In the days of yore, back before the coronavirus outbreak (wait, was that only a few months ago?) the Denver-based nonprofit organization Inside the Orchestra brought orchestra music to young children by putting on public performances at venues throughout the city, and by conducting music education programs in schools. These initiatives typically featured 15 – 30+ professional musicians.
One would think that the current limitations on public gatherings make taking the kids to the orchestra — and the orchestra to the kids — impossible. Not so, answered Inside the Orchestra. As of Monday, March 16, they adapted their method of outreach, and are now posting online content that brings the sounds and the benefits of the orchestra into individual homes. To signify this change, they’re appropriately calling this new initiative, “Outside the Orchestra.”
Outside the Orchestra’s digital content ranges widely, and includes no-prep-no-mess activities, themed playlists, performance videos, hands-on STEAM experiments, music games and educational videos about the orchestra and its instruments — just to name a few. It’s an invaluable resource to tap into if the recent school closures have caused you to take up the responsibility of educating and entertaining your kids at home.
In the four days since the initiative began, individuals from 35 states have signed up to receive daily emails, and over 35,000 people have shared or posted about it online. In a press release, the organization’s executive director, Shelby Mattingly, explained how the high demand for Outside the Orchestra ties into community-enhancing aim:
“The Outside the Orchestra initiative is simply us fulfilling our mission in the way that works for the kids right now. Inside the Orchestra provides educational music concerts for kids – and most of our programming is large-scale, interactive, and in person. But we also provide lesson plans and e-packets to all program participants, with tons of ways to engage with music at home and at school. This organization – just like so many organizations and so, so many people – is being hit very hard by the massive changes to our ability to do programming. But we are determined to do what we always do – bring music to the kids in the best ways we can, and right now that means it’s coming to your inbox.”