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Resources for Teachers

Teaching insights and training


Symphonies for Schools 2022 Digital Field Trip

On-demand concert videos + curricula • Grades 3-6, 6-12

Free, immersive experience includes elementary and secondary level curricula to accompany two on demand original concert videos.

Register Now to Access

Symphonies for School curricula

PDF Study Guides • Grades 3-6, 6-12

Symphonies for Schools offers free in-person concerts by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, supported by The Walt Disney Company. Online, we invite you to utilize our digital Study Guide designed specifically to support the work of teachers as you engage your students in active participation through music making, critical thinking, and creating their own music. The lessons and activities are designed to be adaptable in a wide variety of classrooms, and you can choose among them to best suit the needs of your students.

The Art of the Piano (Grades 3-6; 2016/17 Season)

Let the LA Phil take you on an in-depth exploration of the piano, from the artisan who builds it to the virtuoso who plays it. Students will discover how sounds are made, understand the elements of music that these great composers used, and compose their own concerto!



A Trip to the Moon (Grades 3-6; 2017/18 Season)

This curriculum is based on Andrew Norman's opera A Trip to the Moon, inspired by Georges Méliès’ 1902 film A Trip to the Moon. Andrew Norman’s whimsical opera tells the story of a band of bumbling astronomers as they explore the moon, try to fix their broken rocket, and interact with a mysterious race of moon people who are facing a perilous threat of their own. Students will make connections between music, opera, film, science fiction, and language. They’ll even create their own opera!



William Grant Still and the Harlem Renaissance (Grades 3-6; 2018/19 Season)

In this curriculum, centered around one of the earliest symphonies by an African-American composer, students will make connections between music, culture, history, and language, and will compose music inspired by their own community!


Film Music with Michael Giacchino (Grades 6-12; 2018/19 Season)

Here in Los Angeles, movies are all around us—billboards, posters, full page ads in newspapers, and screenings. In this study guide you will explore many aspects of creating music for film from 1939 to today. You will see the process of composing, recording, and performing a film score unfold before your eyes—and ears.



Power to the People! (Grades 3-6; 2019/20 Season)

Music moves us. It can help us see the world through another person's eyes or rally us all together. The Power to the People! program celebrates the musicians and artists who help us to imagine the life and experiences of others – and pay tribute to the music that gives us the strength to persevere when times are hard.


Curated panels & conversations

Video Sessions

Practical training for teachers and teaching artists. 

Youth Development and Music Education: A one-hour introductory presentation introduces youth workers and music educators to ways of reinforcing the natural alignment between youth-development principles and strong arts-learning experiences.

Setting a Foundation for Beginning String Players: This practical session with Tiffany Rice (violin faculty, YOLA National Festival) will cover the basics of setting up beginner string students for success.

Doing Good & Instruments for Success: Hear from the organization Project 440 on how they use music to teach high school musicians entrepreneurship and leadership along with college and career readiness.

Philosophy of El Sistema: Learn more about El Sistema straight from its leaders.

Distance Learning Insights: Program administrators share how they made the transition to distance learning and online programming at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they will plan for the future.

Shifting for a Pandemic: Four YOLA teaching artists speak about their unique and creative approach to working with young musicians and families amid the pandemic.

Learn from the community in this eBook, "Music: See Me, Hear Me"

Downloadable eBook

Music: See Me, Hear Me

A collaboration between YOLA National Symposium attendees and YOLA musicians that includes letters to their younger selves, interviews, a look at power and who holds it, and more. We invite you to not only learn from this booklet, but also make your own version!

Download in English 

Descargar en Espanol


Get inspired: "A Youth Manifesto for the Arts"

Downloadable eBook

In 2018, 10 YOLA musicians joined their UK and Scottish peers for “Tuning into Change,” a youth symposium focused on the role of artists in creating lasting change in the world. Why not make your own version of their manifesto?

Download eBook


Books from the LA Phil Store

Book Recommendations

A wide range of subjects are covered here to help teachers impart a greater perspective about music, including guides to enhance your listening.


Go here for books for kids

A few staff favorites to get you started:

Changing Lives, Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformative Power of Music, by Tricia Tunstall 

What to Listen for in Music, by Aaron Copeland

The Classical Music Lover's Companion to Orchestral Music, by Robert Philip

How to Listen to Great Music, by Robert Greenberg

LA Phil in performance

Performance Videos

Dive into our growing collection of performance videos online. Performances range from Beethoven Symphony No. 6 (Movement I) with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil, Jessie Montgomery's Strum, and “Rhapsody in Blue” with Jean-Yves Thibaudet. 

Use these free videos to invite your students to watch closely and pick up on unfamiliar instruments, new techniques, or study Gustavo's command of the orchestra.

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Explore Sound/Stage

An online collection of concert films, bonus performances, interviews, essays and artwork. Share this with students to spark discussion around our current moment, exploring timely themes of social justice, the many meanings of love during COVID-19, and the essence of solitude that so many of us have felt in an era of social distancing.

Watch Now


Looking for some hands-on learning?

Check out learning programs offered by the LA Phil and reach out to with any questions.

YOLA National Accelerator

Invited Rehearsals (grades 6-12)

Symphonies for Schools (grades 3-5, 6-12)

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