Education & Community - Berkeley Symphony - Bay Area Music in Schools

Education & Community


Founded in 1993 and run in partnership with Berkeley Unified School District, Berkeley Symphony’s Music in the Schools program provides comprehensive, age-appropriate music curriculum to over 4,600 Berkeley public elementary and middle school students each year. Recognized by the League of American Orchestras as one of the country’s top music education programs, Music in the Schools (MITS) helps students fulfill the California Performing Arts Content Standards and provides new ways of approaching many other subjects in the core curriculum. Music in the Schools is under the leadership of Education Director Ming Luke.

Facts about our in-school residency:

  • Over 200 in-class sessions led by Berkeley Symphony musicians at all eleven BUSD elementary schools each year. Classroom sessions include hands-on music education and curriculum guides for teachers addressing state standards for music education.
  • 130 ensemble coaching sessions, twenty-two master classes, and six ensemble adjudication sessions led by Berkeley Symphony musicians at all three BUSD middle schools each year.
  • Eleven “Meet the Symphony” concerts in BUSD elementary schools each Fall.
  • Six “I’m a Performer!” concerts at BUSD elementary schools each Spring, providing young musicians opportunities to rehearse and perform side-by-side with Berkeley Symphony.
  • Four annual Family Concerts, providing opportunities for students, their families, and community members to experience a Berkeley Symphony concert together
  • All Music in the Schools programming is provided 100% free of charge for children and their families.


Music in the Schools is made possible only with your support. Impact the lives of 4,600 elementary and middle school children each year.

Become a Parent Liaison!

Parents are a huge help when it comes to our Music in the Schools program. If you are interested in becoming a parent Liaison or you simply want to learn more, contact our Executive Director, Jim Tibbs by clicking the button below!

Introduction to Instruments!

In collaboration with the Berkeley Unified School District, Berkeley Symphony’s Music in the School’s program provides high-quality music education to all students in the district. This playlist was created to help students pick their first instruments!

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