Buratto illustrate all these key words and their subtle musical differences in the piano part of the songs and then tenor Adrian Poon joined Luca to give a rendition of the Songs for the children.

The session ended with Luca Buratto and Tang Tee Khoon presenting the final movement from Brahms’ Rain Sonata in G major, which famously quotes these 2 songs when he wrote this piece as a gift to Clara Schumann ~ at the time she was struggling with grief over the death of his youngest son Felix.

The Golden Prime – Schumann, Adès, Brahms I
Nov ’18

In this session for children ages 0-6, we introduced to them works by R. Schumann, T. Adès, and J. Brahms that were influenced by folk dance and folk tunes. Classical composers found folk dance and folk music to be a channel through which they could learn more about the identity of the peoples whose dance and music are being represented. Musical excerpts featured were R. Schumann’s 5 pieces in Folk Style for cello and piano, T. Adès’ 3 Mazurkas, Chopin’s Mazurkas and Brahms’ Hungarian Dances for violin and piano transcribed by Joseph Joachim.

During this time, the children learnt to move in 2 and in 3 with the music !

The Poetry in Life – Schumann, Adès, Brahms II
May ’18

The roomful of children ages 6-12 explored the love story between Robert and Clara Schumann.  Their long road to marriage led to Robert Schumann’s outpouring of songs in 1840 and one of his most beloved song cycle dates from then, his Frauen-Liebe und Leben Op. 42 (Woman’s Love and Life).

The children were led by teacher volunteers from The Writers Studio in groups, to delve into 4 chosen poems from this cycle depicting the journey of a woman’s love and life with her object of adoration.  We then heard mezzo-soprano Jazimina MacNeil and pianist Luca Buratto bring the poems to life and observed how Schumann wove his own musical creations into the fabric of these Romantic poems.

The Poetry in Life – Schumann, Adès, Brahms I
May ’18

Together with a hall full of children and parents, we delved into the special timbres, textures, and unique sound world of Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet, a work fashioned by this German master after Mozart’s own sublime Clarinet Quintet, written a hundred years before.  Through textured tactile materials, we came to observe more closely, aural textures in the music and the musical instruments.  The children were then given the opportunity to create a textured artwork while the musicians played rhapsodic movements from the Quintet.

“The fact that most people do not understand and respect the very best things, such as Mozart’s concertos, is what permits men like us to become famous.”
– Johannes Brahms

Nov ’17

After a few consistent years of offering our well-loved Concerts for Children, we decided to switch it up this November and offer 5 sessions of special backstage tours and access to a ‘closed-door’ rehearsal for the children instead.  After roaming through the labyrinth of the Esplanade’s backstage, the children arrived to the backstage lounge of the Recital Studio and together with animateurs Sharon Sum and Daphne Quah, explored stories about Bach’s childhood, heard about the different baroque dances one can find in a Baroque dance suite, and learnt about polyphonic music in Bach’s solo string works.

After the intimate session with our animateurs, the children joined the musicians onstage to hear their 2 chosen baroque dances played by British cellist Colin Carr, and tested their listening skills in identifying the number of voices in a polyphonic movement of music from one of Bach’s works for solo violin, played by Tang Tee Khoon.

Beethoven Heroic Years II
May ’17

Sometimes, a composer can feel so far from us.  Do they really feel as we do ?  Do they also face struggles as we do ?

In this session, we wanted the children to go home with a closer friendship with Beethoven.  Like us, he had his struggles.  And like us, he had to find a way to overcome difficulties.  The children followed along Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 95 ‘Serioso’ live with our musicians, after recalling a personal experience of their own struggle and triumph over a road block, in a reflective activity.  Then with a stress ball in hand, they went through Beethoven’s own struggles and triumphs expressed in his musical work, through identifying tension and release in his music.

See, Beethoven is really not that far from us !

Visit our Youtube channel here for a peek into this session.

Beethoven Heroic Years I
May ’17

Crafting an interactive programme that works for 200+ children ages 0-6 and their accompanying parents, is not an easy feat.  We have the best of intentions, but sometimes one or two children will fall through the cracks.  However, we continue to bring these programmes to our audiences, because some of them will believe what we believe.  Which is that children may seem like they are not listening, they may seem distracted.  But what they hear when they are young, will stay with them for a long time.  And this is what we aim to do – bring the best quality live music to these young ones.

In this session, the 200+ children got to hear each instrument in a string quartet and familiarise themselves with each of their special timbres.  They were then presented with the challenge of identifying the exact combination of string instruments being played, without using their sense of sight, just with their ears.  You’ll be surprised, but many of them managed to ace this !

Visit our Youtube channel for video clips from our Beethoven Heroic Years Concerts for Children here.

Beethoven First Years II
Dec ‘16

Beethoven was a bold composer. His music is always immediate and honest. He wrote ‘I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must (come) out; that is the reason why I compose’.

So it follows that his music is an honest and direct expression of his thoughts, beliefs and emotions. In this session, the children discovered the emotional messages in Beethoven’s music through his joyful Sonata for Piano and Violin Op. 12 No. 3 and his dramatic c minor Sonata Op. 30 No. 2 with Italian pianist Luca Buratto, Singaporean home-grown violinist Tang Tee Khoon, and our engaging and fun facilitator Cheryl Kjm.

