For Educators

San Francisco Symphony

The American orchestra is a valuable tool for educators and their students at all levels and all subjects.  Music and music history offer a wealth of primary sources and numerous connections to the curriculum that students find engaging. 


The American Orchestra Forum resources archived on this site include wide-ranging and multi-faceted discussions about issues including education, diversity, and technology.  Teachers and students will find material useful for classroom projects, reports, and research papers. The resources can be explored by theme (Community, Creativity, Audience) or by tags. 

Educators at all levels will find intriguing parallels between what they do with students in the classroom and what a music director does with the orchestra. Check out what four of the world’s top conductors have to say in the Music Directors and the Orchestra video.

For primary educators, the American orchestra provides a dynamic way to approach topics in social studies, language arts, and science: families, neighborhoods, sound production, traits of writing, and more.

For secondary educators, the American orchestra provides a way to link topics in history, economics, language arts, and science to a medium that adolescents find engaging.

For university educators, the American orchestra provides a way to illuminate social, economic, and cultural issues at the center of American culture, including:

  • questions of national identity, including our relationship to Europe and attitudes toward immigration
  • economic and labor relations history
  • the development of American institutions
  • urban history 

Additional suggestions and resources can be found on the pages for primary educators, secondary educators, and university educators.