articles / Education

Learning About Music: New Digital Resources for All Ages

As these days of sheltering in home tick by, it’s more than possible you’re going a little stir crazy.

If you’re past the point of just bingeing movies, or reaching for the easiest snack, maybe you’re ready to put this time to use. Maybe it’s finally time to take advantage of all the classes available to you — even within your own home.

In light of that, we’ve gathered up some of the educational resources offered to classical music fans right now. They run the gamut — from classes to lessons to exhibits, and beyond — and are available through your computer, no matter what your age.

Did we miss one you think other listeners would love? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

For Your Musical Kids

Don’t miss Scholastic, which is offering free online courses while schools are closed — including an introduction to sound and music. BrainPOP is also extending free access during the pandemic. Help your child keep learning about arts and music, as well as science, social studies, English, and more.

You can also turn to the Lincoln Center, which is offering a full calendar of events in their “Lincoln Center at Home” series. Options include a live pop-up classroom on Facebook at 10 a.m. EST each day that utilizes materials found at home to help children explore a variety of art forms, or their #ConcertsforKids series, which bring concerts to families staying home during this time.

Carnegie Hall also has a myriad of videos and other resources for parents and kids. Their curriculum is designed for children in grades K-2 to fundamental music skills through listening, singing, and moving to songs from all over the world. Dive into their programs to learn about musical traditions like South African Zulu, Gregorian Folk, and Indian Classical.

Smart Music is another way to keep kids plugged in to their musical routines; here you’ll find everything from practice tools to a large music library to learn from. And they’re offering free access through June 30 for students impacted by the pandemic.

Education through Music-LA, which provides in-school music instruction for 42 schools across LA County, has put together a series of brief, kid-friendly music activities and teaching videos. is offering steep discounts on projects and courses that include musical options. Or, if your child’s music teacher hasn’t quite figured out the online thing, Music to Your Home is a service many parents recommend to provide online, guided music lessons.

Perhaps your kid is mostly interested in simply listening to classical music right now — that’s fine! You can always turn on KUSC as the backdrop for one of McHarper Mansion’s daily free arts and crafts tutorials at 1 p.m. EST.

For Grown Ups (Kids Optional)

Khan Academy has long been working to provide free educational services for anyone anywhere, and that doesn’t stop during a global pandemic. In fact, it might give you more time to invest in their lessons — dive in to the make-up of the orchestra, or learn more about the story and music behind an individual piece. Though content levels may vary, most of these courses are made with the potential to show to kids as well.

For adults, there are also higher education classes right at their fingertips: Ivy League colleges like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton have opened more than 450 courses to online students, and now anyone around the world can partake. Want to learn more about Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique? The birth of opera? Beethoven’s 9th? Then be sure to peruse their offerings.

If you’re looking for something more focused to bite off right now, check out the “Defining the String Quartet: Haydn” class being offered by Stanford University, online for free. Within the course, you can learn the various ways to define the string quartet, with background on the origins of the medium and Haydn’s “towering, history-shaping achievement.”

You may as well bookmark the Google Arts & Culture page, which provides a backdoor to various attractions around the world.

If you want somewhere virtual to explore without turning the dial away from KUSC, you can check out Google Arts & Culture’s virtual tours of museums. They’ve partnered with more than 2,000 of the leading museums and archives from around the world to help keep visitors engaged with the art. No more clamoring for the best spot in front of Van Gogh’s “Almond Blossom” painting; through this service you can check out individual items, online exhibits, or even “stroll” through the buildings themselves.

Some of our favorites to check out:

And just because you won’t be able to step into the concert hall any time soon doesn’t mean you have to forego the majesty of it. Concert and opera halls from around the world are virtually opening their doors, providing a chance to tour the spaces and learn more about how they work. The arts and culture section also provides behind-the-scenes exhibits for the performing arts, on everything from The National Theatre to “unveiling the mysteries of the King Cello.”

Written by:
Zosha Millman
Zosha Millman
Published on 04.07.2020