It’s not easy being a child in today’s world where dangers lurk around every corner. The negative effects of music on children’s behavior have been well documented in the popular press and this Saturday’s LA Philharmonic concert was a stark reminder of the costs of exposing impressionable young infants to music. Apparently listening even to classical music predisposes infants to developing disruptive and oppositional behavior.
Many parents have sunk good time and money into classical compilation CDs of the works of Mozart or Beethoven in the hopes of creating smarter or more cultured children. However, these experiments have had a chilling effect on today’s concert halls. Everywhere, classical music concerts are overrun with Mozart-loving babies and their ilk creating their own special brand of havoc. After months or weeks of exposure to classical music, these infants become unruly and irritable. Often, they demand that their parents take them out in public to see the music performed live.
However once there, they block aisles with their strollers and diaper bags creating obstacles for people with canes or walkers. Needless to say, the Mozart-loving baby has overly rigid standards that make him a harsh critic. At the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, one of these infants showed-up and, as is typical, made his displeasure with the performance of Emanuel Ax in Mozart’s 9th Piano Concerto well known to everyone. Before Mr. Ax had even finished playing the adagio, the infant cried out in protest, a brutally harsh judge of what he considered sloppy technique. The parents of course, wisely decided not to move him knowing that this would only enrage him more.
It’s come to the point where the government should really step in to curtail some of the negative influence that classical music has on infants by limiting their access to these recordings. In the meantime, there are steps that one can take to avoid these altercations. One is to avoid programs featuring the favorite composers of many babies such as Brahms, Beethoven, or Mozart. There are few babies at new music concerts and most programs of 20th century music are still relatively safe considering the multinational music conglomerates have yet to sink money into “Baby Loves Feldman” or “Baby Loves Saariaho.” However, further action is needed. Only by preventing babies access to classical music will we prevent their rowdy and disruptive behavior in public.