Music lessons and workshops for kids during lockdown

A round-up of online musical activities for children to enjoy during the ongoing period of self-isolation

Published: May 6, 2020 at 8:43 am


BBC Ten Pieces at Home


Ten Pieces at Home will provide weekly films and activities inspired by works in the Ten Pieces collection. In Elgar’s Enigma Variations, for example, each variation depicts a different friend of Elgar. In the accompanying activity, presented by CBBC’s Naomi Wilkinson, children will be asked to draw a person they love but aren’t able to see at the moment because of the lockdown. They are then asked to come up with a piece of music that reminds them of this person, and upload their picture and music selection to the Ten Pieces website.

Other activities include writing a poem inspired by a journey with poet Simon Mole and learning to sing a section of Sibelius’s Finlandia and perform it in a virtual choir with the BBC Singers.

Connecting the Dots will bring children together with BBC musicians for online classical music workshops involving performances, musical activities and Q&As. This project will be organised by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s newly appointed associate artist Lucy Drever.


Great British Home Chorus

Choirmaster Gareth Malone invites singers of all ages to join his national choir. You can watch previous rehearsals on Decca Records's YouTube page here.

Music lessons

Bristol Plays Music Virtual Academy

The Bristol Music Trust has created a programme of one-on-one music lessons for students. Teachers will run 20-minute sessions for primary school children and half-hour sessions for those in secondary school.

There will be a charge for lessons, but children of key workers or those suffering financially because of the pandemic will be able to apply for free bursary places. Otherwise, tuition is available in blocks of ten lessons, with prices from £100.

Discover music

Meet the Instrument

The Seattle Symphony Orchestra are uploading weekly introductions to orchestral instruments. Musicians show audiences how their instruments work and what sounds they can make, using excerpts from classic orchestral repertoire to show off their instruments' capabilities. Their introduction to the clarinet can be found here, and the rest of the videos are available to view on the orchestra's YouTube channel.

London Sinfonietta: Introduction to Contemporary Instruments

Every Monday at 5pm on the London Sinfonietta's YouTube channel, one of the orchestra's principal players introduces audiences to the nuances of contemporary instruments and performance.

4 May: Mark van Wiel's Introduction to Contemporary Clarinet

11 May: Byron Fulcher's Introduction to Contemporary Trombone

18 May: Michael Thompson's Introduction to Contemporary Horn

25 May: Melinda Maxwell's Introduction to Contemporary Oboe

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine


Rachel Barton Pine is hosting weekly 'Family Fridays with RBP' at 12.30pm ET, 11.30am CT and 9.30pm PT. The 20-minute streams will be available on her Facebook page.


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.

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