San Diego Symphony
Family Festival Series Presents:
A Family Guide to:
How to prepare your child for the concert and extend the
experience beyond the concert hall.
Sunday, January 25th, 2015
at Copley Hall in the Jacobs Music Center
Dear Parents, Families, and Symphony Patrons,
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide to Behold The Bold Umbrellaphant and for attending
the upcoming concert on Sunday, January 25th at 2 pm.
Bringing children to the Symphony is a wonderful way to introduce them to the world of music, classical
and otherwise, and to provide them an opportunity to learn to listen, focus, and appreciate in a world
whose attention span is shrinking and whose focus is waning. In compiling this short guide, we aim to
provide you with:
A) Ideas on how to prepare your child or children for the concert going experience
B) Ways to engage with the music ahead of concert time
C) Things to listen for during the concert
D) Ideas for activities that will extend and enrich your connections with the music afterwards
We hope that this guide is helpful to you. Please feel free to contact us should
you have any questions or comments for us. We’d love to hear from you.
A Pop Up Toadster
The San Diego Symphony Education Department
Director of Education and Community Engagement
Education Programs Coordinator
In this Guide:
Get to Know the Instruments of the Orchestra …………………………………………………………………...3
For Parents: Getting Children Ready For the Concert…………………………………………………………..4
Biographies of the conductor, composer, and poet………………………………………………………………6,7,8
A Listening Map for Behold The Bold Umbrellaphant………………………………………………………………9
Animal Scramble Game Activity for Kids……………………………………………………………….10
Extending the Experience: Post-Concert activities to do with your child……………………………….11
Get to Know the
Instruments of the Orchestra!
The modern orchestra has around 20 main instruments that can be broken down into 4
main groups: Strings (violin, viola, cello, bass, and harp), Woodwinds (flute, oboe,
clarinet, bassoon), Brass (trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba), and Percussion (drums,
triangle, timpani, and includes the piano). Can you find all of them in Symphony Hall?
Each family of instruments sits together onstage, strings are usually in the front,
percussion on the back left, woodwinds across the middle, and brass across the back
middle and on the back right.
The word “symphony” means “sounding together.” Our orchestra is called the San Diego
Symphony because it is located in the city of San Diego, California and it is a group of
musicians who sound good together.
Getting Children Ready for the Concert
By Holly Mulcahy
Sharing orchestral music is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child. In a
society where attention spans are shrinking, this is a great vehicle to give a child access to
a longer attention span and a calmer thought process. Additionally, encouraging children
to use their imagination is a marvelous way to encourage creativity while helping them
direct their emotions.
1. Sit with your child and listen to a three minute piece. Before the piece starts, ask the child to listen
for three things. Is it a happy or sad piece? Was it quiet or loud? Was it fast or slow? It is important
that you convey that while listening they are not to talk but to listen fully! After you listen with them,
discuss what they thought. I think it would be a nice tradition to discuss over cookies or some kind of
2. A week later try a longer piece. Same questions, same discussion afterwards. Do not forget the
cookies during the discussion!
3. After you bumped up their listening lengths, start to ask them to use their imagination more. What
did the piece remind them of? Did the work make them think up a story? Perhaps they could paint a
picture of the images that came to mind. Painting, discussing, and the cookies now become a thing,
your bonding tradition. You are sharing a very powerful experience t
hat is fun and meaningful.
4. Bonus discussions may pop up such as what instrument is making what sounds. Be prepared to
Google what you don’t know and you might learn something fun, too!
Sit with your child and play portions of the recordings to be performed on the concert program. Ask the
questions listed above and draw some pictures, tell some stories, and share some cookies. Tell them you
are proud of how they can sit quietly and you’d like to reward them by taking them to see the music in
Explain what will happen from picking the tickets up, to finding a seat and sitting quietly while a real
orchestra plays the music they have come to know. Explain that there will be a time to talk during
intermission and after the concert you will take them for a special treat so you can talk about the
During the Concert
Once you arrive at Symphony Hall, choose seats near an exit or in the back of the hall if you are even
remotely concerned your child might not sit through the concert.
You will place your hand on your child’s shoulder if they are moving too much.
You will remove your child if they make a fuss.
You will have your child use the restroom before the concert.
