Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education Center
Connecting musicians to kids, kids to music, and music to the community
The Santa Barbara Symphony’s Music Education Center values the importance of teaching children the connections between themselves, great music and the world around them. We also believe passionately that music education gives children the skills they need for success in the 21st century. The Music Education Center uses a sequential set of programs to take students from their first effort experimenting with an instrument through performing at a high level in our Youth Symphony. Each program is designed to allow students to develop into future leaders in the community while giving them the space to laugh and learn with friends.
What's Going On at the Music Education Center
Amy Williams, DMA
Director of Education & Community Engagement
Music Education Center Programs
The Music Van is our award-winning mobile music classroom. It is filled with orchestral instruments and travels to elementary schools throughout Santa Barbara County every fall with a team of docents. The Music Van program is aimed towards introducing classical music to 3rd graders, allowing them to see, hear, touch and play the instruments.
Concerts for Young People is an interactive and kid-friendly symphonic concert for students in 4th, 5th and 6th grade presented yearly at the Granada Theatre. The concert is designed to introduce classical music in a concert and ensemble setting. Teachers also receive lesson plans to help them integrate classical music into students' daily curriculum leading up to the concert.
String Workshop is currently available for beginning string players in the Goleta Unified School District and beginning violin players in the Hope School District. Students enrolled in String Workshop meet weekly after school with an instructor in groups of 3-6 students. The program is free and instruments are also provided to students free of charge.
The Junior Orchestra is an ensemble of beginning to intermediate strings, woodwind, brass and percussion players, ages 9-14. The Junior Orchestra teaches the basics of ensemble-playing and rehearses weekly during the school year. Membership fees are required, however scholarships are available. Auditions are required but for placement purposes only.
Santa Barbara Youth Symphony is a youth orchestra comprised of intermediate and advanced strings, woodwind, brass and percussion players, ages 12-18. The Youth Symphony rehearses weekly during the school year. Auditions are membership fees are required, however scholarships are available.
In 2016, the Music Education Center presented the Hands On Music Festival, a new and free community event for kids and families which will be continued annually. Hands On provides a fun opportunity of exploring, discovery and playing music, plus enjoying free performances by young musicians. Click here for photos of the event.
Every concert season, several guest artists perform with Santa Barbara Symphony. Musical Mentors onnects these guest artists to the community, through a school, community group or nonprofit organization.