Sure, Beethoven could boogie and Mozart was the melody maker, but can these 17th century classical musicians compete with the likes of Taylor Swift or the other ‘tween music heartthrob in your house? Think twice when it comes to classical music appreciation with our favorite metro area live music opportunities (think: instrument petting zoos) catered exclusively to the littlest of listeners. Zin Zin Zin Violin!

12295491_10153705794083917_7677555252725749737_nPhoto: Capital City Symphony

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
First launched at Strathmore, the BSO’s Music Box Series features a musical host encouraging parents and kids to find the fun in classical music. Modeled after orchestral innovators in cities like London and New York where the outreach to younger audiences has helped build patronage and inspire the next generation of virtuosos, Music Box is now at the Silver Spring Civic Center with two convenient morning showtimes, and perfectly kid-themed to take young children beyond the fences of Old MacDonald’s Farm.

Next Show: Great Big Animals on Feb. 27

Silver Spring Civic Building
1 Veterans Pl. (Silver Spring, Md)
Online: bsomusic.org 

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Capital City Symphony
With a sold-out holiday concert and a Family Concert each year, this small ensemble rolls out the red carpet for families to enjoy classical music together. The website’s family tab specifically welcomes attendance by young music lovers at all of their concerts, though it cautions the “slightly more serious atmosphere” is not the same as their “wild and crazy” family-focused offerings.

Next Show: Go-Go Symphony on March 4

The Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H St., N.E. (H St.)
Online: capitalcitysymphony.org

National Philharmonic
Offer free tickets to all patrons under 17 years of age, and you can’t really go wrong. The National Philharmonic welcomes families to its regular concert series featuring national and international classical stars, including metro area natives, pianist Brian Ganz and cellist Zulill Bailey. For free tickets for the kiddos, call ahead, as reservations are not available online.

Next Show: Vivaldi’s Gloria on Feb. 20-21

National Philharmonic
The Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Ln. (North Bethesda, Md)
Online: nationalphilharmonic.org

National Symphony Orchestra
The NSO’s Performances for Young Audiences have become something of a metro area family staple, but this group of strings and things continues to innovate with performances like the upcoming “Let’s Remix the Classix” featuring hip-hop rhythms by local award-winning artist Christylez Bacon. NSO in Your Neighborhood also goes the extra mile making its repertoire more relevant to younger patrons with sold-out performances around town, many in more intimate venues like family favorite, the National Building Museum.

Next Show: Let’s Remix the Classix Family Concerts on Feb. 28

National Symphony Orchestra
The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
2700 F St., NW
Online: kennedy-center.org

The Saturday Family Jazz Sessions
A new venture curated by Strathmore, already known for quality performing arts programming for kids, the Family Jazz Sessions take place in the Strathmore Mansion, an especially inviting and intimate venue to spend time together, learning about the magic of jazz performance. Led by award-winning local musician, Seth Kibel, and vocalist Rochelle Rice, the content is geared to two different age groups at sessions through June of this year.

Next Show: Flavoring the Melody on March 5

The Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Ln. (North Bethesda, Md)
Online: strathmore.org

Takoma Ensemble

Families will also enjoy Peanut Butter and Jams with the Takoma Ensemble, a community orchestra that shares its talented conductor with Capital City Symphony. Teaming with a music educator, the Ensemble features kid-themed presentations including classical excerpts and singing at these perfectly-timed Saturday late afternoon sessions, aimed at the two to seven year old crowd. Check for listings on the Ensemble’s page or the Takoma Park Arts and Humanities calendar.

Next Show: Peanut Butter and Jam, date/time TBD

Online: takomaensemble.com

Do you and your kids love classical music? Tell us where you go to listen in the comments below.

–Carolyn Ross