Inside the Orchestra for Schools

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Inside the Orchestra for Schools

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Inside the Orchestra for Schools is an interactive 50-minute program geared toward students in K-8th grade. We offer the program in English and Bilingual formats.

We take a 14-16 piece professional orchestra into schools and perform in auditoriums, gymnasiums, and cafeterias. As in all of our programs, the audience is seated on the floor and surrounded by professional musicians. The conductor faces the students and engages them throughout the performance, asking questions and teaching them about the music as it is playing around them. Students are treated to up-close-and-personal demos by the strings, woodwinds, horns and percussion. Scripting is designed to not only introduce musical concepts but to tie to curriculum that children are studying in other subjects. We take the school program to Arapahoe, Douglas, Denver, Adams, Jefferson, Boulder, Summit, and Lake Counties.

Both the repertoire and approach to learning that Inside the Orchestra maintains are designed to support and enhance the school curricula. The conductor introduces key elements of symphonic music such as transitions, orchestral “color”, and identifying the emotional quality of different types of music. Music teachers who are proficient with their instruments are invited to sit in with our professional orchestra. In addition, one child is given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to conduct the orchestra. By doing so, the student and audience quickly learn the cause and effect between conductor and musician.

The school program is underwritten to serve schools with the highest need. It is not possible without support from foundations, corporations, and especially individual donors.

Contact us to get your school on the list or with any additional questions.

Key Program Components

  • Concerts

    Each school receives two back-to-back concerts, serving the entire student body at each school.

  • Introduction to Opera

    Through partnerships with Central City Opera and Hannah Kahn Dance Company, we are able to introduce students to opera and dance in every program.

  • Inside the Conductor’s Head

    The follow-up program designed and presented to enhance and reinforce the long-term effect of Inside the Orchestra on students. Conductors go back to the school after the concerts to meet with smaller groups of students in a more personal setting. The curriculum explores melody, motif and phrases (drawing connections to grammar), and using math to learn how to count and conduct. Group discussion also includes the history of different genres and eras of music and the relationship to world history.

  • Lesson Plans

    We provide three adaptable lesson plans geared towards different age groups on different music topics. In lesson plan number one, classrooms can learn how to identify different instruments, both by site and sound, through fun games and sound samples. Explore the relationship between music and emotions in lesson plan number two and then tie that into other areas or classroom curricula. In lesson plan three, travel around the globe learning about music from all around the world.

    Each lesson plans includes adaptations for students of different ages and abilities, ways to tie into other subject areas, and activities to take the learning even further.

  • Soloist/Concerto

    All of our programs feature one or more soloists (Grades K-6) who perform with the orchestra, demonstrating peer success to our young audiences. The Concerto Program serves as a valuable launch pad for future performance opportunities, giving soloists experience, confidence and inspiration to pursue their talents.

  • Beyond the Performance

    We partner with local music teachers who offer discounted/scholarship music lessons to children who have participated in our program.

  • Optional: Bilingual Programming

    The bilingual program is presented in English and Spanish, featuring Latino-influenced and Latino composed music.


Feedback from Katherine Diaz of Johnson Elementary

We are sincerely grateful for getting this program, especially free of cost! The students were consistently engaged, and it was a wonderful opportunity for them to see and hear all aspects of an orchestra. The conductor did a wonderful job keeping the show moving, and there was a perfect amount of dialog to music ratio. Thank you so much for reaching out to me and working within our schedule! It was a wonderful experience for all.

Teacher, Park Lane Elementary, spring 2014

The students really enjoyed the different instruments and the adults also enjoyed how it tied into the curriculum. It was just overall a wonderful performance. We just had the ‘Inside the Conductor’s Head’ this morning and it was also greatly received. Again, thank you so much for having the program come and visit our school this year.

Teacher, Gust Elementary

I would like to express my gratitude for your presentation of Inside the Orchestra. I have been teaching for a decade, and this morning’s performance was absolutely one of the most stunning assemblies I have seen. Engaging kids and presenting high-level information at their level is just as much of a craft as playing any of the instruments we heard this morning, and your talent in this area is evident. Having some of the most recognizable operas and symphonies presented in short bits was also an excellent choice – a great amount of exposure in a relatively little amount of time.

Ben Lausten, 3rd Grade Teacher

Thank you to our School Program Sponsors

Denver Foundation
Colorado Creative Industries