I’m sitting in the magical little Moomah cafe in Tribeca, a neighborhood that out Manhattans Manhattan. There are white Christmas lights on the ceiling, and framed artwork in the style of Moomah’s clientele, mostly Tribeca’s well-to-do mommy’s and their offspring. Founded by Tracey Stewart (yes, that Stewart) “Moomah is a space where both parents and kids can bond over a great song, a fun project or new treat.” The menu has healthy and organic foods for all ages; you can order a $12.50 pole-caught Pacific tuna wrap or an apple-blueberry smoothie in a sippy bottle.
It’s a wonderful little place, decorated with a “color palette inspired by nature and the seasons” and crowded with all sorts of arts and crafts material from the natural world, encouraging little Penelope and Dexter to connect with the environment, right there is lower Manhattan. You can also sign them up for theater improv classes or music and movement. It’s a place to slow down, bond with your child, and explore creativity together.
And what kind of music do they play? Schrot. Well, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but it sure wasn’t classical.
Is that such a bad thing? Not necessarily. But for a place that promotes the highest standards in food and encourages an exploration of the arts, you’d think they would also fill those little ears with a range of sounds- good contemporary bands and good classical works too. I’m not expecting Schoenberg late piano works. But Billy the Kid would be fun for families, or the Karelia Suite, or Schumann’s Kinderszenen, no?
Maybe I’m being picky. It’s a café, not a concert hall. But since Tracey Stewart promises that adults “won’t be forced to listen to kids music,” it suggests that the café plays the music that adults do want to hear, which is not classical. My point is that families with every available resource who are eager to give their kids the best of everything don’t consider classical music to be part of that picture. At the same time, if classical music will have an audience when Penelope and Dexter grow up, these are just the families who will support it. I fear they’re not doing that now. How to change that?