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Resident Orchestra at the Green Music Center

Institute for Music Education COVID Response

The Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education, with innovation and imagination, continues to seek ways to engage young people with the healing power of music and music making. More than ever before, the Institute is dedicated to its mission to provide quality music education throughout Sonoma County, a mission that is vital to the health and well-being of our community.
With the inability to meet in person, the Institute is embracing technology and making the most of this time of remote learning and virtual performing. The Institute’s 2020-2021 holistic curriculum includes recording with click tracks, music history classes, and increased music theory and rhythm training. The students are learning valuable skills that will enhance their virtual, and later, in-person performances.

Since all orchestras have plans to transition to in-person rehearsals with increasingly larger groups, the Institute’s goals are:
·       Offer online music making and study 
·       Encourage social interaction and spark the love of music
·       Supplement (and not compete with) music education offered in the public schools
·       Provide a balance between ensemble playing and lecture 
To make sure the students’ needs are met, regular feedback via weekly surveys is encouraged. Staff responds and adjusts curriculum whenever possible.

Health and Safety protocols for in-person rehearsals:
·       Temperatures are taken
·       Everyone on site must complete a health questionnaire
·       Masks are required
·       Everyone is 6 feet apart
·       Bathrooms are cleaned after each use
·       Anyone who is ill, for any reason, must have a doctor’s permission before returning.


String Orchestra Workshop
The beginning level string program meets weekly at The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. Through the Institute’s partnership with this wonderful organization, rehearsals are held in an accessible outdoor space. Nineteen children, ages 6-11, are learning to play violin, viola, cello or bass from two experienced instructors.

Young People’s Chamber Orchestra
The advanced level, conductor-less string ensemble, meets in-person, indoors at the Saturday Afternoon Club, also following strict health and safety protocols. Fourteen members, aged 13-17, rehearse on site, with one joining remotely.

Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra
Meets weekly on Zoom on Sunday evenings and is presenting three Virtual Concerts on October 20, November 24 and December 22, all at 7 PM. The concerts feature chamber music performed by several ensembles, from a violin/percussion duo to a wind dectet, made up of orchestra members. The concerts can be viewed on the SRS Education YouTube channel.

Debut Youth Orchestra and Aspirante Youth Orchestra
Meet online every Saturday morning via Zoom. These groups will create Virtual Concert recordings to be presented in January.


In a project called Simply Strings Integrated Roseland Program, the Institute is offering weekly, live, virtual music appreciation lessons during the school day. Three of the most experienced Simply Strings faculty create exciting content for all third graders in the Roseland School District – nine classrooms in all. In addition to learning about music in general, the children have received materials to make a paper violin to better understand how stringed instruments work.


It’s Elementary
Continues to provide a two-year-long suite of music education opportunities and services to six deserving Sonoma County elementary schools, reaching over 2,600 students in Santa Rosa, Two Rock, Cloverdale and Petaluma. A highlight of the program is visits to the schools from small ensembles of the Santa Rosa Symphony. This feature was put on hold in the fall semester and creative alternatives are being explored to provide “live” assemblies on Zoom.

Elementary School Listening Program
Continues to provide daily listening to all subscribed schools. The program has been expanded to include more integrative arts content to assist the teachers as they navigate remote learning. Additionally, the scripts for daily listening are being translated into Spanish.

Free Concerts For Youth
To prepare students for the IGNITE portion of the April Free Concerts For Youth, video-taped recorder lessons and accompanying IGNITE guides are being offered to schools cost  free. In addition to the It’s Elementary partner schools, this program is being made available to all fourth graders in the Santa Rosa City Schools.


Contact Us

ATTENTION: Symphony offices are currently closed due to COVID-19. Symphony staff, working from home, continue to monitor voicemails, email and mail.

Administrative Office:
50 Santa Rosa Ave, Suite 410
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Phone:  (707) 546-7097

Patron Services:
Phone: (707) 546-8742


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