Educational Activities

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Learn from the Pros | An Excerpt a Day | Early Listener’s Guides | Snack Time Music Theory | Activities for Young Families | Crafts in a Minuet | Get to Know Instruments | Teacher Resource Guides

Learn from the Pros

Learn from the Pros: Vitor Trindade
BSO Second Clarinetist, Vitor Trindade, teaches us commonly used extended techniques performed on the clarinet along with musical examples.


Learn from the Pros: Qing Li
Learn from the BSO Principal Second Violinist, Qing Li, as she shares her stories about recital encore pieces that she has played in tours around the United States.


Learn from the Pros: Lisa Bergman
Learn from BSO Second Horn, Lisa Bergman, on how to use Flutter Tongue as an exercise to better connect your notes to create a more legato phrase.


Learn from the Pros: Agnes Tse
Do you want to know what it takes to audition for a professional orchestra? Take a note from Agnes Tse, BSO Second violinist, on her 5 tips to preparing for an orchestra audition.


Learn from the Pros: YaoGuang Zhai
Learn from Principal Clarinet YaoGuang Zhai as he demonstrates double tonguing on the clarinet.


Learn from the Pros: YaoGuang Zhai
Learn from Principal Clarinet YaoGuang Zhai as he gives tips and tricks to starting circular breathing on the clarinet.


Learn from the Pros: René Shapiro
Looking for expert trumpet warm ups? Take note from René Shaprio and use these tools to better your trumpet playing!


Learn from the Pros: Charles Paul
Learn from the Pros! Charles Paul, the newest member of the BSO bass section, explains how and when scordatora tuning is used on the double bass, as well as the advantages this alternate tuning provides.


An Excerpt a Day with Audrey Wright

Audrey Wright shares tips with violinists to help prepare for orchestra auditions.

An Excerpt A Day: Day 1 – Don Juan
Associate Concertmaster Audrey Wright provides insight into the first violin part of Strauss’ Don Juan.


Early Listener’s Guides

Early Listener’s Guide to the Brass Family

Learn about what brass instruments are in the orchestra, how they work, and fun facts about each one!

Early Listener’s Guide to Scott Joplin

Learn about Scott Joplin, how he was involved with Ragtime, and more about his popular compositions!

Early Listener’s Guide to the String Family

Learn all about the different string instruments, what they are made of, and how they produce sound.

Early Listener’s Guide to The Star Spangled Banner

In preparation of the 4th of July festivities, have you stopped to wonder where our national anthem comes from? Watch and learn about who wrote our national anthem and when it became so.

Early Listener’s Guide to Igor Stravinsky

Ever heard of Igor Stravinsky? Well he really shook up the ballet scene during the 1900s. Be sure to check out some works by Stravinsky on YouTube to further listen to his revolutionary compositions.

Early Listener’s Guide to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

Did you think Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture was about the War of 1812? Don’t worry, most people do! Watch along to learn more about why America uses this overture as a patriotic piece.

Early Listener’s Guide to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”

Do you know about Beethoven’s famous 9th symphony? Watch and learn to discover the “Ode to Joy” choral symphony.

Snack Time Music Theory

Snack Time Music Theory: Dynamics
Ever wonder how musicians know when to play loud or soft? Learn more about how composers write DYNAMICS to show what volume they want the musicians to play!

Snack Time Music Theory: Musical Meter
Grab a snack and learn about Musical Meters! Meters help organize the music and make it clear to the musicians where the strong and weak beats are.

Snack Time Music Theory: Bass Clef
Want to learn the BASS-ics of reading bass clef? Follow along as we introduce the bass clef notes on the staff.

Snack Time Music Theory: Treble Clef
Ever wondered how to read treble clef? Here is a brief introduction to where the notes are on the staff! Grab some staff paper and try to write your own notes on the staff.

Snack Time Music Theory: Rhythm
Let’s learn about rhythm through everyday foods found in your kitchen.

Snack Time Music Theory: Intervals – Part 1
Grab a snack and learn about musical intervals! Find out how what it means to play various notes and how they relate to each other.

Snack Time Music Theory: Intervals – Part 2
Grab a snack and learn about musical intervals part 2! Find out how what it means to play various notes and how they relate to each other. May be best suited for those with some prior music theory knowledge.

Activities for Young Families

BSO Music Box Sing Along
Sing along with BSO Double Bassist and Music Box song arranger, Jonathan Jensen as he sings about animal friends and the sounds they make.