Your child will tap your leg if they are done, and you will acknowledge the tap by holding their hand
and you will leave at the end of a movement or at intermission if possible.
Notice as many exits as possible, have a plan and several backups.
Try to take your seat about 5 minutes before the concert starts.
No kicking the seat in front and no talking.
Only quiet flipping through the program book, and if it falls, leave it on the ground.
Both you and your child will go out for a treat afterwards if the behavior was good.
1. Hopefully you and your child had a great time. Good preparation usually allows for that!
2. Ask your child what was the best part of the concert and what wasn’t. Make notes for future concerts
you might consider.
3. Start introducing some other music, keeping your tradition and special time going strong.
**These tips were excerpted with permission from the author from the article
“Kids at the Symphony: A How To Guide” written by Holly Mulcahy
for the website Neo Classical: Holly Mulcahy on the future of Classical Music **
The Bizarre Alarmadillo
Sameer Patel will be our guest conductor for these concerts. He
is currently the Assistant Conductor of the Fort Wayne
Philharmonic in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can get to know a
little about him here!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a town called Port Huron in the state of Michigan. It
gets really cold there in winter!
What were some of your early experiences with music?
I started playing piano at the age of nine. Two years later, I began playing the saxophone.
Even though at first I didn't care for practicing, I became very interested in music in high
school because I had really great teachers. I was lucky enough to have my first
experiences conducting while in high school and have been doing it ever since!
Did you study music in college?
Yes, I went to the University of Michigan.
What do you like about conducting?
I like the creativity and teamwork involved in making music. I also like that it has taken
me all over the world to meet other people who love music the way I do. Finally, through
my work with the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, I have seen how music
can help young people and benefit their lives.
What do you like to do when you’re not making music?
I am a very curious person and enjoy learning about all sorts of things, from airplanes to
countries around the world, to animals and people. In my spare time I like to travel, read,
follow University of Michigan football (go Blue!), and watch tennis.
Do you like animals?
I love animals! At one point I even thought about becoming a veterinarian. But while I
don't have an absolute favorite, it is probably a three-way tie between elephants, cats,
Lucas Richman is both a composer and conductor. He has
appeared as guest conductor with numerous orchestras including
the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Baltimore
Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Canada's
National Arts Centre Orchestra, the SWR Radio Orchestra of
ti (Austria) and the Zagreb Philharmonic (Croatia). M°
Richman served as Assistant and Resident Conductor for Mariss
Jansons and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra between 19982004 and, from 1988 to 1991, he was the Assistant Conductor for
the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Richman received a Master of Music in orchestral conducting from the
University of Southern California, where he was a student of Daniel Lewis. Earlier in his
musical journey, he toured with West Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival
Orchestra, for which he was one of four conductors from around the world selected by
Leonard Bernstein to share the maestro’s podium for concerts presented in London and
Moscow. Over the past decade, Mr. Richman collaborated with numerous film composers
as their conductor, recording scores for such films as the Academy Award-nominated The
Village (with violinist, Hilary Hahn), As Good As It Gets, Face/Off, Se7en, Breakdown, The
Manchurian Candidate and Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.
Mr. Richman is a respected leader in the field of planning and conducting concerts
for young people, having done so for nearly twenty years with various orchestras across
the United States. An accomplished composer, Mr. Richman has had his music performed
by over two hundred orchestras in the last ten years and his works written specifically
for children have been featured in young people’s concerts presented by orchestras such
as the Atlanta Symphony, the San Diego Symphony and the San Antonio Symphony. A hit
with new families, his compact disc, DAY IS DONE, features original and traditional
lullabies composed and arranged by Mr. Richman as an aid for parents wishing to
introduce their children to the joys of music.
Mr. Richman and the Knoxville Symphony, were the recipients of the 2006 Bank of
America Award for Excellence in Orchestra Education. The KSO “Music and Wellness
Program” was recognized for its partnership with community organizations to extend
the healing power of music. In addition, Broadcast Music Inc., in recognition of the
workshop he has run for ten years on conducting for film, presented him with their
Classic Contribution Award at the annual BMI Film and Television Awards Gala in 2007.
Mr. Richman resides in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife and son.
Jack Prelutsky has been making words rhyme for
over forty years. His life as a poet came as a complete
surprise to him, his family, friends, and teachers. He
showed no early talent as a writer, and can recall only one
occasion when he composed a poem during his school
days. After the poem appeared in his junior high school
yearbook, several boys ambushed him after school so Jack
came to the conclusion that writing poetry was hazardous
to his health.
