I forgot to mention what works best in terms of children coming to my concerts. As you know, my music is not “children’s music,” but children do enjoy some of the songs I do. Over the years, I’ve learned that trying to have children stay for my whole concert doesn’t work. My concert is usually an hour and a half long, with no intermission.
Before I got courageous enough to ask for what I needed in order for a concert to be most effective, children would sit in the front row or on the floor and play with their friends and toys (and occasionally play with the microphone stands and cords while I was singing), which was fun for them, but hard for me when I was trying to do songs like “Parents’ Song” or “Hope of Humanity.” I found that no one was really satisfied as I tried to “keep everybody happy” doing children’s music to keep them from being bored (adults would say “I didn’t come for children’s music”) AND trying to do engaging, challenging, “in-depth” music for adults (“that’s not what keeps the children entertained”)
What everyone seems to agree works best is: If children come to the concert I can do songs that they (and their parents) will like and be involved in for the first 20 minutes or so of the concert. Then child care is provided for them in another part of the church — for games or movies or whatever works for you.
Thanks in advance for your understanding and support in this. It’s taken me years to learn to ask for what I need, to accept and affirm myself as mainly a “contemplative songwriter” trying to provide challenging and nourishing music, rather than trying to be an “entertainer” in a society where we are being entertained to death.
Of course, I’m not maudlin and depressing, there’s a good mixture of songs and lots of humor and hope, but it’s just not something that children will resonate with for an hour and a half.
Are we okay with this? I hope so. Let me know what you think.
Peace and blessings,