Should young children be allowed to attend contests?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Hornblower RN, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. Hornblower RN

    Hornblower RN Member

    I ask this question because BAYV's performance of Rienzi on Sunday in the Brangwyn Hall was absolutely ruined for me, my partner and a few supporters sitting in front and behind me, by the antics of a young boy aged approximately 4 who was more or less uncontrollable throughout the performance. Efforts by his father to control him were pathetic to say the least.
  2. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    Blame the parents not the kid. Some players have to take their children to contests especially if both parents play in the band. It's easier to get one of the supporters to watch a child for 20 mins while we're on stage than it is to get a babysitter for the full day. But kids should only be allowed in the actual contest hall if they behave. Any unruly behaviour and their parents should move them immediately
  3. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    Of course kids should be allowed to listen, what sort of competition do you want? where no supporters can come in and listen? who knows that young lad may be the next Glyn Williams or Gav Saynor. you have to encourage people to listen to bands , I did notice this year that the Brangwyn hall was really quiet on both days , even the chance to listen to the Welsh College Band didnt attract a full house before the results.
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Yes of course they should be allowed to attend. If they weren't, I wouldn't have attended as many contests as I have done over the years.

    However, I agree... parental control, or lack of, sounds as if this is what the problem was here. I haven't played in many contests during recent years and thus have had the opportunity to watch in the audience. I regularly notice unruly children being allowed to continue misbehaving, to shout and scream etc. without sufficient parent/carer intervention. And before anyone jumps on me... I have two children of my own and always ensure they are well behaved anywhere, let alone in a performance/concert hall.

    Interestingly, and on the other hand, I remember attending a contest many years ago with a band (who shall remain nameless) without my wife who had other plans that day. My son wanted to come away with me for this contest, and whilst playing on stage I left him with a reserve/supporter of this band. I remember my son being very upset after we had performed and telling me that he had been told off quite sternly for quietly playing with his action man type toy during our performance - but by the person who was supposedly looking after him...!!! He wasn't making any noise, just playing quietly with his toy. Needless to say, this person at that time didn't have children of their own, and wasn't ever asked to watch my son again... Bad choice on my part eh!

    As a parent it is often very difficult to balance playing in a band contest and allowing your kids to enjoy the day too.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2005
  5. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    Yes, of course kids should be allowed to attend contests - it's all down to parental control. Best not to sit slap bang in the middle of a long row just incase they decide to 'need a wee-wee- halfway during a performance!!!

    There is an nice shot on the DVD of RTB's Open performance when there is an audience shot - a guy focusing on his score intently and his little girl resting on his arm fast asleep during the very loud finale of 'Contest Music'.....bless her

    Instead of the suggestion of banning kids - we should focus more on sorting the 'experts' who sit in the audience and suck through their teeth everytime someone clips a note. I had to mention to a few guys sat next to me at the Open a few years ago: every split note, every hint of untunefulness was met with a tut, shake of the head, deep conversation and frantic pointing at the score. Grrr!

    Also, on Saturday I took my Grandpa to see Grimethorpe at Selby Abbey. Good concert spoilt by the person across the aisle from me who was trying to shake his his last tic-tac out of the box during Hymn to the Fallen!!! Nice one mate

    Unruly kids can be annoying but ban the adults who should know better.......
  6. trumpetmaest

    trumpetmaest Member

    Let them attend, but make sure that the parents are looking after them.
    I was at a contest a few years ago and a toddler was running around the hall!
  7. vonny

    vonny Member

    I found this particular thread interesting to read, so I decided to respond. I believe children should be allowed to go to contests, I know that in the past if I didn't have sufficent childcare in place when I was playing in a contest I would have to bring mine along. I think it is a bit harsh when people say 'blame the parents, not the kids' It isn't necessarily the fault of the parents if a child misbehaves, there could be many factors which influences how a child behaves. If I took my children to a contest and either one of them 'played up' not only would I feel embarrassed, but I would feel angry especially if the people around me were pointing the finger so to speak. It would be far better to take your child/children out of the hall, and speak to them accordinly.
  8. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Not always easy this... what if both parents play/conduct in the band at the same time? Parents then have no choice but to leave children with someone else. As I eluded to earlier, I once had the unfortunate situation of having to leave my son with someone I was only a passing acquaintance with... ie a supporter/reserve player of the band I was playing for at the time. It was either that, or not go! Regretably I trusted him, but wish I hadn't gone.

    Again, as I eluded to earlier... for dedicated bandspeople with children, a delicate balance exisits. This is one reason I stopped playing... my kids come first.
  9. Miss Presley

    Miss Presley Member

    They can be the most well behaved and the best brought up kids in the world, but once infuriating boredom mixed with extreme tiredness starts to kick in, there's no telling what a little 'un will act like.

