Education & Community

Education & Community

Providing access to great music and education programs is at the core of the Nashville Symphony’s mission. Key to fulfilling this mission, we offer more than 20 free and low-cost programs to connect people of all ages with listening and learning opportunities. Click the links below to learn more:

 

This Month's Newsletter

Click here to read the Nashville Symphony's education newsletter and keep up with the latest news about our work in the community. 

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Click here to read back issues of the newsletter. 
Student Programs at the Schermerhorn

The Nashville Symphony provides a wide array of education opportunities at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. We align many of our programs with state academic standards and provide lesson plans and other resources to participating educators. Unless otherwise noted, all programs are free! Click on any of the programs below to find out more.

Accelerando – FREE
This intensive education program for students in grades 5-12 is designed to prepare gifted young musicians of diverse backgrounds for pursuing music at the collegiate level and beyond. Accelerando seeks to create opportunities for musicians from ethnic communities underrepresented in today’s orchestras by providing them with instruction, mentorship, performance experience and more. Learn more/Apply 

Young People's Concerts – FREE
Open to public, private and home schools, Young People’s Concerts give students the opportunity to experience a live Nashville Symphony performance designed to enrich in-school learning. Each concert is geared toward specific grade levels, and teachers receive access to a downloadable curriculum. 
Learn more/Register

One on a Part – FREE
One on a Part introduces students to the world of chamber music. Playing the masterpieces of great composers, musicians of the Nashville Symphony demonstrate the unique characteristics of an ensemble performing without a conductor. Learn more/Register

Curb Open Dress Rehearsals – FREE
Students in grades 5-12 and college get a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into preparing for the Nashville Symphony's Aegis Sciences Classical Series concerts. Learn more/Register

Is It a Fiddle or a Violin? – FREE
Students in grades K-5 take guided tours of Schermerhorn Symphony Center and the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, then experience a live, interactive performance in which teaching musicians compare and contrast the fiddle and the violin. Learn more/Register

Curb Concerto Competition – FREE
Held each spring, this competition is open to classically trained, instrumental music students ages 14-18 in Tennessee. Students who play woodwind, brass, string, piano and percussion instruments are eligible to apply. Registration opens fall 2016. Learn more

Soundcheck
The Nashville Symphony’s student access program offers $10 tickets to Aegis Sciences Classical Series concerts for all students, from kindergarten through grad school. Learn more/Buy tickets

The Ann & Monroe Carell Family Trust Pied Piper Children's Series
The Nashville Symphony’s affordably priced family concert series is geared toward young listeners. Prior to each performance, we offer free, family-friendly pre-concert activities in the lobby, including crafts, a story nook and our interactive Instrument Petting Zoo. Learn more/Buy tickets

 

Student Programs in the Community

Nashville Symphony musicians and staff travel to schools and other locations across Middle Tennessee to share programs ranging from classroom demonstrations to hands-on instruction and mentorship. Click on any of the programs below to learn more. Unless otherwise noted, these programs are free!

Sectionals – FREE
Nashville Symphony provides resources, instruction and coaching for band and orchestra students in Middle Tennessee. Each year, our musicians lead more than 100 sectional rehearsals for hundreds of students in youth orchestras and middle and high school programs. For more information, please email  education@nashvillesymphony.org. Sectional lessons are sponsored by UBS and the CMA Foundation.

Youth Orchestras – FREE
The Nashville Symphony is proud to partner with Blair School of Music to sponsor Curb Youth Symphony. We also partner with the Williamson County Youth Orchestra and the Music City Youth Orchestra. Resources offered to these ensembles include sectionals, workshops, side-by-side rehearsals, and more. Learn more

Ensembles in the Schools – FREE
Can't make it to one of our education programs at Schermerhorn Symphony Center? Request an ensemble of Nashville Symphony musicians to visit your school. Tailored to specific grade levels, performances last approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Learn more/Register

Instrument Petting Zoos – FREE
Led by trained Nashville Symphony staff and volunteers, this traveling educational exhibit provides basic, hands-on introduction to all the instrument families in the orchestra: brass, woodwind, strings and percussion. To inquire about scheduling this program for your school or organization, email education@nashvillesymphony.org.

After-School Programs – FREE
The Nashville Symphony is an enhancement partner the Nashville After Zone Alliance, a system of free after-school programming for middle school students in Metro Nashville Public Schools. We provide a seven-part program, which includes an instrument petting zoo, sound lab and drum circles. Learn more
Nashville Symphony’s participation in NAZA is sponsored by Pancake Pantry.

