Long Beach Symphony Orchestra Education Programs
The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra demonstrates a high level of commitment to encouraging young people to participate in their school music programs. Many studies have shown that learning music is complimentary to higher performance in other aspects of learning. Please read below for an overview of the many ways the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra affects the lives of our local youth.
Instrument Petting Zoo
Each summer, members of Ovation!, the volunteer organization of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, take the Instrument Petting Zoo to Long Beach neighborhood libraries. These dedicated volunteers give a special presentation designed to pique the interest of very young children (sometimes as young as 3 years old) in making music. They demonstrate how the instruments of the orchestra work, how they make different sounds, and how they fit into the orchestra. Next, the children have the opportunity to try the instruments in the Instrument Petting Zoo—woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings. It is a unique opportunity for children and parents alike to explore the instruments of the orchestra. The joy the children radiate when they make a beautiful sound on an instrument for the first time is truly priceless.
This program is a precursor to the LBSO’s more in-depth Elementary Ensemble school visits in the second- and third-grades.
Miller Children’s Hospital The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra enjoys a special relationship with Miller Children’s Hospital, one that gives our musicians the opportunity to play for young patients (through age 19) in the hematology and oncology wards. For these hospital visits, our musicians play either as soloists or in duet with an orchestra colleague. They perform in hallways or individual rooms, and for Sibling Time or for the hospital’s closed-circuit TV, the Giggles Studio. For these children, this musical gift, provided by the Miller Foundation, brings much-needed normalization during their difficult stay in the hospital.
Elementary Ensembles Each year, the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District, provides an ensemble program for each school’s second- and third-grade students. Many years ago Long Beach Symphony Orchestra musicians created ensemble programs that would demonstrate each instrument family - strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Through the performance of these programs, students learned how each family of instruments works, the quality of each instrument within its family, and the role of each family within the orchestra. The ensemble presentations are so effective that LBUSD considers them to be part of the core curriculum. These programs for second- and third-grade students prepare them for the full symphony orchestra concerts they will hear when they become fourth- and fifth-grade students.
Miller Foundation Symphony Concerts for Young People February 2 & 3, 2011 Each year, fourth- and fifth-grade students of the Long Beach Unified School District look forward to their musical field trip to the Orchestra's home venue, the Terrace Theater at the Performing Arts Center in downtown Long Beach. There they experience, often for the first time, stirring orchestral works performed by world-class musicians.
This season's program, created and conducted by LBSO Music Director Enrique Arturo Diemecke, is a celebration of the music of America by American composers. Maestro Diemecke has included several works for chorus and orchestra and has invited the LBUSD All-District Honor Choir to perform with the orchestra. The program includes selections from Copland's Old American Songs, Bernstein's America from West Side Story and Grofe's On the Trail from Grand Canyon Suite.
These specially-themed Symphony Concerts for Young People are made possible by the generous support of the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation and are not public performances.
Middle School Rehearsal Outstanding middle school orchestra students are invited to observe the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra in rehearsal for the Symphony Concerts for Young People. This learning experience provides a rare opportunity to see how a professional orchestra learns, behaves, and progresses quickly. Students are provided with program notes on each piece and discussion questions about what they observe. The students are always impressed by how quickly the orchestra corrects mistakes, how attentive they are to the director, and how well they play together. This observation helps them to improve their own orchestral experience at school, and inspires them to keep working hard on their own instrument. The observation is followed by a Q&A session with the LBSO’s Education Coordinator, in which students can discuss what they have seen, what they learned, and what they plan on doing to change and improve their own musical experience at school.
Side-By-Side refers to that special time when student musicians experience the thrill of rehearsing and performing with the professional musicians of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. Student musicians of the Long Beach Unified School District’s All-District High School Honor Orchestra and Honor Choir have this experience. This rare and exciting opportunity gives these special students an inside look at how a professional orchestra operates and the expectations they need to reach in order to pursue a professional career in music. The LBSO musicians enjoy the opportunity to share their wisdom and knowledge gained from years of experience, and the students learn first-hand the excitement, intensity, and thrill of a high-caliber performance created through hard work, professionalism, and discipline.
This season’s Symphony Concerts for Young People are performed side-by-side with the LBUSD All-District High School Honor Choir.
High School Volunteers The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra is privileged to have a thriving relationship with the talented high school students in the Long Beach Unified School District. For every Classics concert, high school volunteers act as ushers, welcoming our patrons, passing out programs and other promotional materials, and helping our patrons find their seats. They bring a youthful energy to each performance. For each POPS! Concert, the students arrive early on Saturday morning to set up the tables, place decorations, and make other necessary preparations. These volunteer opportunities connect the students to the LBSO and the hours help the students fulfill their community service requirement for high school graduation. Each student receives a complimentary ticket to the concert for which they volunteer.
Overture The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra has a special opportunity for those high school students who demonstrate a high level of maturity, responsibility, and dedication. Students who volunteer for at least one year and demonstrate above-average leadership skills are invited to join Overture, where they will work more closely with the LBSO staff and have more responsibility. These special students also act as leaders for the other high school volunteers and have the chance to develop their own sense of independence and integrity.