My kids love their computer time. I keep it limited, but their excitement to explore, when matched with a good educational website, provides some valuable opportunities for supplemental learning. Here are three wonderful symphony orchestra websites that have a lot to offer:
The New York Philharmonic Kid Zone
There’s lots of exploring to do here: learn about the instruments, tour the dressing rooms to meet conductors and soloists, get an introduction to different musical eras, make your own instrument, compose your own piece, experiment with orchestration, visit the musician’s lounge, and more.
The San Francisco Symphony Kids’ Site
The Music Lab is especially interesting. Get a rundown on the basics of musical notation, then learn about (and play with) tempo, pitch, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, and instrumentation. The Radio feature provides wonderful musical excerpts with accompanying descriptions. The six different “channels” include things like families of instruments, “Big Moments” in music, and storytelling in music.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra Kids
Read composer bios while listening to excerpts of their works, explore basic concepts in music theory, print out staff paper for writing your own compositions, get practice tips, and play games.