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Link Up

Idaho State-Civic Symphony

Link Up—a program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute—has paired with the Idaho State-Civic Symphony and students in Grade 4 at schools in the SE Idaho communities to explore orchestral repertoire and fundamental musical skills, including creative work and composition, through a hands-on music curriculum. Students participating in Link Up will attend a culminating concert where they sing and play the recorder or the violin with the orchestra from their seats.

Link Up provides a high-quality, year-long curriculum that teachers can implement, along with classroom materials, online video and audio resources, and the professional development and support necessary to make the program an engaging and instructive experience for students.

The primary goals of Link Up are to:

1. Teach fundamental musical concepts to students in grades 3–5

2. Introduce students to the symphony orchestras and concert halls

3. Foster new and existing relationships between the symphony and our local schools

4. Provide professional development opportunities for all participating teachers

The Essential Question that guided our projects’ focus was:

How are melodies made? How do composers and orchestras use melodies to sing?

Throughout the year, students had the opportunity to explore activities that taught the basics of recorder and vocal technique, as well as introducing students to reading rhythms, making melodies, and composing their own music.

Students prepared to perform with the orchestra by singing and playing the soprano recorder in their local classrooms.  They were instructed on how to interpret the essential musical structures of melody and what makes it sing.

Students prepare to connect with the orchestra and explore instruments, families, and orchestration through a final concert with the Idaho State-Civic Symphony.  During this final concert, students will have an opportunity to compose and notate new music with our conductor using the concert melodies as models. The students’ complete experience allows them to develop their imaginative capacities and make personal connections to the music.

At the conclusion of the project, students responded to questions related to the identified Standards:

Students and the participating Teachers identified the following results of their time in class and in working with the students:

  1. Learned the repertoire to be presented at the culminating concert. (Students were unable to participate in the concert due to the shutdown)
  2. Learned the fundamental concepts of music and engaged in creative activities through a deeper exploration of the ideas and themes of the Link Up repertoire.
  3. Became familiar with the different instruments and sections of the orchestra.
  4. Developed the basics of singing and playing an instrument including breath control, posture, blending, rhythm, and melody.



Through hands-on activities and a culminating interactive performance with a professional orchestra, Link Up helps to address the Common Core State Standards, empowering students through learning activities that emphasize college and career readiness and help students:

• demonstrate independence

• build strong content knowledge

• respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline

• comprehend and critique

• value evidence

• use technology and digital media strategically and capably

• come to understand other perspectives and cultures

While the Link Up curriculum focuses primarily on music performance skills, content knowledge, and creativity, students also build core capacities in English and math. Through composition, active listening, describing and analyzing standard repertoire, and a focus on the historical context of orchestral music, Link Up provides students with the opportunity to put these core capacities to use in a new domain. Specific activities throughout the curriculum also address these English and math capacities directly, encouraging reading, writing, and quantitative thinking


Due to the pandemic and subsequent shutdown of schools, the culminating final concerts alongside the Idaho State-Civic Symphony on March 19, 2020, were not performed.  Since the program is structured to teach and prepare the students throughout the year, nearly all of the main objectives of the program were still achieved.   As such, we do not have any photos to share, nor need for release for student photos.