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National Symphony Orchestra Education

The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) offers a variety of educational and outreach programs designed to introduce symphonic music to children and adults and to further the musical education of young and aspiring professional musicians. Each year, thousands of people benefit from the wide variety of symphonic concerts, educational opportunities, and training programs organized by the NSO. Read more about them.

Opportunities for Families

[ Photo of NSO Family Concert Conductor Emil de Cou]

Events and concerts for parents and children to enjoy together.

Opportunities for Students

[ Photo of Young Artist on the Millennium Stage]

Music education programs designed to build the next generation of music lovers.

Opportunities for Adults

[ Photo of NSO bassist]

Always wanted to know more about classical music, but didn't know where to start? These programs will help your quest to become a knowedgeable audience member.

Opportunities for Teachers

[ Image of Beethoven]

Is the next Beethoven in your class? Learn how to help your students appreciate the symphony, concerts, and music.

Training Resources

[Photo of Summer Music Institute Participant]

Instruction and performance opportunities for young musicians and aspiring conductors.

Online Educational Resources

[ Photo of NSO Flautist]

How many flautists does the National Symphony have? Find the answer to this question and many others in these online educational resources.

About NSO Education Programs

The National Symphony Orchestra and its members perform in a variety of concerts designed to educate people of all ages. NSO Young People's Concerts are presented to students in grades 3-6 during the school day. NSO Family Concerts incorporate a family-friendly format designed to entertain children ages 5 and up and parents alike. For the wee ones (ages 3, 4 and 5), the NSO Teddy Bear Concerts are an opportunity for kids to bring their favorite stuffed animal to small, interactive ensemble performances. For those ages 4 and up, NSO Kinderkonzerts offer children an introduction to the instruments of the orchestra.NSO Ensembles concerts are presented for children 9 and up; these concerts demonstrate the connections between music and other academic disciplines.

The NSO administers several training programs for students, young musicians, and aspiring professional musicians throughout the year. The NSO Youth Fellowship Program is an orchestral training program in which Washington, D.C. area high school students receive full scholarships to study with NSO musicians. NSO Young Associates' Program offers high school music students a glimpse into the life of the professional musician, as they observe NSO rehearsals and participate in other musical enrichment. Summer Music Institute, a four-week intensive music festival for dedicated young musicians from across the country and the world.

The NSO Young Soloists' Competition local High School Division and National Young Artist Division offers the winners the opportunity to perform as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra.