Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
Tiny Tots Questions
Inside the Orchestra for Schools Questions

Have a question that’s not answered here? Let us know.

General Questions

Inside the Orchestra was founded in 1958! We have been doing Tiny Tots and Inside the Orchestra for School programs for over 30 years, since the 1985-86 season. You can learn more about the early years of the organization here.
Tiny Tots is an interactive 45-minute program created to introduce kids ages 6 and under to orchestral music. Using a 30+ piece orchestra, we perform this program in venues throughout Denver. It is open to the public, but a large portion of our audiences are from area preschools. Children are encouraged to respond to different elements of the program, from “growing” to music that “grows” to stomping like giants, from waltzing like Sleeping Beauty to riding into the sunset like John Wayne. They are also introduced to instrument “families” and are encouraged to take a closer look at the instruments and ask questions of the musicians after the concert has concluded. The music selection, design, and scripting of Tiny Tots is geared to connect very young children with music – physically, emotionally, and mentally. Through a partnership with Alzheimer’s Association and other organizations, Tiny Tots is also open to senior citizen groups, and to individuals with dementia and their caregivers.

Inside the Orchestra for Schools is an immersive, interactive music education program geared toward students in K-8th grade. We take a 14-15 piece orchestra into schools and provide educational programs to schools that have depleted or non-existent music programs. The kids sit literally inside the orchestra as they are seated on the floor and surrounded by professional musicians. Our conductors are tour guides and educators throughout the program, teaching the kids about the music and instruments as the orchestra performs around them. The audience is treated to up-close-and-personal demos by the strings, woodwinds, horns and percussion. Scripting is designed to not only introduce music concepts, but to tie to curriculum that children are studying in other subjects. We prioritize high-need schools, with the vast majority of our school programs serving schools with a free/reduced lunch rate of over 80%. The school program has expanded in the last year to include bilingual programming as well, an area that will be further expanded in the 2016-17 season.

Family Concerts: Inside the Orchestra for Families is an engaging 50-minute performance created to get families and children of all ages “inside the orchestra”. Using a 15-17 piece orchestra, the family concerts incorporate components of our school and Tiny Tots programs, to introduce the family and the community to the world of Inside the Orchestra. They are offered free to the public, at various venues throughout the spring/summer months.

Soloist/Concerto: Inside the Orchestra proudly fosters young talent with our Concerto Program. Each season, young soloists perform with the orchestra during the concerts, demonstrating peer success to our young audiences. Students of piano and violin rigorously prepare a movement from a concerto by the Masters such as Haydn, Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart. The Concerto Program serves as a valuable launch pad for future performance opportunities, giving soloists experience, confidence and inspiration to pursue their talents.

Spark!: Inside the Orchestra partners with the Alzheimer’s Association to provide small group music programs to individual with dementia and their caregivers. These programs take place throughout Denver metro and are open to Spark! Participants only. The program involves performance by trios and quartets, interaction, and hands-on elements.

Sensory Friendly Concerts: Inside the Orchestra is partnering this season with the Autism Society to provide programs geared for children with sensory processing disorders. These programs will be starting in spring 2017 and will be announced online soon.

No, the Inside the Orchestra musicians are part of many other organizations and groups. You can find them performing all over the Denver metro area, from the Boulder Philharmonic to the Colorado Springs Philharmonic; from Central City Opera to Colorado Ballet. We are working on a calendar of events that will show you all the upcoming gigs our fabulous musicians have going on all around the metro area. Stay tuned!
Nope! Inside the Orchestra is a completely separate organization from the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. We do Tiny Tots programs at Boettcher Concert Hall every year, and some of our musicians do at times perform with CSO, but we are not part of their organization or their education department.
Yes, our musicians are all professionals, and we have been compensated for their work with us since the beginning of the programs. We believe in compensating talented and trained artists for their work, and we want the music we provide to be of the highest possible quality.

Tiny Tots

We currently do Tiny Tots programs in Denver, Lakewood, Commerce City, Parker, Littleton, and Boulder. You can find our season schedule here. We are always looking for new venues. Have an idea? Let us know! info@insidetheorchestra.org.
You can buy tickets for individual events on our Tiny Tots registration page. If you are interested in buying tickets for more than one event, tickets for a group, or more than four tickets at once, check out our tour packs. They allow you to buy discounted tickets in larger amounts.
We have lots of options for you. Contact us at info@insidetheorchestra.org or at 303-355-7855 and we will walk you through the process.
Actually, no. While ticket sales are certainly an important part of our financial health, Tiny Tots tickets do not cover the costs of Tiny Tots programs. Typically, Tiny Tots ticket sales end up covering about 50% of the direct costs of putting on Tiny Tots programs.

We ask for donations because the work that we do in the community would simply not be possible without the generosity of individual donors. Because of donations, we are able to keep our open door policy at Tiny Tots, which allows us to never turn anyone away and give thousands of tickets away each year. Donations also support our school program, which serves the highest-need schools in the Denver metro community.

Though Inside the Orchestra puts on over 100 programs a year, and has two conductors, over 40 musicians, 10 volunteer board members, over 60 volunteers, and over 20,000 attendees each year – we actually only have two full time people on staff. Shelby and Sara are the only two full time employees, and you will continue to see them at every Tiny Tots program. Come say hello!
Whoohoo! You can learn all about our Tiny Tots Activity Passports on the passport page.
We do require that all children attending have adult supervision. That being said, we’ve heard time and again that adults love our programs as much as the kids – stick around, and we’ll get you dancing in no time.
While the program was designed for children six and under, there is no age requirement to attend – and we know the program can be enjoyed by all ages.
Because many of our programs fill up, we ask that everyone only use the space they need – seat cushions are welcome, blankets are not.
We design programs for kids, and we know that it can be hard for little ones to stay seated through the whole program. We do encourage interaction and movement. Children need to stay next to the adult accompanying them, but dancing, moving, and responding to the conductor when asked – those are encouraged!

Inside the Orchestra for Schools

The school program has the same fundamental components, in that the students are on the floor and surrounded by musicians. The conductor faces the audience and guides the kids through the program in the schools as well. The biggest differences are that the school program is a smaller group of musicians (typically 14-16 musicians), and the scripting is geared older, with more question and answers and more complicated concepts. Additionally, the school program has follow up programs in the classroom, and lesson plans that are provided to teachers.
Get in touch with us! Email us at info@insidetheorchestra.org or by phone at 303-355-7855. We’d love to talk to you about the options. Please be aware that we typically have a wait list, but we will do what we can to figure out a way to bring a program to your community.
We currently do programs in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties. We also do programming in Summit and Lake county once a year. If your school is in a different county than the ones listed, let us know you are interested and we will work with you.
At this time, we do not have an in-school preschool program. We encourage preschool teachers and directors to look at our Tiny Tots schedule and talk to us about scheduling a field trip.
Yes! Our school programs are designed to be responsive to the needs of the school. We offer bilingual programs that include Spanish narration as well as an emphasis on Latin music and orchestra music composed by Latin composers.