From learning to compose sea shanties, to enjoying a night-time playlist, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra has announced a series of initiatives to inspire all ages through the summer.

The BSO is continuing to support music-making in rural communities across its 10,000-square-mile region, providing a musical lifeline when it’s needed more than ever as professional musicians continue to lead groups online.

“Music offers a compass when we’re feeling lost at sea, and we hope that these resources and performance opportunities will help guide all ages towards calm during this turbulent time," says BSO chief executive Dougie Scarfe.

"Our schools’ concerts are a popular fixture in the summer term for pupils th"roughout the South West and whilst we’re sad not to be performing live, we’re thrilled to be able to bring some of that magic to pupils learning from home.”


For children:

A three-week series BSO Young Explorers: Sea, Voyages & Hope workshops (from Monday, June 8) introduces children to making music as they learn to make their own works, take part in warm-up exercises, and rehearse two newly-commissioned nautical songs to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s pioneering voyage. The project culminates in a group performance at the end of the summer term. The workshops are designed to support the Key Stage 2 curriculum, but can be enjoyed by all ages. Led by BSO Associate Musician Sam Mason and composer James Redwood the sessions will be available — and free for all — at New sessions will be uploaded each week throughout June.

Music education resource packs (available from Monday, June 8) will help children aged 4-14 to deepen their love of music through a series of prepared activities designed to relieve the burden on teachers and parents during lockdown. Available to all the activities include learning to make-your-own instrument, exploring pieces through videos performances and talks, curated playlists, and musical cross-curriculum exercises. Children* without access to online materials will be able to take part in activities through the Southampton Music Hub.

Pupils based in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole region will also have the opportunity to complete the coveted Arts Award Discover qualification through the BSO’s partnership with SoundStorm, the lead partner of the BCP Music Education Hub. The experience provides those studying at Key Stage 2 level the chance to achieve a qualification during lockdown. Schools in the BCP region will be contacted directly.


For all ages

Players of all ages are encouraged to dust off musical instruments and take part in a massed performance in the BSO’s Bar by Bar project for amateur performers (from Monday, June 29). BSO Associate Musicians provide an introduction to the work and guidance before players upload selected bars of music from home. The project is suitable for a variety of standards from beginner to advanced, with parts for instruments reading treble or bass clefs.

The BSO’s community groups continue across the region, with BSO Associate Musicians leading workshops, rehearsals and performances online including BSO Voices, the Orchestra’s Southampton-based community choir, which continues to meet virtually and recently shared its performance of Over the Rainbow, bringing joy to key workers throughout the region.


To find out more about Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s summer activities and experiences visit