ASO showcases its accessibility with a series of Relaxed and Family Concerts

ASO-A-child-enjoying-a-Family-ConcertAdelaide Symphony Orchestra has announced Relaxed and Family concerts that are designed with accessibility in mind, part of the ASO’s greater commitment to inclusion, family and community.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello said both series are part of the ASO’s commitment to offering exceptional musical experiences that are accessible to all South Australians.

“The Relaxed concerts are a wonderful collaboration; the orchestra valued working with Can:Do 4Kids, Access2Arts and Tutti Arts to create a relaxed performance outcome that is meaningful,” he said.

“Relaxed performances are created with accessibility in mind, designed to make artistic experiences and spaces more welcoming and comfortable for neurodiverse audience members, anyone on the autism spectrum, and people with vision or hearing challenges, sensory and/or communication needs or learning disabilities.”

With elements such as adjusted lighting and sound and sensory-friendly break-out spaces, many children and their families will be able to enjoy a live concert for the very first time,” said Ciccarello.

Whilst family concerts provide an opportunity to experience the orchestra with your whole family. Our family concerts are high energy, interactive and designed to delight and excite the young and old.

The Relaxed performances have been designed as a holistic experience through foyer and venue design elements and pre-concert venue wayfinding and communications.

Can:Do 4Kids are South Australia’s leading experts in vision, hearing and sensory services for children. Can:Do strives to build inclusive communities and give people the skills to live a life without limits.

Can:Do Group Client Services Manager Kate Rayner said the partnership with ASO will ensure that families now have an opportunity to see the ASO perform in a safe, accessible space with no judgement.

“Children with sensory needs can find standard concerts challenging and require a more relaxed environment where it is ok if a child approaches the conductor, claps loudly with enthusiasm during a movement or needs to leave the concert space to a break-out area where they can re-set. These concerts have been designed with both the child’s enjoyment and their caregiver in mind,” she said.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive and parents of children with sensory needs have welcomed these new opportunities, because they can otherwise feel overwhelmed by public outings and have difficulty finding things to do as a family,” said Rayner.

ASO musician Emma Perkins knows first-hand the obstacles that families sometimes face when taking a child with sensory needs to live performances. Emma is very proud to be part of a project with such meaningful outcomes for families. She says,

“As a musician, teacher and also parent of young children (including a child with extra challenges), I’ve seen the positive effects that live music can have on a child’s development and emotional wellbeing,” she says.

“It can be an incredibly powerful tool for learning and emotional regulation. However, finding a live performance setting that is appropriate for your child can be tricky and even daunting when you have a child with a disability or with additional needs.”

“I feel very privileged to be part of the ASO’s Relaxed concert program and hope that it will provide a fun and welcoming musical experience for all children, whilst also easing the anxiety that can be associated with attending a live performance for both children with additional needs and their parents,” said Perkins.

For more information about the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Relaxed and Family concerts, visit: for details.

Image: A child enjoying a Family Concert (supplied)

The Bush Concert
Grainger Studio: Wednesday 20 August, 10.30am (Relaxed) & 12.30pm (Family)

A tale about community, adversity and inclusion – The Bush Concert is the story of the Australian bush and its harsh conditions. The bird community is in distress as they struggle to ?nd water and food during drought, and come together to hold a big concert to lift everyone’s spirits – The Bush Concert!

Based on Australian author Helga Visser’s beautiful book of the same name, this special concert experience engages the audience through song, dance, and the beautiful images from the book. Mark Simeon Ferguson’s score is a wonderful introduction to the sounds of our Australian birds, and an enchanting introduction to the instruments of the orchestra.

The Bush Concert features a crazy and diverse cast of Australian birds, which in some ways makes it a perfect match for the crazy and diverse array of instruments you only really find in a full symphony orchestra,” said Conductor, David Sharp.

“The composer, Mark Ferguson, has painstakingly transcribed each birdcall, and these are played by various members of the orchestra throughout the music. So the music not only tells the story of the book in terms of mood, but also brings all of the colourful characters to life.”

In This Place
Grainger Studio: Wednesday 5 October, 11am (Relaxed) & 2pm (Family), Grainger Studio                                                                 

Joe loves gazing at the stars. Join the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as they lead you through one boy’s life-changing journey from the family farm to the unfamiliar city. Leaving behind the golden wheat fields, burning sunsets and dusty red creeks he must face the grey city streets where bright lights steal away the brilliance of the stars he loves.

Through the wonder of music, images, songs and storytelling, you will follow Joe as he comes to learn the importance of resilience in a world that is ever-changing. With the strength of family, community and friendship, Joe will find his way.

In this newly commissioned work, award-winning South Australian author Phil Cummings draws inspiration from his own lived-experience, with moments and memories from his childhood, while local composer Glyn Lehmann creates a vivid soundscape influenced by his many years working in theatre, television and live performance. Come and discover for yourselves what it is like… In This Place