Teacher Resources – FREE
In addition to providing downloadable curriculum guides for all Young People’s Concerts, the Nashville Symphony connects educators with a wide array of online resources designed to enhance classroom learning through music. Learn more

 

Community Programs

The Nashville Symphony offers a host of free events designed to entertain and educate people of all ages. From family-friendly concerts in the parks to informal chamber music concerts, these programs are a part of what makes the Nashville Symphony a community resource. Click any of the programs below to learn more.

Community Concerts – FREE
As part of its mission to bring music to everyone in Middle Tennessee, the Nashville Symphony is proud to present its free Community Concerts series every year in June. Enjoy the warm summer nights, bring your lawn chair, pack a picnic dinner and immerse yourself in an evening of music. 
View the full schedule

Free Day of Music – FREE
Saturday, October 22, at 10:30 am
We invite the community to enjoy free performances by the Nashville Symphony and more than 20 other artists all day and into the night at Schermerhorn Symphony Center as we showcase the diversity of Music City. 

Learn more about the event here.

Artists interested in performing at the next Free Day of Music, please send audio/video clips to education@nashvillesymphony.org.

OnStage – FREE
OnStage concerts are designed for adult audiences to interact with Nashville Symphony musicians in a relaxed, informal setting. At these intimate performances, the audience is seated on the stage or in the choir loft in Laura Turner Concert Hall. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and engage with the performers. Learn more/register

Let Freedom Sing – FREE
This free annual concert honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. features the Nashville Symphony and guests performing spirituals, popular songs and classical music honoring the triumphs of the civil rights movement. Information about the 2017 Let Freedom Sing will be announced in November.

OffStage – FREE
This program takes chamber ensembles to local businesses, residences for the elderly, and community centers, where the musicians create a meaningful bond with a whole new audience. If you'd like to host an OffStage event at your business or community center, email education@nashvillesymphony.org.

Classical Conversations – FREE
Presented by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra League, these free pre-concert lectures place in the Balcony Lobby one hour before all Aegis Sciences Classical Series concerts. Conductors, guest artists and musicians share the fascinating stories behind the music. View upcoming Classical Series concerts

Building Tours – FREE
Led by trained docents, tours of Schermerhorn Symphony Center are offered free of charge at 1 p.m. on most Wednesdays and Saturdays. Over the course of an hour, you’ll learn about the building’s distinctive architecture and the history of the Nashville Symphony. Learn more

 

Senior Programs

Senior citizens and senior living organizations are invited to enjoy a comprehensive variety of specially designed programs. Enjoy daytime concerts, open dress rehearsals, ensemble performances and more through Lifelong Listeners, volunteer opportunities and the popular Coffee & Classics series.  

Lifelong Listeners – FREE
The Lifelong Listeners program seeks to improve the quality of life for senior citizens by encouraging participants to experience cultural life, build support networks, and promote a lifelong love of music. Senior-living organizations my apply for opportunities offered through this program, including Open Dress Rehearsals, OnStage chamber concerts, on-site ensemble visits, volunteer opportunities and more. Learn more/apply

OnStage – FREE
OnStage concerts are designed for adult audiences to interact with Nashville Symphony musicians in a relaxed, informal setting. At these intimate performances, the audience is seated on the stage or in the choir loft in Laura Turner Concert Hall. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and engage with the performers. Learn more/register

Classical Conversations – FREE
Presented by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra League, these free pre-concert lectures place in the Balcony Lobby one hour before all Aegis Sciences Classical Series concerts. Conductors, guest artists and musicians share the fascinating stories behind the music. View upcoming Classical Series concerts

Building Tours – FREE
Led by trained docents, tours of Schermerhorn Symphony Center are offered free of charge at 1 p.m. on most Wednesdays and Saturdays. Over the course of an hour, you’ll learn about the building’s distinctive architecture and the history of the Nashville Symphony. Learn more

Volunteer – FREE
If you would like to support the performing arts through volunteer service, we would like to partner with you. Volunteers have a wide array of opportunities to participate in Nashville Symphony concerts, programs and daily operations, and they can customize their schedules to fit their lifestyles. Learn more

Classical Weekend Matinees
An all-new 5-concert series – all classical, all weekend matinees. A fantastic opportunity to share the gift of classical music with friends and loved ones of all ages. The 2016/17 season includes Itzhak Perlman in Recital, Holst's The Planets in HD, Ravel's Boléro and more. Learn more/Subscribe

Coffee & Classics
This Friday-morning concert series features the Nashville Symphony performing great works from the classical repertoire. Free coffee and pastries are included with your ticket purchase. Learn more/Buy tickets

 

Blog by Education Director Walter Bitner

Click here to read Off the Podium, a blog written by Nashville Symphony Director of Education & Community Engagement Walter Bitner. Updated regularly, the blog provides unique insights into music education and shares Walter’s unique passion for all forms of musical performance and learning.

Video

Watch this brief informative video to learn more about our commitment to music education.