Nashville Symphony performs first sensory-friendly concert
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Going to the symphony is a pretty formal experience.
You dress up, sit quietly, and listen.
But Saturday the only rule is, there are none.
"Our son has autism, so we typically stay home a lot. We don’t get to enjoy things like this because of his behavior,” explains Melissa Kruse, whose son, Noah, has autism.
Crowds, loud noises, and lighting can all be stressful for kids like Noah.
But the event Saturday is a safe way for the Cruise's to have a family outing.
“Any loud noises, anything unexpected, is going to catch him off guard and then we're going to have an emotional reaction,” says Noah’s dad David Kruse.
Those emotional reactions, are all okay, in fact, they're welcomed at the Nashville Symphony’s first ever sensory-friendly concert, designed with children with autism in mind.
“We are encouraging these kids to interact to the music that they're going to hear, we're also encouraging them to move around. There's no set seating, people can sit where they want. We want them to make noise, we want them to get excited if they hear something they like,” explains Nashville Symphony publicist David Felipe.
“They may perceive things more strongly than we do, noise may be more overwhelming than it is to you or I. They may not perceive things as well, so they need more input than we do to have it register for them,” explains Kathleen Simcoe, of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center TRIAD.
The audience got the chance to hear everything from classic Beethoven, to Star Wars.
This was the Nashville Symphony's first sensory-friendly concert, but organizers say with nearly 1,000 tickets sold, they hope to have more events like this in the future.