Education Programs

The Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education programs

Connecting musicians to kids, kids to music, and music to the community

Each year, the Santa Barbara Symphony provides children in Santa Barbara County with high quality, inclusive and accessible music education through its Music Education programs: a continuum of connected programs designed to support and engage students every step along their musical journey; fostering collaboration, confidence and community empowering students to be at their best through music.

“The student experience through the Santa Barbara Symphony’s education programs is unmatched in the region. My student is proud to be a part of this community and has learned a lot.”

Whether offering a young person their first experience holding an instrument to applying for college, the Symphony’s Music Education programs are here…

Santa Barbara Youth Symphony Community Concert  4/29/17 PageYouth Center

Youth Ensembles

For the last 57 years, the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony and its associated ensembles have provided a conduit for local, grade school musicians to learn standard classical and symphonic repertoire in an orchestral setting. The original Youth Symphony was founded in 1965 through the efforts of an enterprising high school student, Daniel Kepl. In 1968 the Youth Symphony began its longstanding association with the Santa Barbara Symphony through what started as a sponsorship. In 1974 the Youth Symphony became a standalone non-profit organization with a Board and strong parent involvement. In 2008, the Youth Symphony’s long standing association with the Santa Barbara Symphony evolved and the two merged to become a formal part of the Symphony’s educational offerings. Today, despite the worldwide challenges presented to arts education programs by the pandemic, the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Youth Ensembles are thriving and growing once again.

Beginner ensemble for string and band students.

Intermediate ensemble for string, woodwind, brass, and percussion students.

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s most advanced youth ensemble serving string, woodwind, brass, and percussion students.

Elementary-Level Programs

A mobile music classroom filled with instruments that tours 3rd grade classes throughout Santa Barbara county.

Santa Barbara Symphon Orchestra - Concerts for Young People 1/18/19 The Granada Theatre

Concerts for
Young People

Annual field trip for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders to the Granada Theatre to experience an inspiring performance by the Santa Barbara Symphony.

This program is currently on pause due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Stay tuned for updates. 


BRAVO! Program

Partnership with the SBUSD to provide free after school band and orchestra instruction to 4th, 5th, and 6th grade musicians.

This program is currently on pause due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Stay tuned for updates. 

Enrichment Programs

Where guest artists get up close and personal with our students and community.


Behind the Music

Engaging and fascinating pre-concert talks open to all ticket holders.

Santa Barbara Junior Orchestra 10/29/17 Vieja Valley School

Our Ambitions and Values

Through partnerships with school districts, community organizations, and supported by  generous individual annual donors, and local, regional and national funders, the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Music Education programs are guided by these values…

  • Excellence: we provide weekly instruction during the school year led by local professional Teaching Artists. Students, teachers, and staff are held to the highest standards of musical excellence.
  • Equitable Access: we pride ourselves on providing music education to all children in Santa Barbara county. No student is turned away due to finances or access to an instrument.
  • Support: our team works together to create plans that encourage students to continually strive for the next level of skills.

Support these programs!

Would you like to join our family of donors to support these programs? Annual donations at any level have a big impact. They can fund scholarships, help pay our faculty, provide instruments and more! 

SB Symphony - Youth Programs Community Concert 4/7/18 Page Youth Center
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