Sensory concerts continue

A classical music concert designed for people with sensory needs is set to expand to other Australian cities after its beginnings in the Mountains. The success of a second sensory concert has inspired requests from other regions.

The concert format is the brainchild of Grace Kim, a concert pianist and music educator, who developed it after learning about sensory processing disorder through her eldest son’s experiences.

Professionals and members of the public have been asking for the concert to be performed in Sydney, Melbourne and regional NSW. Ms Kim said they were working on a plan to make the concert portable.

After its debut in April in Glenbrook, the Sensory Concert successfully won a second grant from Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust and performed again in August. A further concert in Glenbrook is planned for April next year.

“You don’t need to have sensory issues to go to the concert,” Ms Kim said. “But it’s designed with that in mind, which benefits everyone else.

“Music is universal and doesn’t discriminate. It reaches everybody.

“A good concert touches everyone and I’m trying to make it available to people who can’t experience that through their situation and limited challenges.”

Everyone is there for the same reason: just to enjoy good music.

Grace Kim

Ms Kim said the concerts were aimed at people who might be afraid to take their whole family to a classical music concert.

“It’s a more friendly environment. Because everyone is relaxed, the expectations are different. It’s not like a strict church or concert hall experience. In a typical classical concert it’s the tension of the parents shooshing them and the anxiety, and no one is enjoying themselves.

“So people take their children when they’re older but we’re missing the crucial early years when their brains are developing, when it cultivates your appreciation for beautiful things and high art.

“In classical music there’s nothing wrong with giving them high quality. If children are exposed to it they’ll just suck it up.”

For many families, a classical music concert is a considerable expense, so the cost of the sensory concert tickets is subsidised through the council grant.

Ms Kim said the concert was an “overview of diversity in its bare form. Everyone is there for the same reason: just to enjoy good music."

For more information go to: https://www.facebook.com/sensoryconcerts/.