The American orchestra provides a way to link topics in history, economics, language arts, and science to a medium that adolescents find engaging.
Middle and high school students are especially interested in the way musical life expresses identity and makes social statements. Many of the conversations on this website touch on topics of access, diversity, and education that will enhance the American history curriculum.
Students at this level are also aware of themselves as consumers of culture and technology. The Talking About Audiences interview with Elizabeth Scott, who pioneered Major League Baseball’s use of web-based technology, adds a sports connection to this issue.
Music students will enjoy the one-on-one interviews with music directors.
The tags on this website will identify conversations on specific topics that can be used as sources for student research and writing.
Searchable lesson plan libraries with music-integrated lessons that include the orchestra are available:
Keeping Score Education from the San Francisco Symphony
Artsedge from the Kennedy Center
Music for City, Music for the World: 100 Years with the San Francisco Symphony, by Larry Rothe
American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century, edited by John Spitzer
Music and Politics in San Francisco: From the 1906 Quake to the Second World War, by Leta E. Miller
The Great American Symphony Orchestra: A Behind the Scenes Look at its Artistry, Passion and Heartache by Anthony J. Cirone
Digital archives offer primary sources related to orchestras:
New York Philharmonic archives
Chicago Symphony Orchestra archives
American Memory collection at the Library of Congress
Educators at all levels can explore the resources on this site by theme (Community, Creativity, Audience) or by tags. Additional suggestions and resources can be found on the pages for primary educators and university educators.