Music for LIfe is supported in part by a grant from the Dr. Scholl Foundation and the John R.  Halligan Charitable Fund.

Request Information →

Or call 855 ARS VIVA (277-8482)

Questions? Read the FAQ…

Share your love of classical music with your children and grandchildren

Request Information →Matthew Feinberg at Music for Life
Music Institute of Chicago

Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra and the Music Institute of Chicago bring you a unique new program for you and your children!


The program concept is simple: parents or grandparents bring children to Ars Viva concerts. They sit together in the audience for the first work on the program. Then Maestro Heatherington excuses the children to go to separate rooms in the North Shore Center with professional educators from the Music Institute of Chicago. There they learn more about the music they have heard, the composer or the historical and cultural setting of the music. Instructors use visual arts, drama, storytelling, and movement to stimulate the children’s own imagination and creativity. Adult companions enjoy the remainder of the concert and pick their children up when the concert is over.

What the children will be learning at the January 2011 concert:
Music for Life explores the genius of Mozart! First, we'll enjoy the Ars Viva performance of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. We'll explore the fourth movement and Rondo Form in our Cultivating Creativity class, where we'll create our own rondos from familiar tunes. In our Creating Connections class we'll get to know Mozart through story and dramatic play by exploring some of Mozart's letters.
Try the Musical Dice game on this great website about Mozart:


The concert and educational activities are FREE for the children. Adults must purchase tickets at the regular price to enroll their children. Recommended for ages 4 to 10.

Music for Life participant
Mozart pays a visit to Music for Life
Music for Life participant


To register your child for Music for Life, please call the box office at 847 673-6300. When you order your ticket, tell the box office that you want your child(ren) to participate in Music for Life so that they will be sure to issue complimentary tickets for your child(ren) and seat you together with the other Music for Life families. It is that simple!


2010-2011 Season concerts,
including Music for Life:

Sunday, October 24 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 5 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 30 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 20 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 1 4:30 p.m.

All concerts are held at the beautiful North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie at 9501 Skokie Blvd. across from Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center.

Subscribe to the entire season and receive subscriber benefits: 10% discount and a free ticket voucher to bring a friend to one of the concerts.

You and your children may also attend single concerts.

For more information, please call 855 ARS VIVA (277-8482). Questions? Read the FAQ…

With MUSIC for LIFE, attending concerts is a family activity. Your children can experience a live music performance, learn about it and go home with materials that encourage additional discussion. You are able to enjoy classical concerts and share your love of music with your children, developing in them a life-long love of music and lasting memories of attending classical music concerts with you.

Request Information →

For more information, please call 855 ARS VIVA (277-8482).
Questions? Read the FAQ…

Read an interview with Program Coordinator Corine Ness

Games and Activities Concert Etiquette: what to expect at our concert

What the press is saying:

Classical for kids,
without being dull

Chicago Tribune, October 24, 2008
The Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra has a better idea…

Getting kids in
on the classical act

Evanston Review, October 23, 2008
Like the weather, everybody talks about it, but no one does anything. Until now…

 Mathias Vanderwerf

What parents are saying:

“Olivia felt very connected to the teachers and seemed to appreciate learning about Finland, the culture at the time the music was written, and stories from that time period. The instructors ‘reached’ Olivia and tapped into her inate creativity and enthusiasm well.”
—Betsy Popovich, parent

“Thanks for offering us the opportunity to participate in the Ars Viva Children’s Program. It is a fantastic concept. We really enjoyed it. My daughter very much enjoyed hearing Finlandia and she VERY much enjoyed the educational time with the teachers. She particularly enjoyed having Sibelius show up in person to discuss his life!”
—Andy Eloff, parent

“I cannot think of a better way to structure an event; the kids are happy, the parents are happy, and I love it that the repertoire is regular grownup music, not just Britten’s ‘Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra’ and Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’.”
—Julia Bentley, professional singer and parent

“Up until now, family concerts meant adults sitting with their kids listening to a concert designed for kids. Now the Ars Viva Symphony in Chicago has a new spin on that, called “Music for Life.” This seems clever to me. Parents get to hear a professional concert; the kids get a small exposure to the real thing, and then are taken separately for an experience that suits them. In the end, everyone benefits.”
—Gene Carr, CEO of Patron Technologies

“From the moment five year old Nikki stepped into the Music for Life class, she was delighted. Creative, fun, knowledgeable teachers led the children through introductions to the featured composer of the day, exercises and games in rhythm, and much more! There was even a snack! What a delightful way to develop a child’s imagination and love of music!”
—Nelson & Thelma Stevens, grandparents