Dont underestimate toddlers they like Shakespeare too says CBeebies controller

first_img“What we have to remember is that children get something different out of it each time,” she said. “It’s not familiar, it’s not passé. Children see different things; that’s how they learn and that’s how you broaden their horizons.“I think some people maybe underestimate them. I’m very fortunate to work with brilliant people who really understand our very young audience.”She added of her approach: “It should be a joyful thing. Not saying you should go to this because it’s good for you. “I don’t think we do dumb it down, I think we make it work for them.“Not many three-year-olds would be able to sit through a concert, but if you make it work for them and engage them, that’s how you get the appreciation and the joy.“And if they pick it up at that age, they’re likely continue.” This year's CBeebies Prom The cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream Adults must not underestimate young children by thinking they need their television dumbed down, the controller of CBeebies has said, as she shares her plans to bring Shakespeare and classical music to toddlers.Kay Benbow, who is responsible for the BBC’s youngest audiences, said pre-school children can easily fall in love with the highbrow arts, having longer attention spans and greater interest than grown-ups may think.The channel, which caters to children under six, has recently staged the CBeebies Prom, along with productions of Shakespeare and an adaptation of The Nutcracker due later this year.Benbow told The Telegraph she firmly believes “the very young deserve the very best”, making it a personal mission to inspire a love of classical music and literature from babyhood. “There are so many things that people assume young children won’t be interested in, and I think that’s very much an adult perspective,” she said. “If you give children the opportunity to listen, to look, to participate, they will seize it.“Of course not everyone’s going to love classical music, but it’s about putting the opportunity out there and giving them a chance to experience things.”She said previous broadcasting wisdom had laid down that young children can concentrate for between three and 15 minutes before becoming distracted.“I’ve never really subscribed to that,” she said. “If you engage a child, they will sit for a huge amount of time. A Midsummer Night's Dream “You mustn’t prejudge what children will and won’t like: give them the opportunity to experience and make their own choices.”Fans of CBeebies will have noticed a significant expansion its drama and arts output, to contain regular ballets and a Christmas play.This year, it added a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, staged in Shakespeare’s original language but cut to a toddler-testing 45 minutes.Benbow said she was “incredibly proud” of the addition of Shakespeare, saying programme-makers did not dumb it down but made it “work for” their young viewers. A Midsummer Night’s DreamCredit:BBC center_img This year’s CBeebies Prom, which featured an interactive sing-a-long, the channel’s star presenters, and a dinosaur rap, was the first of the Royal Albert Hall BBC season to sell out. Around two thirds of the evening was taken up with classical music played by an orchestra.It will be followed in December by a production of The Nutcracker, the classical ballet featuring music from Tchaikovsky.While the one-off productions are “financially challenging”, Benbow admitted, they had proved popular with parents who are already asking for more.“It’s about being bold and taking risks and doing things other people won’t do,” she said. “And if we don’t do it, as a BBC public service, then no one’s going to do it.”The CBeebies Prom is available on BBC iPlayer now.  The cast of A Midsummer Night’s DreamCredit:BBC  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Kay Benbow, controller of CBeebiesCredit:BBC This year’s CBeebies PromCredit:BBC Kay Benbow, controller of CBeebieslast_img

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