    I'm not at all sayng that is the settting of a Brass Band Contest audience, cos it aint, i'm just saying that must be what it is like for a child!
  10. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    Absolutely, we are lucky enough to have a couple of expert baby-sitters in our supporting crew (Gladys and Marie - thanks) and my girlfriend's mum has been excellent in supporting the band and looking after her granddaughter whilst we are on stage.

    As for sharp intakes of breath and suckings of teeth - grow up and listen to the performance not the mistakes.
  11. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    Well said!!!
  12. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    I stopped taking my kids to concerts cos they just get too bored and fidgety in no time, and If I'm playing or even listening i get really embarrassed if one of mine is causing a scene. The annoying thing is that normally they're really well behaved to the point that we normally get complements wherever we go. Don't know what it is about brass concerts, they just don't like em.
    I'd rather miss the concert than subject me, the band and the audience to the risk of my kids ruining it.
  13. Di

    Di Active Member

    As a couple playing together in the same band for many years, we've taken our kids to quite a few contests and engagements. We've also been fortunate in having the luxury of being able to leave them at home with Grandparents.

    If you take them, its a case of choosing a seat wisely, somewhere, if possible at the end of a row near an exit just in case. I think there's only been one instance where, with one of mine, the person looking after him decided to sit outside the door and listen because she felt he was a little fidgety and restless, but then was when he was really ickle. I must say that, if you take him to a gig of any sort now, he can still be restless and fidgety while there is nothing happening, but, once the battens up, its ssshhh, and he'll sit and watch quietly, as always concentrating on the percussion section. Needless to say, this is my little drummer boy. Then there's t'other one! I can remember the days of that one being given the occasional rock in her pushchair at summer gala's by the conductor while she conducted with her hand! She's attended loooads of stuff throughout the years until she got the point where the interest grew enough to get hold an instrument of her own! Now its her on the stage and Mum and Dad in the audience trying to behave. ;)

    I must say though, just as irritating, or perhaps even more so becuase they really should know better, are the "rustlers". The old dear who gets his lunch out of a tescos carrier bag, then tries to carefully, and slowly to unwrap his sandwiches from the tin foil! Grrr please! Why can they not wait until the gap between bands? Or at least until a loud bit instead of insisting on making all that racket doing a nice little cornet cadenza? Vic and I have been to so many gigs or contests just lately and I don't we've sat at one where there hasn't been a tinfoil attack or a packet of crisps. The first few times, we came out feeling really irritated by it, but now we just look at one another, give a "here we go again" roll of the eyes, and usually end up in an attack of the silent, shoulder shaking giggles as we watch and see how long it can take a person to unfold a piece of tinfoil, being so oblivious to all the stares and daggers being thrown in their direction. :eek:
  14. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    Some people don't have a choice but to take their children with them. I think it is risky to take a baby into a contest because they may start crying and that is totally out of your control. If your child does start making a noise please just take them out of the room straight away! saying all that I tend to agree that it's often the adults that cause as much disruption with mobile phones, sandwiches and bags of crisps! There is no excuse for that - people should know better.
  15. Blackleygirl

    Blackleygirl New Member

    Definately but if they get abit unruly then the parents should take them out or to the back of the hall as far away from the band. My 2 year old nephew went to the Yorkshire area and sat on his dad's knee and watched the bands, he was brilliant, didn't make a sound and then stood on his dad's knee and clapped when the band had finished. He then went and watched his dad play at Blackpool and was as good as gold there also!!
  16. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    When I said blame the parents I don't mean blame them for the behaviour. I meam blame them for allowing the behaviour to continue in that particular place while the band is playing. I accept that all kids misbehave from time to time and theres nothing the parents can do to stop them. What the parent can do is to get them out of that place as quickly as possible even if it means picking them up and rushing them out of the hall. They can then deal with the behaviour in an enviroment where it's not disturbing either the audience or the band. Overall I do agree that of cours Kids should come to contests. How are they going to learn what is appropriate behaviour if they aren't allowed the experience and what better way to develop their interest than in allowing them to listen
  17. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    Yes we should be allowed to. What age do you class as young...? Dont think Ive ever been taken to concert things with my parents they obviously dont trust us :p Actually, this was like 2 years ago but anyway, I was at a concert with my mum that Id been playing in and she was the one that was bored not me.
  18. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Kids of course should be allowed to go and allowed to go in and watch/listen to bands.... but it has to stop at a certain point... ie: any disurptions and they should be asked (with parents/guardians of course) to leave the hall the band is playing in....

  19. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Kids I can cope with... It's mobile phones I cant be doing with!
  20. madsaz

    madsaz Member

    we have had more than one performance ruined by a badly timed mobile phone - how hard can it be to turn them off?

    As always, its all about applying common sense. If I had kids, there would be large areas of contests where I would want them nowhere near! I would want a rapid escape if they were noisy - but shutting up a child who is making a racket is difficult!

    I found it strange to see kids running about backstage at Blackpool on Sunday - clearly there was a childcare issue, but not sure if I would expose my kids to the kind of pacing about and swearing that goes on before a contest.

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