Simply Symphonic is Symphony Tacoma’s flagship educational offering. Using curriculum from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute award-winning Link Up program, it introduces 4th and 5th grade students to the joys of orchestral music. Beginning in January, participating schools receive curriculum guides for each teacher (featuring lessons on singing, playing the soprano recorder or violin, reading and notating music, and composing and improvising music) with an accompanying CD and DVD, as well as workbooks for each student. Over the course of the program, students learn to sing or play the instruments in their classrooms, enhancing their learning as well as preparing them to attend the Symphony. In April, the classes bring these skills to the Pantages Theater where they perform with the Symphony Tacoma orchestra from their seats. For many, this experience is their first time to visit the Pantages Theater and the first time to hear a full 80-piece symphony orchestra live in concert.
“The strength of the Link Up program is that students are given the opportunity to be active participants in making music. Few other art forms provide the opportunity to participate collectively, which is a special magic of music”, says Music Director Sarah Ioannides. Link Up reaches nearly 250,000 students nationwide and is expanding beyond the US, partnering with orchestras in Canada, Spain, and Japan.