Primary educators

The American orchestra provides a dynamic way to approach topics in social studies, language arts, and science: families, neighborhoods, sound production, traits of writing, and more.

Your first stop should be your local orchestra!  Check out what they do in the way of education concerts and online resources.  Most importantly, you should feel free to let them know that you and your students want to know more about the orchestra.  Orchestras want to hear from you about what resources would most benefit you and your students.

The conversations archived in the tags, podcasts, and discussion topics on this website are more appropriate for older students, but primary teachers will find the discussions about education and community engagement an interesting source for ideas and questions to consider with their students.  

Further Resources:

K-12 Lesson Plans

There are wonderful resources on the web.  For starters, check out these teacher-written lesson plans that engage your students in the study of the orchestra:

Introduction to the Orchestra

Project created by third graders at Cromer School, Flagstaff, Arizona

Meet the Families

Cooperating Families, Cooperating Classrooms

Which Instrument are You?

The Sound I See

A Symphony Experience in Watercolor

Instrument and Visual Appreciation of Art

Quilting Your Way Through the Orchestra

Musical Instruments and the Science of Sound


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

Major symphony orchestras maintain websites with music games and information for children:

DSO Kids by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra  
SFSKids by the San Francisco Symphony
NYPhilKids by the New York Philharmonic
BSO Kids by the Boston Symphony Orchestra

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 secondary educators and university educators.