Philharmonic Schools offers students a three-year curriculum, based on major orchestral works, that tap into their innate creativity, helping them to better hear and understand music, compose their own pieces, and perform both existing and original melodies and rhythms on the recorder.


  • Nurture a lifelong love of music in students, teachers, and parents by cultivating a foundational knowledge of symphonic music through the lens of creative exploration

  • Set the standard for excellence in orchestra/school partnerships by developing on-going, multi-year relationships with schools in New York City and exporting best practices across the nation and abroad

  • Reach every third, fourth, and fifth grade student in partner schools—over 3,000 students—including English Language Learners and students with disabilities

Student Program Experience (each year)

  • 17 In-Class Teaching Artist Visits: active perception, recorder instruction, final composition projects, Young People’s Concerts for Schools preparation
  • 3 In-Class Recorder Instruction Lessons
  • Up to 3 Instrument Demonstrations
  • 1-2 In-School Interactive Chamber Concerts
  • 1 New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts for Schools trip

Partner Teachers

Partner teachers are central to the success of the Philharmonic Schools program. To support these partnerships the New York Philharmonic offers partner teachers opportunities to participate in up to three Professional Development Workshops at David Geffen Hall and two sessions at each school. In-School sessions cater to the unique needs of each school community while the David Geffen Hall workshops allow teachers across the five boroughs to meet and share their expertise. Each teacher is also invited to attend Philharmonic concerts in David Geffen Hall.

Philharmonic Schools teachers and teaching artists follow the Philharmonic Schools curriculum as outlined in the Pathways to the Orchestra. Third graders work with Level 1, fourth graders with Level 2, and fifth graders conclude the program with Level 3. Click here for more Teacher Resources.