Ratbags, scandal and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Review

A lot is happening in my part of the world. Work, home, social life, family. It’s all good, but it’s all busy.

I like to have a work life balance. Ridiculous, over used phrase that it is. It was only a matter of time before another member of the family caught the lurgie. Sorry about that Blue Eyed Boy. And with band rehearsal, soccer training, and homework, homework, homework we have been a house on track to being very out of balance.

So, lurgie filled kid and all, I was grateful when Tuesday rolled around and I knew we had a bit of family time booked in.

Yes, I have become someone who books in time. In pencil. On a calendar. I know.

On what was surely the coldest day ever in Melbourne, with one child tired from all the stuff mum, so much stuff I have to do; and one tired from all the homework and a lurgie; with a Hubby with a deadline looming, caution was thrown to the icy wind and we headed to the city to be part of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Education Week.

In my head, we were one of those well rounded families, filing into the town hall ready to be carried away on a sea of music. In reality, we left it too late to leave, battled traffic, had an e-Tag that kept beeping that something was wrong, parked three car parks and a city block away from where we had to go. Oh, and I didn’t have a single umbrella in the car. Not a one. And I call myself a Melbourner.

We arrived at the Town Hall, I retrieved the tickets and we walked in. Bickering.

I asked the kids where they wanted to sit, and was rewarded with an I dunno and an OMG I DON’T KNOW. I replied in kind with a whispered oh for fuck sake by ignoring them. A lovely usher, with a knowing smile, pointed out some great seating options, we ignored them all, with much angsty teen eye rolling and found a whole row to ourselves towards the back. Give me strength, I thought at about that time, and wondered why I considered it such a good idea to come out as a family.

We sat in silence. I looked at other families sitting in front of us. Saw a brother pull a face at a sister, saw a father whisper yell at the face puller, realised we were far from alone in our family ways and listened as the orchestra tuned.

We were there, silence and all for Meet The Music: Scandal! As part of the MSO Education Week, children, schools and families of all ages are treated to a range of interactive concerts. The concert we chose was aimed at children years 7 to 12.

As presenter Paul Rissmann began weaving tales of scandal, I wondered if my two ratbags would stop being all teen like for long enough to enjoy the concert. I needn’t have worried. Together with conductor Benjamin Northey and the musicians, all four of us managed to forget our lack of balance and be enveloped in the magic that only a live orchestra can bring. Add to that the amazing solo performance from Nicholas Russoniello on saxophone and in the space of fifty minutes a family were transformed to one cohesive unit again.

I call that a job well done MSO. A job well done. Music, it really does soothe the savage beast. There are a number of performances as part of Education Week, with tickets still available, as well as more throughout the year. They have a school program that can also be accessed by families, BYO sulky ratbag teens, excited pre-schoolers or any child in between.

Disclaimer: I received a family pass to Meet The Music:Scandal! In exchange I provided teenagers, a swear-mouthed mum and a tired, on deadline dad, who despite themselves all had a fantastic time. 


  1. Hannah |
  2. Kirrily |

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