Watch: This Toddler Hearing 'Moonlight' Sonata is All of Us Right Now

Friday, January 27, 2017 - 10:23 AM

Toddler crying at concert That reaction? We've all been there. (Youtube)

Anyone who says you can be too young to really appreciate good music needs to watch this video right now. It’s simple — a dad at his daughter’s piano recital captures his 2-year-old son, who is seated with him in the audience. When a student begins to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata the unexpected waterworks begin.

That moonlit melody is so familiar that we may have forgotten the first time we heard it, but this toddler’s reaction will unlock memories of your own youthful path and remind you that it’s OK to roll around in your feelings from time to time.

We feel you, little fella. Just let it all out.


More in:

Comments [30]

David I

thanks for reminding why I don't have a smart phone & stay off of ALL social media

ps I agree with the fellow below ie probably needed to go to the bathroom

Feb. 21 2017 01:05 PM
Norm from San Jose, California

As so many others, I was touched by this. In another way, I sort of think this moment might better have been kept private.

Feb. 12 2017 08:30 PM
Ray from Long Island

This video is more about parenting. If a child is that upset, and you think you know the source of his dismay, why do you keep him in the situation and film him??

Feb. 08 2017 10:40 AM
Larry Borshard from New Jersey

Interesting. So many projected their interpretations of deep emotional response to an epic musical creation from such a young child. Maybe. But I saw a young boy sitting on a parent's lap. He seems a bit uncomfortable or troubled from the start. I wondered what had transpired before the start of this video. Then the runny nose appears. Maybe he wasn't feeling well, but doesn't yet know what was going on with his own health. Or maybe he was concerned for some call of nature either impending or already passed. He seems very patient to sit so still, or maybe he's afraid to move. For me, it's hard to tell. LOL- I agree, perhaps he was upset at the few oops that came from an otherwise lovely performance.

Feb. 06 2017 01:18 AM
Louis Torres from NYC

One comment on the WQXR Facebook page expressed doubt that the boy was responding to the music. My reply: "'How do we know for sure that it was the music?' We don't, of course. But we (including you) also don't know 'for sure' that it was not the music. It may very well have been, however, given the broad range of emotions it typically elicits in adults. I wonder what his response would have been if the recital performance in question had been this one: ? My guess (and it is only that) is that it would have been altogether different. [I was referring primarily not to the quality of the performance, but to the music itself.]

Louis Torres, Co-Editor, Aristos (An Online Review of the Arts) -

Feb. 05 2017 05:13 PM
John J. Christiano from Franklin NJ

Been there. Done that.

Feb. 05 2017 10:19 AM
Ossie edminds from East orange nj

I assure you that child will compose a great work in tge future.

Feb. 03 2017 09:36 AM
Jim Smith from Michigan

" all of us right now?" Maybe the writer, James Bennett, should clarify what he meant by this, or did commenter Cherlyn spill the beans? Subtract those two comments and you have a decent thread.

Feb. 03 2017 03:34 AM
Mary Gibbons from Castlebar,Co.Mayo.Eire.

Aww, tearful xx

Feb. 02 2017 07:27 PM
Maureen from Baldwin,N.y.

I believe this child was responding to the beauty of this music, My daughter did the same years ago, when watching Sesame Street, and they played a Vivaldi guitar selection.

Feb. 02 2017 07:02 PM
branagh from NYC

Maybe, but it seems to me he wants desperately to take a pee wee.

Feb. 02 2017 05:14 PM
evelyn from ny

I am curious as to whether the whole sonata was played and if this wonderful child's response changed. He is so beautiful and sensitive and will be, I'm sure, cherished and nurtured by his parents.

Feb. 02 2017 04:40 PM
Ignatius Sudol from Ojai, California

His feeling stirred mr to feel and be affected by the music swell. Ignatius

Feb. 02 2017 04:33 PM
Sandra Cain from NYC

The power of great art transcends us. And, this little child is gifted by the gods to be able to feel so deeply.
What a joy to view this child. If there is such a thing as reincarnation, this is it.

Feb. 02 2017 01:45 PM
Nancy Wight

What a wonderful little child and so attentive! Perhaps he was on the verge of tears due to the less than stellar performance!! No matter. He and Beethoven are first-rate gems.

Feb. 02 2017 12:33 PM
susan l paul from Meherabad,India

What an extraordinary child. Truly remarkable that he wept and then controlled his tears, at such an early age, in response to this beautiful music. Hoping he has a future worthy of his special sensibility.

Feb. 02 2017 11:23 AM
Denise from Yonkers, NY

This boy has the soul of an artist, obviously highly sensitive. I hope his parents, teachers, etc. treat him with extra special care and attention.

Feb. 02 2017 10:54 AM
judd from Chula Vista

Cherlyn. Nice going! Injected your twisted logic into a beautiful moment. I pray for peace in your soul. It's going to be ok. Really.

Feb. 01 2017 06:04 PM
Joan Rogers from Manhattan

I can't believe the composure of this child. His ability to remain quiet is astounding. There is something very special about this child. May his world always have beauty and music.

Feb. 01 2017 01:12 PM
Steven from Philadelphia

Please, for the love of God, may that little boy's parents not immediately intubate him with flashing, jangling screens until he can never sit still or concentrate again for the rest of his life. Right now, he is just sitting still and ... listening.

Jan. 31 2017 07:40 PM
SZG from Garden City

I look forward to seeing a picture of him as a two year old on the program of his debut recital some (not too many) years in the future

Jan. 31 2017 04:52 PM
E.G. from Brooklyn, NY

The child heard his sister practicing this. Perhaps he saw her, or another family member, moved by the music. I don't believe that a child hearing this music for the first time would be so affected without the context of others' emotions.
I agree that this little boy ought to have music lessons in his life. I imagine that he will have them, since his sister is.

Jan. 31 2017 03:41 PM
George from Garden City

A most remarkable thing to witness

Jan. 31 2017 10:49 AM
Jean Kuhn from New Jersey

I am watched with tears in my eyes too. What a sensitive and beautiful little soul. I hope he learns to play the piano and pour out his heart in music all his life.

Jan. 31 2017 09:34 AM
Cherlyn from Oregon

Wow, just broke my heart. So much love in a little guy. Then you see his future with the new president elect. I'm devistated. God bless.

Jan. 30 2017 02:41 PM
Greta from Miami, FL

And I just cried watching him!!

Jan. 30 2017 12:49 PM
June from NYC

Wow. Music is clearly this child's lifeline. I can SO relate. It's a blessing that will enrich his life for the duration.

Jan. 30 2017 11:57 AM
MuffinMom from upstate new york

This was me, six years old, my parents had a record of Rudolf Serkin playing the Moonlight, and I remember standing in the hallway, thinking, I have to learn piano and play this music! That was a long time ago. So I did learn piano, I can still play this. I hope this kid gets lessons too.

Jan. 29 2017 09:44 AM

OMG, please, please, enroll this child in every music program anywhere. Such a gentle, gifted soul, he'll lead us muscically in the next generation! Myself, I can't but help but tear when I hear this piece, it rends my soul. This child is gifted beyond comprehension.

Jan. 28 2017 11:24 PM
Ralph Gifford from NJ

That theme has always made my eyes wet too.

Jan. 27 2017 02:49 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Follow WQXR 







About WQXR Blog

Read WQXR's coverage of classical music news, trends, commentary and more here at the WQXR Blog.