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COVID-19 Update: Even in this precarious time, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County remains committed to enriching lives through music by creating virtual offerings of our wide spectrum of Youth Music Education programs. Music and the curiosity that is instilled in learning is more important than ever for young people and we remain dedicated to creating opportunities for exploration and discovery. Remaining free of charge as we adapt with the changing landscape of our new reality, we look forward to keeping music an essential element in all our students’ daily lives.

Check back on this space for more programming updates as they become available.

The Philharmonic Society’s Youth Music Education Programs, offered at no charge to schools, students or parents, and available to all Orange County public and private schools, have been one of the primary supplements to make up for the lack of funding for music education in our county’s schools.

Since 1956, more than 6 million children in Orange County, elementary through high school, have participated in our nationally recognized youth music education programs, which are funded and implemented by the members of The Committees of the Philharmonic Society.

Programs are aligned with the California Department of Education curriculum standards. Schools must be enrolled in the Philharmonic Society’s Youth Music Education Programs in order to participate; these programs are not open to the public.

Please take a moment to view our K-12 Virtual Youth Music Education Programs and fill out our survey indicating your interest in having your school or class participate in our programs.


Music Mobile (Grades 1-3)
As the Music Mobile shifts online, students will get to know the instruments of the orchestra through a fun and engaging digital learning experience. These 10-12 minute lessons, with accompanying teacher resource guides, are designed for students learning in the classroom, home, or in a hybrid of the two. With the addition of printable activity guides, students will be able to take a break from screens and continue to learn about music away from the computer.
California Journeys (Grade 4)
Grade 4 students will enhance their study of California’s rich history through interactive virtual field trips to some of Orange County’s most historical spots. Through a Zoom journey, students make their own music with a Teaching Artist, who will act as their guide on a journey through the musical history of early California.
Musicians on Campus (Grades 4-6)
In this course, students will learn about the inner workings of each orchestra section as they watch and listen to performances from some of the world’s best musicians and members of the Orange County Youth Symphony. This program is designed to begin digitally and end with takeaways that promote off-screen learning and music-making.
Concerts for Fifth Grade (Grade 5)
In a unique opportunity, Orange County elementary school students will connect with Orange County Youth Symphony musicians to get insider knowledge on what it takes to be a musician, play in an orchestra, begin an instrument, and much more. Students will make connections with the musicians, then see the musicians in action in a virtual concert at the end of the program.


Sounds Around the Globe (Grades 6-8)
Middle school students will engage in world music performances that feature musicians and ensembles performing on instruments that may be unfamiliar to western audiences in shape and sound. This virtual series will introduce students to rhythms and sounds of music from cultures around the globe.
The Studio Classroom (Grades 6-12)
This program focuses on what it takes to be a musician through a variety of courses and offerings. Whether it is online masterclasses with world-class artists, lessons on how to be a music producer, tips on musician health and wellness, music theory classes, music technology masterclasses, introductions to music administration, or college prep/audition techniques, there is something for everyone.
Tix for Teens (Grades 6-12)
With complimentary access to Philharmonic Society concerts, Orange County middle and high school students have the opportunity to see world-class performances featuring some of the greatest musicians of our time, gain inspiration for their current and future endeavors, and grow their love for the arts.
Orange County Youth Symphony (Grades 7-12)
Established in 1970 as the area's first honors youth orchestra, the Philharmonic Society's Orange County Youth Symphony (OCYS) is a diverse group of young musicians representing more than 50 schools, grades 8-12 in the Southern California area. Members have the opportunity to perform at world-class venues, participate in musical workshops with Philharmonic Society guest artists and experience professional concerts with complimentary tickets to Philharmonic Society concerts.
High School Orchestra Festival (Grades 9-12)
This day-long series of performances showcases local high school orchestras and string ensembles in a professional and adjudicated setting. Whether in-person with a live audience or online, this festival will give the community’s young musicians a chance to shine, as well act as a much-needed fundraiser for music programs.


Strike Up the Band (Grades K-12)
With the purpose of making a meaningful impact on school music programs, Strike Up the Band gives schools the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $10,000 in goods or services to enhance and grow existing music programs, support the creation of new music programs, or aid in the transition to online learning.

Our award-winning programs are made possible by the tireless volunteerism and fundraising of The Committees of the Philharmonic Society.

The Youth Music Education Programs of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County are partially funded by The Committees of the Philharmonic Society, The Davisson Family Fund for Youth Music Education, Thomas J. Madracki Memorial Endowment, Music & Arts Center, the City of Newport Beach, The Sorenson Foundation, The Crean Foundation, Orange County Community Foundation, The William Gillespie Foundation, The Huntington Harbour Cruise of Lights®, The Orange County Register, Pacific Life Foundation, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo Foundation.

For more information, please contact our Education Department: