The Kennedy Center Education Division commissions, produces, and presents performances for students, teachers, adults, and families.
National Symphony Orchestra Education
The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) offers a variety of programs designed to introduce symphonic music to children and families and to further the musical education of young and aspiring professional musicians. Each year, thousands benefit from the wide variety of symphonic concerts, educational opportunities, and training programs administered by the NSO. Read more about them.
Events and concerts for parents and children to enjoy together.
- NSO Family Concerts
- NSO Kinderclassics
- NSO Ensembles
- NSO Teddy Bear Concerts
- NSO Instrument "Petting Zoos"
Music education programs designed to build the next generation of music lovers. Click on Concerts for School Groups to learn about NSO Open Rehearsals for high school-aged music students.
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.
By special arrangement, senior citizen groups and groups of residents from senior centers throughout the Washington area will have an opportunity to attend free of charge an Open Rehearsal of the National Symphony Orchestra. Contact NSO Education at 202-416-8820 to learn more.
Is the next Beethoven in your class? Learn how to help your students appreciate the symphony, concerts, and music.
NSO musicians, guest artists, and conducting staff may be available to work with school performing groups upon request.
NSO "In-School Ensembles" (ISEs), small ensembles of professional musicians (NSO and others) are available to perform, free of charge, in selected Kennedy Center partnership schools, DC public and charter schools, and CETA schools. Contact NSO Education at 202-416-8820 to learn more about both these opportunities.
Instruction and performance opportunities for young musicians and aspiring conductors.
- NSO Youth Fellowship Program
- NSO Young Associates' Program
- NSO Young Soloists' Competition
- NSO Summer Music Institute
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 Kinderclassics 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 Young Soloists’ Competition offers the winners the opportunity to perform as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra.