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The Philadelphia Orchestra School Concert Program

School Concerts bring the full experience of The Philadelphia Orchestra to students in grades 2-8 with a program designed to integrate musical concepts and activities into existing classroom curricula. Interacting with music engages students in many forms of learning—broadening their knowledge, encouraging creative expression and collaborative behaviors, and shaping critical thinking and aesthetic attitudes. The School Concert program and supplemental resources support these fundamental domains of learning with a framework of specific guiding questions and learner outcomes. For attending school groups, the Orchestra provides a curriculum guide to supplement preparation, a course for teacher professional development, and complimentary visits with our knowledgeable Docent volunteers. Learn more about the current program and purchase tickets at http://www.philorch.org/schoolconcerts

School Concert Curriculum Guide: Inside the Music
Created in collaboration with music and classroom teachers, school administrators, teaching artists, and state education leaders, Inside the Music has been designed for use in many different instructional settings. The information and activities in the curriculum guide give educators tools to build a comprehensive course of study that includes the understanding and appreciation of orchestral music. Lesson plans are provided for grades 2-5 and 6-8 that can easily be adapted to meet the needs of diverse learning environments.

 Click on the graphic at the right to download and view The Philadelphia Orchestra 2009-10 School Concert Curriculum Guide, Inside the Music.  

The Philadelphia Orchestra works to align Inside the Music with national and Pennsylvania academic content standards, especially those outlined in the curriculum framework of the state’s Standards Aligned System (SAS).  Instructional materials in the guide work to achieve a balance between concepts and competencies that give students the ability to express their ideas and experiences through the exploration of orchestral music. Each core unit outlines the SAS components and corresponding academic standards satisfied by the information and activities in that section. Also, every lesson plan lists the national and Pennsylvania content standards addressed.

Professional Development Program
To cultivate skills needed in the 21st century, educators will need to provide students with innovation skills that focus on creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration.  The Philadelphia Orchestra supports these efforts with the curriculum guide and with a professional development program centered on the School Concert. This series of related continuing professional education activities includes a two-hour teacher workshop that explores content knowledge, instructional strategies, the SAS curriculum framework, and assessment of student achievement, among other topics. Educators can earn ACT 48 credit by completing the program’s requirements.

Orchestra Docent Visits
Attending school groups who purchase 25 tickets or more may request a free-of-charge classroom visit from an Orchestra Docent to enhance the quality of the School Concert experience. These knowledgeable volunteers help prepare students to attend the concert with a presentation designed to increase their understanding of the music, musicians, and the concert hall. School group leaders can request a Docent visit when ordering their tickets at

Musicians in the Schools
Educators can compliment the School Concert experience by requesting a visit from a Philadelphia Orchestra musician to their school for a fee. School visits can take the form of assembly programs, performance/demonstrations, sectionals, clinics, master classes, or coachings. For more information and to submit a request, please go to http://www.philorch.org/musicians_in_schools.html

For more information about the Philadelphia Orchestra School Concert Program, contact the Education and Community Partnerships department at education@philorch.org.