BSO Music Box Sing Along
Grab a parent and your favorite toy and get ready for an At Home Music Box Sing Along! Join BSO Music Box Host, Miss Maria and her doll Miss Melissa to sing a song about “Little Birdies” and a special Mother’s Day song, “I love you Mommy.”

Billy Bass
Join Education Programs Manager, Morgan Daly, and her instrument, Billy the Bass, as they guide us through different nature inspired musical sounds and pieces.

Marin Alsop Conducts Family Favorites
Music Director Marin Alsop conducts the Britten-Pears Orchestra in family favorites, such as Peter and the Wolf and The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

Listen now!

Crafts in a “Minuet”

Crafts in a “Minuet”: Bottle Cap Castanets
Grab some household craft supplies and join us in making simple bottle cap castanets! Make sure to play along with your favorite BSO recording and join the percussion section.

Crafts in a “Minuet”: Spinners
Sometimes music makes you want to dance and spin around! Grab some craft supplies and make your own spinner to spin along with your favorite BSO recordings!

Crafts in a “Minuet”: Celebrate Springtime
Make your own rainbow with simple items you have in your home! Hang it in your front window to spread joy to those taking walks in your neighborhood!

Crafts in a “Minuet”: Through the Telescope
Follow along to our ALIEN craft in preparation of the discussion between Associate Conductor Nicholas Hersh and Astronomer Dr. Michelle Thaller!


Get to Know Instruments

Get to Know Instruments: The Tuba
Principal Tuba Aubrey Foard shows us his tuba!


Get to Know Instruments: The Baroque Violin
Ever wondered the difference between the Baroque violin and a modern violin? Violinist Greg Mulligan demonstrates both!

Get to Know Instruments: The Horn
Austin Larson explains and demonstrates the horn!

Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras

BSYO Virtual String Orchestra Performance of Farandole
The BSYO String Orchestra, under the direction of Wesley Thompson, is made up of talented young musicians from across the state of Maryland. Despite COVID-19 ending their 2020 season in person, these 40 string players ranging from grades 3 to 7 kept practicing and came together from their homes to create this virtual performance. The BSYO String Orchestra hopes you enjoy this arrangement of Bizet’s Farandole! Produced by: F. Scott Porter and Wesley Thompson


BSYO Concert Orchestra performs Bizet’s Les Toréadors from Carmen Suite No. 1
The BSYO Concert Orchestra, under the direction of MaryAnn Poling, had to cancel their Season Finale Concert at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Knowing that social distancing doesn’t mean the music has to stop, 91 members of the youth orchestra came together, virtually, from their homes across the state of Maryland to keep the spirit of music and collaboration alive. Listen as they perform Bizet’s Les Toréadors, programmed for their May 2020 concert.


Learning Resources

A Socially Distanced Music Lesson
Lisa Bergman, second horn with the BSO, demonstrates how she is continuing to provide music lessons while social distancing.


Teacher Resource Guides

The BSO provides arts-integrated, STEAM activated Teacher Resource guides for our school groups who attend the BSO Midweek performances. Each guide is written by a highly-skilled group of Maryland educators with specialties in music, drama, science, English/Language Arts, and visual arts, led by award-winning curriculum writer and editor, Richard McCready. The activities are designed to inspire creative interactions with the concert materials and to provide a more personal and engaging concert experience. These guides can be used at home or in school for cross-curricular learning to foster further engagement between the music on stage and other STEAM subjects.

2019-2020 Guides

Through The Telescope Research Guide Through The Telescope Teacher Guide Classical Mashup Teacher Guide The Snowman Teacher Guide The Composer is Dead Teacher Guide


2018-2019 Guides

A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra Research Guide Peter and the Wolf Teacher Guide A Swingin' Nutcracker Teacher Guide Symphony Spacetacular Teacher Guide


2017-2018 Guides

Baltimore Voices Research Guide A Christmas Carol Teacher Guide


2016-2017 Guides

Heroes and Villains Research Guide This Land is Your Land Teacher Guide The Snowman Teacher Guide


2015-2016 Guides

Icarus at the Edge of Time Research Guide The Polar Express Teacher Guide All About Sports Teacher Guide Peter and the Wolf Teacher Guide


2014-2015 Guides

Remarkable Farkle McBride Research Guide Ellington's Nutcracker Teacher Guide African-American Innovation Teacher Guide The Star-Spangled Banner Teacher Guide



 With Thanks to Our Official Education Partner

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