Education Programs Overview
For almost 40 years, Long Beach Symphony has focused on providing free education programs to the youth in our city. With a belief that the arts substantially promote healthy human development, we have worked tirelessly to encourage and guide young minds in the joyous exploration of their talents and creativity.
Please see below for summaries of our inspiring education programs that serve more than 27,000 K-12 students and teachers annually.
Instrument Petting Zoo
The Instrument Petting Zoo is a collection of orchestral instruments that travel around to neighborhood libraries and community events to provide children with a hands-on exploratory music education experience. Our knowledgeable volunteers give a special presentation to explain the basics of each instrument family, how to produce a sound, and how each instrument fits into the orchestra. Afterwards, children have the chance to put what they learned to the test and try each instrument. IPZ is designed to pique the interest of young children in playing an instrument and create lifelong music lovers.
RuMBa Foundation Family Concerts
In 2018, Long Beach Symphony launched the RuMBa Foundation Family Concert for families to enjoy experiencing live music together. Family concerts are free for anyone 17 and younger and offer interactive activities that include arts, crafts, food, and performances on the Terrace Theatre’s Plaza. Attendees are then invited into the theater to enjoy a 50-minute interactive matinee concert with Maestro Eckart Preu, special guests, and the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra.
These concerts are made possible by THE RUMBA FOUNDATION OF LONG BEACH.
Reservations are required by visiting RuMBa Foundation Family Concerts. Vouchers for free admission are made possible through a partnership with the Long Beach City Council and local libraries.
Elementary School Ensembles
Long Beach Symphony partners with Long Beach Unified School District and select Wilmington schools to present chamber ensembles to 2nd and 3rd graders during the school year. Our teaching artists’ ensembles specialize in an instrument family – strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion – and provide presentations spotlighting their skills. Through these performances, students learn about the specifics of the ensemble’s instruments, how they create their sounds, and what role their instrument family plays within an orchestra.
The Symphony strives to align the content of the Elementary Ensemble program with California’s Visual and Performing Arts Standards and Core Curriculum.
12,000 4th and 5th grade students in Long Beach Unified School District and select Wilmington schools are bused to the Terrace Theater for the opportunity to experience a LIVE orchestral performance in a concert hall. Long Beach Symphony Orchestra musicians are joined by exceptionally talented high school musicians from Long Beach Unified School District’s All-District High School Honor Orchestra or Choir (depending on the year’s repertoire). Programming is selected to align with the curriculum students are studying in their classrooms to help them make connections between music, math, science, and history.
These specially themed Youth Concerts are made possible by the generous support of Long Beach Unified School District’s Board of Directors and are not public performances.
Side-By-Side is a special time when student musicians experience the thrill of rehearsing and performing with the professional musicians of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. All student musicians of either the LBUSD All-District High School Honor Orchestra or Honor Choir have one day to rehearse side-by-side with their Long Beach Symphony counterparts the day prior to the first performance. Long Beach Symphony 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.
The ’23-’24 Symphony Youth Concerts will be performed side-by-side with the LBUSD All-District High School Honor Choir.
Middle School Observation
Outstanding middle school orchestra students are invited to observe the Youth Concert Side-by-Side rehearsal. 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 see in rehearsal. This observation helps them to improve their own orchestral experience at school and inspire them to continue working on their own instrument. Following a short break, the middle schoolers enter a Q&A session with our Conducting Fellow, Apostolia Nikouli.
High School Volunteers
Long Beach Symphony is privileged to have a thriving relationship with talented high school students in Long Beach Unified School District. For every Classical concert, high school students can volunteer as ushers, welcoming patrons and helping them find their seats, and passing out programs and other promotional materials. 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.