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Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra musical director Stilian Kirov with students from the BSO Next program in 2017. With young music lovers in mind, the symphony has released more videos to aid with distance learning.

Just because students can't attend live concerts doesn't mean they can't still enjoy some music appreciation.

As educators adjusted to distance learning this spring, the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra offered some creative assistance, releasing videos to aid local programs. Now, in anticipation of the upcoming school year, the BSO has released a new round of resources to assist educators.

“The initial goal was to present material that could be used supplementally by teachers — not something meant to form an entire curriculum, but material that music teachers in a variety of disciplines, band, orchestra, choir, general music, etc., and age levels could utilize with their students," said Kendra Green, the symphony's director of education engagement.

"Most of the videos focus on specific pieces of music, touching on various musical concepts along the way, but incorporating history, other arts disciplines, and even science. While providing very specific information about a specific piece of music, the material is broad enough in its scope to be useful to most music teachers at most educational levels."

Available on the symphony's YouTube channel, the videos cover subjects like composers, a breakdown of Gustav Holst's "The Planets" and video lessons.

The orchestra designed the lessons to make connections to science, social studies and other arts. So when a video covers the Mars section of the "The Planets" suite, students can expect to learn about astrology, astronomy and the thought behind the musical composition.

The videos were created by the Bakersfield Symphony with the onset of the closure of schools in March. Green said the videos will continue to be made as long as schools in Kern County are enacting online learning, be that completely online or a mixture of in-person and online classes.

"While our own regular education programs were unable to continue due to COVID-19 restrictions, we found that there was a very real and immediate need for distance learning material for music teachers, students and parents with the transition to online learning, and we immediately sought to fill that need," Green said.

The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra is no stranger to education, developing various programs across Kern County including BSO Next, Kids Discover Music and Young People's Concerts. The programs are geared toward introducing live music to students.

Access the learning material at bsonow.org/distance-learning.

Bowen West can be reached at 661-395-7660.

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