Videos and creative explorations in which New York Philharmonic Teaching Artists provide insights and creative prompts to inspire children — with or without instruments or musical training — to create their own musical compositions! While all are great for children of all ages, indications are provided for activities created with a specific age group in mind.





Explorations


Music of Machines
In Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth, she depicts the sounds of the factory by the way she uses the instruments of the orchestra. How can we use musical instruments to imitate other sounds?

Melody by Design: Creating Melodies with Formulas
What would it sound like if we used a musical formula to design a melody? In this activity, Philharmonic Teaching Artist Justin Hines shares his special formula for building new melodies.

Ode to Joy — A Pretty Good-Sounding Melody: Podcast Exploration
Philharmonic Teaching Artist Justin Hines hosts this look under the hood of the famous Ode to Joy melody from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to see what makes it such a great tune. 

The “Something Changed” Listening Game
Listen to the groove carefully: something has changed! Can you identify what it is? Philharmonic Teaching Artist Justin Hines introduces different musical concepts by testing our abilities to hear how they impact on a repeated musical pattern.

How To Capture a Feeling
GRADES 6–12
Composer and New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist Danny Felsenfeld shows us how we can use our emotions to get a composition started.

Composer as Actor — Lesson 1
Composer as Actor — Lesson 2
GRADES 6–12
As composers, when we use words in music, we make choices about where and how we place emphasis on certain words and sounds to help communicate meaning. Composer and Philharmonic Teaching Artist Danny Felsenfeld shows us how.

Chat with a Composer: Interviews with Danny Felsenfeld
GRADES 6–12
Ever wonder how other composers do it? Composer and Philharmonic Teaching Artist Danny Felsenfeld asks professional composers about their process.
Interview with Composer Angélica Negrón.
Interview with Composer Jessica Mays.

More Ideas for Musical Transitions
Often composers often need to change or transition a musical idea from one section to the next. Composer and Philharmonic Teaching Artist Angélica Negrón shows us more ways we can create transitions in our music. Available in Spanish.

More Ways of Developing a Melody
Composer and Philharmonic Teaching Artist Jacinta Clusellas provides us with more tips on how to develop our melodies. Available in Spanish.

The Fundamentals Rap
Philharmonic Teaching Artist Justin Hines walks us through the fundamentals of music. This is a musical exploration that'll have you dancing to the beat.

Self-Soothing Sounds: Podcast Exploration
In this podcast-style episode, composer and Philharmonic Teaching Artist Angélica Negrón shows many ways we can calm ourselves through reflection and sound. This audio exploration will guide you through creating your very own self-soothing piece.
Podcast Exploration in Spanish.
English Transcription.
Spanish Transcription.

Creating Together: Podcast Exploration
Making art can be very personal, but it can also be really fun way to create something with other people. Working together with others can open up new possibilities, spark new ideas, and help you grow as an artist. Composer and Philharmonic Teaching Artist Angélica Negrón shows us how we can create and compose together.

Choose Your Own Accompaniment Adventure
GRADES 3–5
Philharmonic Teaching Artist Justin Hines introduces us to a variety of options when it comes to creating musical accompaniments for our melodies.

Focusing your Listening Lens, Featuring Julia Wolfe's Fire in my mouth
MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL
In this podcast-style exploration, Philharmonic Teaching Artist Justin Hines leads an audio exploration of Julia Wolfe’s breathtaking oratorio Fire in my mouth. We practice deep listening, focusing our “listening lens” on individual instruments, textures, and other musical elements in this remarkable and poignant work. Best experienced with headphones.

Just Asking Questions: A Song by Justin Hines
Now for something totally different! With his band in tow, Philharmonic Teaching Artist Justin Hines offers us listening advice for what we should do when encountering the new and unfamiliar.

My Creative Neighborhood
Each neighborhood has its own identity, with the people, places, sounds, smells, and sights that shape its character. In this exploration, Philharmonic Teaching Artist Angélica Negrón shows us all the ways we can find creative inspiration from our own neighborhoods. Available in Spanish.

Music of Place — Lesson 1
Music of Place — Lesson 2
Philharmonic Teaching Artist Danny Felsenfeld takes inspiration from Duke Ellington’s famous “Harlem” motif and shares how we can create our own “local motives” with our neighborhood in mind.

The 3 + 1 Rhythmic Warm-Up
Philharmonic Teaching Artist Justin Hines walks us through a rhythmic warm-up. You may use your body or an instrument as percussion!

Art and Community
This exploration, inspired by artwork of the Harlem Renaissance, illustrates how creativity can be sparked by your own neighborhood. This activity was created by Philharmonic Teaching Artist Molly Herron.

Exploring and Composing with Graphic Scores!
Sometimes composers use shapes and colors to represent sounds for musicians to interpret when they perform. Philharmonic Teaching Artist Jacinta Clusellas introduces us to graphic notation. Available in Spanish.

Finding the Tempo and Rhythm of Your Neighborhood
This exploration is all about finding the tempo and rhythm of your neighborhood! Philharmonic Teaching Artist Justin Hines uses Duke Ellington’s music for inspiration to explore the composer’s neighborhood during the Harlem Renaissance.

3 is the Magic Number
GRADES 3–5
Listen to and feel the magic of the number 3! This active lesson gets you on your feet while learning about tempo, meter, and Mahler! Available in Spanish.

Joyful Sounds
With this activity, we explore the ways in which music can be expressed in both joy and sound!

Form in Music
In music, form is how we think of the overall shape of a piece when different things stop, start, and change. Join Philharmonic Teaching Artist Molly Herron as she explores the different shapes music can take, and begin to build your own musical composition!

How To Steal Like a Composer
We composers take inspiration from the sounds around us, the world outside, and even from other music. Philharmonic Teaching Artist Danny Felsenfeld shows us how to take down ideas and then create something new.

Turning Observation into Creation
Zoom back to the past with New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist Danny Felsenfeld as we draw creative inspiration from Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. ​Explore our editable time-traveling newspaper, and take notes while you listen!