That all changed in 1967 when Jack wrote his first
book of humorous verse, A Gopher in the Garden. Since
then, he has published over seventy books of poetry,
including The New Kid on the Block, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!, Scranimals, The Frogs
Wore Red Suspenders, If Not For The Cat, What a Day It Was At School, and Behold The
He served as the Poetry Foundation’s Children’s Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2008.
Prelutsky grew up in the Bronx, and when he was young he studied classical music;
though he gave up pursuing a career as an opera singer to concentrate on writing, he
continues to sing.
In a Scholastic.com interview, when asked where his ideas come from, Prelutsky
said, “Everywhere! Everything I see or hear can become a poem. Several toys in my
studio have turned into poems. I remember things that happened when I was a kid [. . .]
Or I write about things I like or don’t like. I love spaghetti and wrote a poem about it.”
Fabulous creatures and people inhabit his poems: the Umbrellaphant, and in Scranimals
(2002), banacondas, broccolions, and “the detested radishark.”
He has written more than 40 children’s books, often working with well-known
illustrators such as Garth Williams, Arnold Lobel, and Marilyn Hafner. Prelutsky has also
edited collections of poetry for children, including The 20th Century Children’s Poetry
Jack Prelutsky lives in Washington state with his wife, Carolyn; they have no
children, but they do have pets.
Follow along during the concert to discover which instruments are playing and what to listen for.
Timing is based upon the CD recording of this piece and is therefore approximate for live performance.
Winds and Brass
Winds and Brass
Ball Point Penquins
(comb on sandpaper)
Lynx of Chain
Pop Up Toadsters
Clarinets & Winds
6:40 – 6:50
7:49 – 7:54
Bass, Piano, Clarinet
Change in tempo to depict the
Narration and strings
“Snake Charmer” theme
Clarinet & Bassoon
Xylophone & Timpani
Winds & Brass
Trumpets, Trombones & Tuba
Violins & Oboe
Monkey swinging from tree
Percussion & Harp
Winds & Strings
Combine the two words on the left together to find the names of the pretend creatures that Jack
Prelutsky created for his book Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant. Then draw a line to each name.
The first one is done for you.
Umbrella + Elephant
The Lynx of Chain
Alarm Clock + Armadillo
The Ballpoint Penguins
Ballpoint Pen + Penguin
Chain + Lynx
Pop-up Toaster + Toad
Shoehorn + Hornets
Thermometer + Panther
Circular Saw + tortoise
Clock + Octopus
Egg Beater + Turkey
Tuba + Baboons
Trumpet + Cockatoos
Tweezers + Weasels
Lock + Ocelot
The Pop-Up Toadsters
Spatula + Loon
The Circular Sawtoise
Extend Your Experience!
Keep the excitement going after you leave the concert with these fun
activities you can do at home!
Create your own creatures:
For Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, Jack Prelutsky created creatures by combining animals with
gadgets and instruments.
1. Have your children pick out objects that they see around the house or things they use at school and
combine them with a favorite animal to create an original creature all their own. For example, what
about a Chimpanzee + a timpani? It becomes a Chimpani— an ape with a timpani (drum) for a
tummy that the animal plays on all day long.
2. Ask them what characteristic
s does this creature have? What can it do?
3. Write a poem about it together and draw a picture.
Check out other poetry books for children at your local library! Here are
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Poems to Learn by Heart Compiled by Caroline Kennedy and Jon J. Muth
The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky
Out and About: A First Book of Poems by Shirley Hughes
Listen to how other composers have depicted animals in music. You can find recordings of these
pieces at your local library or even on YouTube:
Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint Saens
Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev
“The Waltzing Cat” by Leroy Anderson
“Baby Elephant Walk” by Henry Mancini
The Butterfly Etude Op. 25, No. 9 by Frederic Chopin
Adopt An Umbrellaphant
...and you don’t even have to pick up after it!
Bring home the sound of the Symphony when you purchase a
CD recording of Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and
Carnival of the Animals!
CDs of the San Diego Symphony performing these pieces will be sold in our
lobby gift shop before and after the concert for $15 each.
Please see an usher for further details.