On a three week work trip to Asuncion, Paraguay in July, I sadly had little free time to spend with my baby outside our hotel room. So, I was grateful when a co-worker found a Paraguayan harp concert one Friday evening, and I saw an opportunity to get both baby and I out to enjoy a little of what Paraguay has to offer. Click here to see a YouTube clip of a beautiful Paraguayan harp performance.
I was a bit skeptical, at first, of how my then 7 month old baby would react to the harp concert, and I was prepared for the possibility of spending my time outside the concert space until it was finished. Just a couple months prior my husband and I had attempted to attend a modern dance performance in Amman, Jordan with baby, and I ended up sitting in the lobby with her most of the time (yes, my husband quickly joined me, as well, after saying good-bye to our friends that we were with).
To my happy surprise, she absolutely adored the concert. It was, luckily, a very intimate setting in a small indoor/outdoor room with folding metal chairs that accommodated about 50 people at most. We sat in the second row just few from the performers and an array of percussion instruments, which she loved. During all three separate harp performers’ beautiful ensembles with percussion accompaniment, my baby sat in my laugh clapping her hands, smiling with glee, and rocking along with occasional fist pumps to the music.
My only problem was keeping baby from trying to crawl down on the floor over to the performers, since she was so excited. She also felt the urge to vocalize a bit with some “Aaaaahhh-aaahh-ahhhs” while fist pumping, but it was quiet and harmless enough. It was a refreshing night out for both me and baby, and I delighted just as much in her enjoyment and enthusiasm for the music as I enjoyed the music myself.
Exposing young babies and small children to local music in the U.S. or abroad can be a wonderful way to connect with your child while exposing them to dance, rhythm, and different sounds and cultures. If you do endeavor to bring very small children or babies to a music or performance, I would definitely recommend choosing something in a more informal setting as babies can be unpredictable.