Virtual Classroom

Omaha Symphony | Anywhere

This learning resource is for teachers and students of all levels and ages who are looking to expand their knowledge and understanding of musical performance. Resources are continually being added to this page, which will serve as an index of what is available. You may find it helpful to bookmark this page and check back regularly.

All resources are broken down by type and then suggested age range. However, our musician videos may be of interest to other age ranges. Please feel to use whatever might be of use for your students.

Be sure to check our YouTube Channel regularly — new Virtual Classroom content created by the musicians of the Omaha Symphony is being added weekly!

If you do use the resources in your online learning or you are looking for something specific, we’d love to hear from you! Send an email to education@omahasymphony.org.

Elementary General Music

Mission Imagination Packet

PK – 3rd Grade: Companion to the Omaha Symphony’s Mission Imagination student matinee series. In the packet, you will find information on instrument families along with instructions on how to make homemade instruments!

Download the Packet Here

Concerts For Youth Packet

4th 6th Grade: Companion to the Omaha Symphony’s Concerts for Youth student matinee series. The concert, which occurred in January 2020 integrated math curriculum with music to learn about ratios, pitch, rhythm, and more.

Download the Packet Here

Link Up Resources

There is a wealth of information available to you here. These resources are geared towards a recorder-based curriculum for 3rd-5th graders, but you are welcome to dive in and see if anything may be useful to you or your students during this time!

If you dig through and find yourself interested getting your students involved with the Carnegie LinkUp program in future years, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Omaha Symphony Education Team at education@omahasymphony.org.

Orchestra Musician Videos - Instrument-specific

Meet the Harp! (6.5 min)

PK – 3rd Grade: Principal Harpist Mary Bircher talks to us about the harp and gives us an up-close view! This video talks about what a harp is made out of, what the pedals do, and some extended techniques (glissandos, harmonics, etc).

Meet the Trumpet! (3 min)

PK – 3rd Grade: Associate Principal Trumpet Craig Bircher talks about the trumpet and plays a few examples of what a trumpet can do. He also talks a little about other instruments in the brass family – tuba, trombone, and French horn. View Video

Meet the Piano! (5 min)

PK – 3rd Grade: Principal Keyboardist Christi Zuniga talks about the piano and gives us an up-close view. She also has a special feature of her personal piano – 2 delightful pups that help her practice! View Video

Percussion Instrument Family (7 min)

PK – 3rd Grade: Join Principal Timpanist Jack Rago as he explores various instruments that make up the percussion family. View Video

Get Ready to Play the Violin! (3 min)

Upper Elementary – Middle School: Violinist Kevin Tompkins shares tips on getting your violin and yourself ready to play. This video talks about getting your bow ready, how your violin should be positioned and more! View Video

Cello – Basic Posture Tips and Techniques (5 min)

Upper Middle High School: Omaha Symphony Cellist, Samuel Pierce-Ruhland talks through basic posture, bow holds, and more in this delightful video that is especially useful to cellists.

Orchestra Musician Videos - Technique-based

Double Tonguing – Flute and / or Brass Players (3 min)

Upper Middle High School: Principal Flute, Maria Harding gives and overview and a few practice techniques on double tonguing on the flute. Technique may also apply to brass players.

Metronome Practice – Percussion and more (4 min)

Upper Middle – High School: Principal Percussionist, Rob O’Brien gives examples on how to internalize tempos using metronome practice. Helpful for percussionists and any student looking to maintain steady tempos!

Orchestra Musician Videos - General Tips and Expert Advice

Practice Tip – The 2-Minute Rule (90 sec)

Any Age: Omaha Symphony Bassist and VP of Artistic, Dani Meier (and cat assistant, Harley) talks to you about staying motivated to practice and how a simple 2-minute rule will go a long way to help you continue your practice routine.

Dynamic Stretches for Musicians (4 min)

Middle School to Adult: Associate Concertmaster Ann Beebe shares her physical warm up routine before she begins practicing her violin. View Video

Tour a Professional Musician’s Practice Room (8 min)

Middle School to Adult: Flutist Lisa Meyerhofer is based in New York, but regularly gigs with orchestras around the country – including the Omaha Symphony. Check out this special look at her practice room set up and how she keeps organized with all of her different programs.

Helpful Technology for the Gigging Musician (5 min)

High School to Adult: Flutist Lisa Meyerhofer is based in New York, but regularly gigs with orchestras around the country, in addition to taking auditions every year. In this video, see some helpful tips on how she uses technology to keep herself organized and keep track of her music. View Video

Practice Tip – Backwards Practice (18 min)

Middle – High School (and beyond): Bassist Dani Meier talks about the importance of practicing repertoire backwards. She even takes us into her practice room and uses 12 measures of a piece that she is working on as an example! View Video

Advice to My Eleventh Grade Self (2 min)

High School: Concertmaster Susanna Perry Gilmore talks about if she could go back in time, what advice would she give herself when thinking about the end of high school. View Video

String Instrument Repair (10 min)

High School / Directors: Violist Judy Divis takes some time to talk through common repairs that sometimes need to happen to string instruments. Please note: If you have a school-owned instrument you should speak to your director prior to getting it repaired. View video

Tips to Address Performance Anxiety (3-part series)

High School - Adult: Principal Percussionist speaks techniques that have helped him with performance anxiety in high pressure situations. Rob references a few books that may help and breaks down how nerves are actually a good thing (Part 1), how to create your own musical “pre-shot routine” (Part 2), and how you can only control yourself in the moment (Part 3).

Conductor Videos

Ian Passmore on Conducting (23 min)

High School: Associate Conductor, Ian Passmore gives his thoughts of various aspects of music related to conducting.

Omaha Symphony Archive Performances

Any Age: The Omaha Symphony’s YouTube Channel will soon be filled with our digital archives. Feel free to take a look and share any recordings with your students!