Thank you for joining us at Once Upon a Symphony. We hope you and your child enjoyed your experience at Symphony Center. It is our hope that the sounds, images and experiences of “The Elves and the Shoemaker” will be fond memories and that you will go home with newfound interest in and curiosity about the world of music.

How can I keep exploring music after the performance?

Your Once Upon a Symphony experience is just the beginning of a rich musical journey for you and your family.

After you leave Symphony Center, we encourage you to continue exploring the music from the program. Sing the “Hello” or “Goodbye” songs that you learned during this program. Visit the Symphony Store to purchase recordings or download playlists through Spotify of the works featured in this program:

  • Pizzicato Polka  by Johann Strauss, Jr. and Josef Strauss
  • Waltz, Op. 39 No.15 by Johannes Brahms
  • Badinerie from Orchestral Suite No. 2 by J.S. Bach

Try playing a simple game with your child(ren), in which you play a piece, and ask  if they remember what part of the story it goes with, or what kind of movement it goes with.

  • Ask your child to identify the instruments played by the musicians in The Elves and the Shoemaker. Use these pictures.
  • Play with your child. Together, pretend to make beautiful shoes while listening to the Pizzicato Polka by Johann Strauss, Jr. and Josef Strauss.
  • Explore the ¾ meter in the Waltz by Johannes Brahms by moving in the ways suggested below:
1. Jump in sets of three 4. Clap in sets of three
2. Bend knees and bounce in sets of three 5. Tap the floor in sets of three
3. Put the jump and bounce together:

Jump – Bounce – Bounce

6. Put the clap and tap together:

Clap – Tap – Tap







If your child expresses interest in learning more about music, including specific interest in one of the instruments featured on this program, visit Making Music to find a listing of local community music schools and the programs that fit your child’s needs or interests.

A parent and teacher guide to music instruction in metro Chicago.

Where can I find additional information on resources and activities for parents and young children?

How can I keep exploring storytelling and reading after the performance?

  • Explore more fairy tales at your local library or bookseller.
  • Visit the Chicago Public Library’s website to learn about reading resources and programs offered for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers.
  • To learn about the powerful impact reading together can have on your child, read Reading Magic by Mem Fox.
  • To learn how to help your child develop crucial early literacy skills, visit Get Ready to Read!, a resource site for parents of all pre-school children created by the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Presented in collaboration with