Beethoven First Years I
Dec ‘16

Beethoven loved nature. He took daily walks around Vienna and its surrounding countryside with a sketchbook always in his pocket. Many musical ideas occurred to him during these walks, and he would make notes whenever these ideas came to him.

The Solo Piano Sonata ‘Pastorale’ Op. 28 is an alluring example of music written by Beethoven that is inspired by nature. The children got to exercise their great sense of imagination as we discovered bubbling rivers, rustling trees, woodland creatures, thunder and rain in this wonderfully descriptive Sonata ~ played live for the children by Italian pianist Luca Buratto.

Beethoven Last Years II
Mar ‘16

Beethoven had 2 huge predecessors when it came to the genre of string quartet. They were Joseph Haydn, nicknamed ‘Papa’ Haydn by the musicians under his care, and the prodigious Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In this interactive concert, the children (ages 6-12) were treated to a mini story of the evolution of the string quartet, starting from ‘Papa’ Haydn, through the joker Mozart, and into the hands of the serious Beethoven — all this interspersed with live musical excerpts from works by the composers themselves.

We ended off with a competitive quiz between the 5 different coloured groups, and the children really showed us how much knowledge they had retained from the session !

Beethoven Last Years I
Mar ‘16

When one thinks of a string quartet, Beethoven would be one of the first composers to come to mind. He wrote 16 unique works for this genre and it is the dream of many chamber musicians, to be able to play all 16 of these quartets.

We wanted the little ones to have a taste of how beautiful a string quartet can sound and to learn about the 4 instruments that make up a string quartet. After much introduction, can they then distinguish the different instruments when the performers cheekily swap seats while playing behind a screen?  =)

The Parisian Chevaliers II
Nov ‘15

Ravel was a highly skilled composer. He knew each orchestral instrument in detail and how to make use of their characteristics to the fullest. Ravel was also an admirer of music from foreign lands. With his compositional skills, he would often write music for classical instruments to mimic music from these exotic lands.

In this concert, we introduced jazz music, gypsy music and music for the voice to the children. They also got to hear Ravel’s take on them when we played excerpts from his jazzy Sonata for violin and piano; his infamous Tzigane and his Berceuse, a lullaby he wrote for his friend’s new born baby.

The Parisian Chevaliers I
Nov ‘15

Debussy was a great admirer of art and painting. Much of his music is also very descriptive and vivid. So we chose a few of his short pieces, some transcribed for the violin and piano, to play for the children.

They got to exercise their imagination and draw what they think Debussy was trying to evoke with his music. They also came up with titles for the musical pieces they heard. When they ran out of ideas, they followed along the live painting of these musical scenes by Marvin Chew, vice-president of the Singapore Watercolor Society !

Transcending the Ordinary II
May ‘15

Schubert loved poetry and was best known among his circle of friends for his songs and dance works. In this Concert for Children, we introduced Schubert’s love for setting poetry to music and the children had an opportunity to create a poem in a group before hearing ‘Die Forelle’ (The Trout) sung to them by tenor Adrian Poon, accompanied by pianist Sam Haywood.

‘Die Forelle’ is a poem by Christian Schubart and the song Schubert created for the singing of this poem was then famously turned into the Trout Quintet for violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano. Which this group of children ages 6-12 was able to hear live, played by our musicians, at the end of the session !

Transcending the Ordinary I
May ‘15

Introducing the instruments of a western orchestra to children can be very fun for adults. But for your children, it may be the first time they are challenged to use their sense of hearing to distinguish between instruments.

In this session for children ages 0-6, we learnt all about the 4 string instruments in an orchestra – the violin, viola, cello and double-bass. With the help of our pianist, Sam Haywood, each string player presented lovely excerpts for the children, from ‘The Swan’ by Saint-Saëns to Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces.

Then, the challenge came. Can they distinguish between instruments, behind closed doors ? Cellists and violists commonly perform the Arpeggione Sonata by Schubert. Sometimes violinists and double-bassists also take this Sonata as their own. Switching seamlessly between instruments behind a large black stage cloth, our little ones got the chance to use only their ears to tell the difference =)

Love and Friendship
Sept ’14

Learning about the lives of composers, as one embarks on getting to know their works, bring a different dimension to the process and may spark in a child a greater sense of interest.

In Love and Friendship, the children were able to listen to stories about the friendships between the great German Romantic composers – Felix Mendelssohn, Clara and Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms – while hearing musical excerpts from their works.

The fun session of learning ended with a round of musical charades, a game that the Mendelssohns used to play with each another, and a drawing time for the youngest ones in the hall.

Thanks to media support from Little Magazine, 2 children were also able to receive a special backstage tour prior to the concert, led by the musicians.

Click here to read fun facts in the mini-website we created for this project.

Russian Colours
March ’14

Designing an interactive concert for children is one of the most endearing activities one can do as a passionate educator.

In Russian Colours, we led the children on a journey through time, in the far off land of Russia. They got to hear music that spanned about over almost a 100 years, created by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, and also heard fun anecdotes and facts from the lives of these composers!

Some of them got in on the action, when they got a chance to conduct Tang Tee Khoon and Sam Haywood, as they played movements from Prokofiev’s Sonata for violin and piano. The children faired very well in the friendly competitive group quiz at the end of the session, showing they had really remembered what they had learnt !