Last night I went to see the Philharmonia Orchestra play in St. David's Hall in Cardiff, which included a Chopin recital by the outstanding pianist Ingolf Wunder (pictured). I haven't been to something like this in a long time, and I'd forgotten how incredible it is to hear live orchestral music. I was blown away by the skill of the musicians and the breathtaking sight and sound of the whole performance, and so was my 12-year-old daughter, who had been reluctant to join me thinking the evening might be boring. In fact, she totally loved it and thanked me for taking her (extra brownie points for me!).
The reason I had gone was to do some research for a children's book I am writing, which includes a character who used to be a concert pianist. I thought it would be good to immerse myself in her world and get a feel for the music (youtube videos have been a great help but nothing beats the real thing). What I came out with though was far more than research. As the musicians played, and I thought about all the amazing instruments they were holding (from a humble triangle to intricate flutes) and the incredible composers who had written the music, it almost felt like I became encased in a surreal bubble of creativity. My mind started racing with ideas; for the book I was writing, for other books, for Burst as a company. Somehow my brain had fed off the creativity set before me, and a switch had been flicked on, multiplying my own creativity. I came home and madly wrote everything down before it got forgotten.
The whole experience was certainly memorable, for my daughter and myself, and it got me thinking how the creativity of others can produce and inspire creativity in us. Yet another good reason to keep and increase funding for children to experience music, dance, art, theatre, sport, cookery, crafts, science, business (the list is really endless!), because if we want children to be creative we have to expose them to creative experiences that will switch them on inside.
Want to see Ingolf Wunder in action? Click here.
Want to see an amazing education project from the Philharmonia Orchestra? Click here.