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Learning in Concert

Learning in Concert is an in-school partnership program with the NBSO and over forty local elementary schools in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It uses a concept-based arts integration model where a musical concept is explored alongside other art and academic areas that authentically share the same concept. The Learning in Concert program is designed as a unified, comprehensive, three-phase curriculum project spanning an entire school year. The program begins with an in-school, arts integrated assembly concert program, followed by individual classroom lessons partnering the NBSO Education Director with individual classroom teachers and students, primarily third graders. The third phase is the culminating event where students’ year-long creative work and collaborations are featured and performed at the annual Young People’s Concerts. More than 8,000 students will participate this year, including all second and third grade students from New Bedford Public Schools. 

Learning in Concert 2022-2023: Symmetry in Shapes and Sounds


Symmetry in Shapes and Sounds

This curriculum explores the concept of symmetry as it is demonstrated in music, geometry, nature, and art. The program focuses on the ways in which a musical shape or melody, and a geometric shape can be transformed while still maintaining its original shape or measurement. Students will see and hear three types of geometric and musical transformations including translation (slide), horizontal refelection (mirror) and vertical reflection (flip). Students learn to recognize that symmetry surrounds them in their environment, in music, in the architecture of their school building, or even in their own backyard.

In music, students hear symmetry represented through exciting and vivid examples in classical music. In the visual arts, they explore symmetry in the artwork of M.C. Escher, in artwork from local artists, and in vibrant images from nature. In the classroom, students will transform a short musical shape using techniques of slide, mirror, and flip using the NBSO’s Musical Escher Sketch and then hear their musical creation performed. At the Young People’s Concerts, the students will hear a live performance by the NBSO with classical music that demonstrates the three types of geometric transformations.

View Past Programs

2018-2019: Resourceful Composer, Resourceful Planet

2017-2018: The Orchestra as an Ecosystem: Symphony Symbiosis

2016-2017: Gravity in Space in Sound

2015-2016: Adaptations in Motion: Animal and Musical

Education Director

Education Director Terry Wolkowicz’s innovative and creative approach to designing music education curriculum has made the NBSO a leader in educational programming. Now in her ninth season with the NBSO, she continues to create innovative programming that connects classical music to our South Coast children’s lives and to encourage learning by exploring concepts that are authentically shared between classical… 

Educational Programs

Learning in concert

This program is designed as a unified, comprehensive, three-phase curriculum project spanning an entire school year. LIC uses a concept-based arts integration model where a musical concept is explored alongside other art and academic areas that authentically... 


The Southeastern Massachusetts Youth Orchestras (SEMAYO) program was established in 2008 under the auspices of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra for students from beginners to advanced college players.

symphony tales

The Symphony Tales program is a music and literacy educational program geared to children ages four through seven. In the Symphony Tales program, children attend a reading of a popular children’s book while being accompanied by a live musical performance by a New Bedford Symphony Orchestra musician.


The NBSO has introduced Pathway to Performance, a free private lesson program in partnership with New Bedford schools, erasing another barrier preventing all our young people from having equitable access to instrumental performance instruction. Educating and enriching the lives of children is a central part of our mission. By offering a Pathway to Performance to children who love music and want it to be a big part of their life, we are expanding and deepening this commitment to our community.


The NBSO has partnered with the New Bedford Parenting Teens program to offer a weekly music course to teen parents. In the course, students explore the benefits of a creating a bedtime routine for their child and throughout the semester composed their own lullaby.


by the Students in the New Bedford Parenting Teens Program

Pre-K Music and Literacy

The Pre-K Music and Literacy program is designed to explore the connection between the rhythmic features of words and the rhythmic sounds in music. The NBSO is partnering with New Bedford elementary Schools through classroom visits where the children explore the syllable number and stress patterns through rhythmic drumming and speaking. The program is based on the NBSO's new children's storybook and new musical composition entitled, "A Concert at the Zoo."

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