If you think that the Nashville Symphony is just for grown-ups, think again. The Schermerhorn is more than a crowning jewel in Music City’s downtown. It is the ideal twenty-first-century classroom. The symphony works year round to offer educational programming to budding music enthusiasts of all ages. Initiatives include programs for students, teacher resources, and public events. As an example, the Gaylord Foundation Young People’s Concerts are attended by over 10,000 students every year. These performances are available to public, private, and home-school students and can be paired with free, downloadable curriculum guides to integrate the experience into classroom learning. Such initiatives represent only the tip of the iceberg.
Because many classrooms do not have the funds to take field trips off campus, the Nashville Symphony visits schools for no charge. Students can learn from small groups of musicians through the AT&T Ensembles in the Schools. Teachers can register online with the symphony for these valuable classroom programs. These ensembles are not limited to music classes. The symphony will tailor their in-class performance and discussion to any subject from literature to social studies to science. Blair Bodine, director of education for the Nashville Symphony, says, “We want teachers to know that we are aware of the strains that are going on in the classroom, and we want to be an engaged and exciting educational partner for you.”
The symphony partners with the Country Music Hall of Fame in Is It a Fiddle or a Violin? This interactive learning experience takes students on guided tours of the Schermerhorn and the Country Music Hall of Fame. A live performance with professional musicians teaches students the difference between fiddle and violin styles.
Nashville Symphony educational programming is not limited to activities for school-aged listeners. Soundcheck allows college students to purchase two tickets to select performances for a reduced fee of $10 each. Monthly OnStage events invite adult audiences to an intimate discussion on the stage of the concert hall. These evenings are free and open to the public with advance registration online. On September 27, the symphony partners with the Nashville Opera and the Frist for a panel discussion of German expressionism. The Nashville Symphony will host a Young People’s Concert on September 26 and 27.
Visit nashvillearts.com for more information, videos, and links to teacher resources. For registration and a full calendar of events visit nashvillesymphony.org.