Peppa Pig – My First Concert: 'If you can reach children through a character they know and love, it's a golden opportunity'
- Kelly Apter
- 6 February 2020
Flautist Jane Mitchell tells us more about this fun interactive introduction to a live orchestra with Peppa and her family
As everyone's favourite pig family prepare for their first visit to a concert hall, we speak to flautist Jane Mitchell about performing in front of children's TV royalty.
What's Peppa Pig: My First Concert all about?
It's a simple idea – Peppa goes to an orchestral concert and experiences it as an audience member. Her parents and George get involved too, so there's lots of participation.
Sounds fun – how can kids in the audience join in?
We do a lot of things with the children during the concert that match music and movement, such as marching and tapping and copying a leader – so you're really experiencing the music with your body rather than being told to just sit still and listen. For example, I put in a bit of Beethoven's 6th which describes a storm and the sun coming out, and the children make raindrop sounds and lightning gestures.
Just like Peppa, many children will be attending a concert for the first time – can they learn about some of the instruments?
Yes, we've tried to make sure that every instrument is showcased during the concert. And we have moments when players step out from behind their music stands and interact with Peppa's family, so the children see individual people rather than a big, intimidating mass. It's quite a small orchestra but it has a large range of instruments.
Unlike Peppa, you have lots of experience with children's concerts – how have you helped shape this one?
I've been really involved – the whole team was so open to having someone talk about music with them. One of the first things I did was suggest bringing in an arranger called Iain Farrington, who is just fantastic. He can interweave a Peppa Pig song with something by Beethoven, which is surprisingly effective.
How familiar were you with Peppa and her family before joining the production?
I have young children, so the TV programme is on a lot at home. I think the production team was surprised that someone who came from a classical music background was so clued up on the world of Peppa Pig!
As well as showing families a great time, are you hoping that Peppa Pig: My First Concert will open classical music up to new audiences?
Orchestras are sometimes seen as being inaccessible, so I'm in favour of anything that can be done to break down barriers, especially for younger audiences. And having Muddy Puddles alongside Mozart is a great way to do that!
The Peppa Pig audience is mostly under 5, so that 'Wow' experience is really important. If you can reach children through a character they know and love, and spark that excitement, then it's a golden opportunity.
Peppa Pig: My First Concert, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sun 9 & Mon 10 Feb, and touring.