Family Concert: What Do You Do With an Idea?


Suitable for 7- to 12-year-olds

Sat 1 Jun 2019 2.30pm - 3.30pm
Barbican Hall, London

BEETHOVEN First movement from Symphony No 5
ELGAR Selection from ‘Enigma Variations’
IVES The Housatonic at Stockbridge
PAUL RISSMANN What Do You Do With an Idea?

Felix Mildenberger conductor
Paul Rissmann
composer & presenter
Victor Craven
Carlie Angel
LSO Community Choir
LSO Discovery Junior Choir
London Symphony Orchestra

Tickets: £5 under-18s; £16 £12 £10 adults

£3 online booking fee, £4 telephone booking fee per transaction - click here for more information on booking fees

Part of the main season multibuy - click here for more information on multibuys

Part of 2018/19 Season


download unspecifiedDownload the concert programme (PDF)


© Compendium, Inc.
Author: Kobi Yamada
Illustrations: Mae Besom

Please note that finish times are approximate and subject to change.

Experience the spectacle of a live symphony orchestra with your family as we tell the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself, until one day something amazing happens.

What Do You Do with an Idea? is a musical and theatrical reimagining of the acclaimed children’s book by Kobi Yamada, combining the music of the Orchestra with singing, lighting and dance.

Composer Paul Rissmann also explores the incredible music of Beethoven, Ives and Elgar, presenting a magical concert about the power of creativity and how ideas have the power to change the world.

Please be aware that the pre-concert foyer activities are hugely popular and operate on a first come, first served basis. Arrive early to avoid disappointment!

Calling Young Artists

Create an artwork inspired by ‘The Housatonic at Stockbridge’, and we might project your work onto the big screens while the Orchestra plays.

The Housatonic is the river that runs through Ives’ Massachusetts homeland. Ives uses the sounds of the orchestra to depict the current of the water and faint strains of a traditional hymn. It’s said that when Ives stood watching the river, a choir practised in a church on the further bank.

What does the music remind you of? It might be something you can capture with paints, or crayons, or pencils, or it might be a sculpture!

Artwork should be in landscape format, and should not include names. You can email it as a photograph or scanned copy to [email protected] by Friday 24 May.

By submitting your artwork, you give consent for the picture to be used on screen in the concert.

Pre-concert activities

12–2.15pm, Barbican Foyers

Get into the spirit of the concert with our fun, free interactive activities.


Some workshops have a limited capacity and operate on a first come, first served basis, so go to your favourite activity first or arrive a few minutes before the workshop start time so you have the best chance of getting in! 

Music workshop
Fountain Room, Level G
Workshop start times: 12pm / 12.35pm / 1.10pm / 1.45pm

Join Kizzy Brooks and a team of professional musicians in these creative music workshops to compose new music based on the idea of destiny on one of our instruments!

Singing workshop
Stalls Lounge, Level -1
Workshop start times: 12pm / 12.35pm / 1.10pm / 1.45pm

Warm your voices up ahead of the concert in these energetic singing workshops to learn the participation song, ‘You change the world with an idea’ with Sam Chaplin.

Terrarium workshop
Freestage, Level G
Workshop start times: 12pm / 12.25pm / 12.50pm / 1.15pm / 1.40pm

Our friends from Heron Hawker will take you through the process of making your very own terrarium, a unique environment for plant growth. Watch your succulent grow like your ideas with attention, care and a bit of water.

Drop-in activities

Activities run from midday to 2.15pm

Try an Instrument
Theatre Left, Level -1

Whether you play an instrument or not, come along to give one a go! You can try the violin, cello, flute or trumpet and there will be musicians on hand to help out.

Please note: to help ensure all children get to have a go, there will be a queuing system in place managed by LSO staff.

Tree of Ideas – Interactive Art Installation
Clubstage, Level -1

Join artist Kirsty Harris to contribute your idea to change the world to our beautiful Tree of Ideas. Let your imaginations take flight!

Big Barbican Adventure
Foyers, including both indoor and outdoor locations

Explore the Barbican in this do-it-yourself adventure trail for families. Set off to discover the secrets of the Barbican through cryptic clue solving, drawing and games. Don’t forget to pick up a free trail kit from the LSO info desk on Level G!


From 2pm
There is a free crèche available for younger siblings under the age of 7. Places must be booked in advance by calling the Barbican Box Office on 020 7638 8891.


LSO Discovery Family Concerts give families the opportunity to experience a world-class orchestra up-close, and learn more about the music we play.

Featuring excerpts from some of the most popular pieces in the repertoire, these concerts are the perfect way to introduce your children to the world of classical music.

They’re only an hour long and you’ll always have the chance to join in (no more sitting in silence!), whether during the concert itself or at the interactive workshops in the foyers. You might even get to meet the LSO musicians themselves!

This is a fun day out for all the family, and we make sure that everyone is looked after, has a great time and most of all enjoys the music!

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