Community & Learning
The Symphony’s music education programs channel the talents of our orchestra, chorus members, and contributing music scholars into experiential learning opportunities for young and old. Each year approximately 3,600 youth in Santa Fe and surrounding areas are served through our music education programs, in partnership with Santa Fe Public Schools, to bring much needed music education to students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience classical music. We also present small group ensembles to approximately 300 seniors at local retirement homes and senior centers.
Our annual Discovery Concerts at The Lensic, featuring local storytellers and the entire Symphony Orchestra, thrill more than 1,500 fourth-grade students from Santa Fe County, and our Musical Instrument Program continues to gather, refurbish, and gift instruments to deserving students in Santa Fe, Española, Pojoaque and Peñasco.
Symphony musicians also travel to Santa Fe schools for Kids’ Classical Concerts, close-up performances where small ensembles play classical and popular tunes, demonstrate different instruments, and even let students try their hand at conducting. All of these programs are free of charge. Our acclaimed mentoring program is set to expand, continuing professional instruction in public schools for strings, brass, winds, percussion, voice, and guitar, while adding keyboard instruments as well. If you would like to support these programs, please donate and become a Friend of the Music Education Committee today.
we are the music.
“We are the Music,” our award-winning educational video, explores the music of 11 cultural groups that settled in the Santa Fe area. It has been used in classrooms for the past 6 years, and is available to download here or on the PBS® Learning Media website. Watch now!
Support music education today!
Even though we have all been at home, we have been working harder than ever to find new ways of inspiring our community! Did you know that throughout the spring, our incredible music mentors continued their work in the Santa Fe Public Schools, instructing students virtually rather than in-person? We also proudly helped pioneer a brand-new, virtual Extended Learning Program this summer—in collaboration with Santa Fe Public Schools—teaching children the fundamentals of music and how to make homemade instruments, such as drums and castanets, from household items! Well done, Rebecca Ray. Our fabulous oboist taught kids basic music appreciation classes at multiple grade levels via Zoom. What fun!
Our decade-old mentoring program provides approximately 525 middle- and high-school students with weekly individual or small group lessons in strings, brass, percussion, woodwinds, guitar, voice and keyboard. Our mentors are all professional musicians assisting 12 music teachers districtwide, for a total of more than 900 hours of music instruction each year. Mentors also serve as role models and often form personal bonds with their students.
In addition, as The Symphony’s gift to our community, we offer two “pay-what-you-wish” concerts each Symphony season at the Cathedral Basilica in Santa Fe. Carols & Choruses takes place in December, and a spring concert is the week before Memorial Day. No tickets are needed for these evening performances. Check our website for details as the dates approach.
For seniors who aren’t able to attend concerts at The Lensic, The Symphony brings the music to their place of residence. Small group ensembles present informal concerts with a variety of music that touches residents enjoying an active senior lifestyle or those in assisted living or memory care.
Kids’ Classical Concerts
Kids’ Classical Concerts are Happenings! Nine times each year, small group ensembles of Symphony musicians visit 9 Santa Fe public elementary schools for an hour of music, education and fun. The musicians talk about and demonstrate each of their instruments and play a variety of music, popular and classical, fostering a lively interaction in which students are even given a chance to conduct the ensemble.
The Symphony introduces over 1,500 fourth graders to the wonder of symphonic music through its annual bilingual Discovery Concerts!
Each fall, students are bused from Santa Fe, Pojoaque, Española, and Pueblo schools to The Lensic for a full orchestral concert featuring a bilingual storyteller and numerous community partnerships!
Gather the kids and join us at the Santa Fe Public Library’s Southside Branch! This family-friendly series features Symphony musicians who demonstrate their instruments and play a variety of popular and classical music, fostering a connection with children and providing a chance for them to conduct the ensemble! These concerts are geared toward kids—ages five to ten—but all ages are welcome!
YOU Can Help!
Support our community and learning programs by becoming a Friend of Music Education. You can earmark your contribution for a specific Music Education Committee community program, such as Mentoring or Senior Serenades, or help support all our community programs by contributing to Friends of Music Education. Also, visit our Volunteer page if you’d like to help out at community events or join our Music Education Committee.