Music plays a significant role in connecting families and groups of people, even during this time of being socially distanced from one another. Enjoy these activities and videos put together for children and families to enjoy music at home. There are also resources below designed to encourage student musicians to continue their musical development. Have fun making music!
Discovering Summer through the Eyes of Composers
This series of activities is designed for kids ages 7–11 to have a personal experience with two works of classical music. The first four activities can each take anywhere from five to 15 minutes (or more), depending on your child’s interest. Read more
Go High, Go Low! Kids Activity Inspired by Richard Strauss
Today we are going to talk about high and low sounds using the music Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard (pronounced REE-card) Strauss! Read more
Kids Activity: March Along to Strauss
Let’s see how we can use our bodies make rhythms! Today, we are going to continue moving our bodies to the music! Let’s talk about Johann Strauss, Sr.’s Radetzky March. Read more
Tips for apps to help kids learn music at home
Bassist David Connor, Community-Embedded Musician, put together a list of music apps that can help kids of all ages—from pre-school through high school—learn music during this time at home. Read more
For Kids & Families: Exploring Harmonies through Canon
Follow along with one of the musicians and see how cool it is to create harmony together by starting the same melody at different times. This is a called “canon” form in music, or referred to as playing or singing in rounds. If you have any family members or friends at home, ask one of them to sing along with a different part. Read more
Stretch Your Imagination with Music! For Children and Families
Community-Embedded Musician Alexa Thomson, viola, shares an exercise inspired by music! Each of these videos allow children to use their creativity and move their bodies in different ways that represent changes they hear in the music. They can really stretch their imaginations through these activities. Read more
Make Music at Home! Percussion with the Family, with Mark Griffith
Making music together at home with household materials is easy! Mark Griffith, percussion, shows how, with the help of Katie, Adam, and Ben.
Create Your Own Aviary Inspired by Music!
Ready for an art + music challenge? Make your own origami bird… or two! Or three! Add googly eyes, glitter, colors, and more! Try to make your bird(s) move around to the Aviary music from Carnival of the Animals.
Deep in the Heart of Texas Classical Music Cover (Harp & Double Bass)
Clap along with Megan Conley, Houston Symphony principal harp, and her musical family, husband Shawn (double bass) & son Osian (tiny harp)!
Playlist: Activities for kids inspired by music!
Each video in this playlist introduces a different concept allowing children to explore music at home. Click into each video to find a blog link within the description providing more details for the activities introduced.
Playlist: Music Time with Robert Johnson & Family
Robert Johnson, associate principal horn, shares creative musical moments at home with his sons Ezra, Reuben, and Avi, and wife Ariella Perlman.
Mornings with Megan Conley
Mornings with Megan, No. 4: Music around the World
The harp is one of the oldest instruments in the world! Hear how different cultures have created harp music as Megan Conley, Houston Symphony principal harp, performs pieces from Ireland, Argentina, and more.
Mornings with Megan, No. 3: Imagination
When you imagine or pretend, you can go anywhere and do anything! Megan Conley, Houston Symphony principal harp, shows kids how to imagine their own stories when they hear music.
Mornings with Megan, No. 2: Harp Sounds
Loud, quiet, low, high, twinkly: harps makes lots of special sounds! Megan Conley, Houston Symphony principal harp, demonstrates a few ways she makes beautiful music with her instrument. Stick around and drum along with Deep in the Heart of Texas!
Mornings with Megan, No. 1: Twinkle, Twinkle!
Megan Conley, Houston Symphony principal harp, performs Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star on her harp and shows how anyone can make up new words to songs they know! Created for ages 1 to 4, Mornings with Megan features musical concepts and fun songs to share.
The Listen at Home page is filled with Houston Symphony videos, recordings and introductions to the music. While we wish we could perform for you in person, these resources are a great way to enjoy orchestral repertoire. If you are able to find the music for your instrument for any of those works (especially those in public domain, published before 1924 and more easily accessible) feel free to play along with the recordings on your instruments.
Strengthening Your Rhythm for Student Musicians
Read on as Community-Embedded Musician and double bassist, David Connor, explores the concept of rhythm in music and shares exercises for student musicians. Read more
Playing by Ear for Student Musicians with Colin Gatwood
Houston Symphony second oboe, Colin Gatwood talks about his favorite practice pass-time, playing along with music by ear. No music needed, just a recording and your ears!
High School Music Students - Making Practice Fun!
With Community-Embedded Musician and violist, Alexa Thomson
Bassoon Reed-Making with Adam Trussell
Musicians who play instruments with double reeds (such as oboes, English horns & bassoons) require, well, lots of reeds—so they learn how to make them at home. Adam Trussell, contrabassoon, shares a look at a part of the process called gouging (a guillotine is involved!), and the process for making a gouged, shaped and profiled cane into a blank.