Young People’s Concerts
Young People’s Concerts are presented by the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of John Farrer. Please note that the concerts are being offered to both elementary and secondary schools.
Suggestions for class preparation prior to Attending the Concert
- Find a recording and listen to the recording of the music.
- Learn about the composer.
- Learn about the musical historical period and about any story that the music tells.
- Discuss the instruments of the symphony orchestra and show pictures of them. Listen to examples of each of the symphony instruments:
- Winds – clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon
Brass – trumpet, trombone, French horn
Strings – violin, viola, cello, bass
Percussion – timpani, snare drum, cymbals, mallets
- Discuss appropriate concert behavior:
- 1. Sit quietly; the performers can hear you and will think you don’t like them if you are noisy.
2. Don’t get up and move around during the performance.
3. Applaud politely at the appropriate times.
The following are ushering instructions for all schools (public and private) attending the performance:
- 1. Please form a single file line at the appropriate entrance door.
2. Place children in the desired seating order as you line up.
3. Follow the directions of the seating ushers.
4. Proceed to your seats as indicated by the seating ushers. (There are no reserved seats or special seating arrangements unless specifically arranged through the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office in advance.)
5. Sit in the seats as indicated by the ushers. Please do not save seats or skip rows.
Suggestions for helping your students become good listeners in a large audience situation:
- 1. The chaperons should be seated with the students, preferably on the aisles to help control students and keep them in their seats.
2. There are differences between sports activities and cultural events; talking and cheering are permitted during the game at sports activities, while listening and applauding at appropriate times are mannerly for cultural events.
3. We encourage the audience to react spontaneously to the performance. Audience responses are valid as long as they refer to the events on stage. Undue noise or distractions not only spoil the performance for others in the audience, but also disturb the performers.
4. Audience involvement — sing-along, clap-along, move-along — is appropriate only when suggested by the performers.
5. DURING THE PERFORMANCE, STUDENTS ARE TO REMAIN IN THEIR SEATS. Students are to use the rest rooms at their schools before leaving or the facilities in the foyer of the auditorium before the concert begins. THEY ARE NOT TO BE GOING UP AND DOWN THE AISLES DURING THE CONCERT.
Suggested classroom discussion to prepare classes for proper concert conduct
Please prepare your class for symphony concert conduct. The following questions may be used as a guide for class discussion:
- 1. How are we expected to act when:
- watching telelvision?
- (Guided class discussion could include that we don’t usually applaud, that it is okay to move around, get a sandwich, or answer the phone. The performers on TV can’t see us.)
- at football games?
- (Guided class discussion could include that it is okay to yell and move around.)
- at church?
- (Guided class discussion could include that many churches do not allow applause, and everyone is expected to remain seated and quiet.)
2. What do we need to remember when attending a symphony concert?
- (Guided class discussion could include that we applaud to show our appreciation, that we stay in our seats and listen attentively without talking.)
3. Why is it important that we stay in our seats and listen quietly?
- (Guided class discussion could include that the performers are live, not on TV, and they can see and hear us. If we leave or do not pay attention, they may think we don’t like their performance. Also, others around us are trying to listen, and people moving around or talking become distracting.)
4. Why is concentration so important at a symphony concert?
- (Guided class discussion could include that classical music contains subtleties, it brings pictures into our minds, causes emotional responses and moods. It is entertainment of a higher intellectual order and is only possible when we can focus attention without distraction from others and when we can achieve full concentration.)
Suggested pre-concert activities
- Choose a selection to write about:
- High and low pitches
- Dynamics (loudness and softness)
- Tempo (fast/slow speed of the music)
- Instruments recognized
- Listen to a selection several times and imagine using this selection in a movie. What would the scene look like? Using the list of musical terms found in the Glossary: The Language of Music, describe how the music affects the scene.
- Discuss the experience of attending a symphony concert:
- What will we see, hear, etc.
- Behavior expectations
Relating to the California Framework
Composers use melodies, rhythm, and harmony to set locations, moods and tell stories. “The Glossary: The Language of Music”, from the Visual and Performing Arts Framework can provide vocabulary that can be used to analyze, describe and understand music in its various forms.
Historical Cultural Connections
Composers can write music that reflect the culture of the country where they live or of other countries and cultures. An understanding of the life and historical period of the composer can give clues as to why the musical work was composed and how it reflects the culture and times of the composer. We can use this knowledge to understand the relationship of music to history and culture.
The music, with its melodies, rhythms and harmonies are all inventions created in the minds of the composer. Composers invent music in their minds and then write it down so that others can play the music and listen to it. The music can express feelings, moods, or emotions of the composer which are the same as any other human can feel. We can use music to understand our own feelings as well as the feelings and emotions of others and to stimulate our own creativity.
Knowledge about composers, artistic perceptions, historical context, and creativity helps us understand music. Knowing about the instruments in the symphony orchestra and how each instrument sounds adds to our enjoyment and appreciation of the music. We listen to music with all the prior knowledge we bring to it. We use this knowledge to make judgments and determine the quality of the musical experience.
Interested instructors are encouraged to refer to the California Framework for Visual and Performing Arts. It is available in the materials Lab at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office or from the California Department of Education. Also refer to the Content Standards for Visual and Performing Arts.
After the Concert
- Discuss the music and ask what was liked and disliked.
- Ask why selected portions or parts were or were not liked.
- Compare the different selections performed at the concert.
- 1. How were they different?
2. How are they alike?
- 1. Did any music tell a story or sound like a story?
2. How did the music stir emotions?
3. What kinds of activities could you write music to, and how would the music suggest that activity?
4. Draw a picture of what the music made you see.
5. Write a story about what the music made you see.
6. Discuss the time period and culture the composer was writing about.
7. How did you feel during the music — happy, sad, excited, lonely etc.?
8. What was it about the music that made you feel that way?
2017 – 2018 Concert Dates
Fall Friday, October 6, 2017
Fall Thursday, November 2, 2017
Winter Friday, February 9, 2018
The concerts will be held at the Rabobank Convention Center at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., with each performance lasting 45 minutes. Contact the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra office for costs 323-7928.
Please indicate the number of students and chaperons your district will be sending and your time preference. To make your reservations, call the Bakersfield Symphony Office, (661) 323-7928.
Payment for the concert should be made directly to BAKERSFIELD SYMPHONY within 10 days after the concert. Mail to:
1328 34th St, Suite A
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Refer any questions regarding the program to the Bakersfield Symphony Office, (661) 323-7928 or Christine Goedhart-Humphrey, Instruction Services Program Support Coordinator, at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, (661) 636-4330.
Please prepare to include the following information:
Name of Teacher
Name of School/District
Number of Seats (including adults)
Preferred Date: Tuesday or Wednesday
Preferred Time: 9:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.
Please Note: The news media may elect to cover all or part of this event, which can include photos, video or text, which identifies and may quote the student/child. The individual student/child could be identified in newspapers, newsletters, on television, radio or other publicly circulated communications.