Link Up

Ages: 3rd-5th Grade
: February 7-9, 2024 – Performances at 9:40am & 11:10am
Location: DeVos Performance Hall
Conductor: Duo Shen
Program: Link Up: The Orchestra Sings
Concert Length:
50 minutes

Reserve your spot HERE!

Program Overview
In partnership with Carnegie Hall, this year’s Link Up Concert is The Orchestra Sings. Link Up encompasses a curriculum that prepares students to perform with the Grand Rapids Symphony and also develops music concepts, skills, and creativity. The Orchestra Sings program features familiar orchestral favorites like Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and Dvorak’s “New World” theme, as well as music written especially for Link Up.

Students participating in Link Up attend a culminating concert where they sing and play the recorder or violin with the orchestra from their seats.

Link Up provides a free, high-quality, year-long curriculum that teachers can implement, along with classroom materials, online video and audio resources, and the professional development and support necessary to make the program an engaging experience for students.

Professional Development: Teachers participating in Link Up will be provided with professional development video(s) outlining the implementation of the Link Up program. Video(s) will be available in September 2021.

Q+A Sessions: GRS staff will host four Link Up Q+A sessions, one in September, October, November, and December. Exact dates and times will be sent out to all those with a reservation in the near future.

Link Up FAQs from Carnegie Hall:

How much classroom time should be dedicated to implementing Link Up?
Link Up is intended as a supplemental curriculum for your music teachers, The curriculum is built with three distinct pathways that allow teachers to prepare their students for success in Link Up, even with limited instructional time available. We recommend a minimum of three to four months of classroom instruction between the professional development videos and the culminating concert.

Have you had students who begin with the basic pathway one year and progress to the more advanced pathways in later seasons?
Yes. Many partner orchestras will see the same students from third through fifth grades. The beginner students start with the easier pathways and progress each year to more difficult pathways as the orchestra cycles through the four program options (The Orchestra Sings, The Orchestra Moves, The Orchestra Rocks, and The Orchestra Swings). Also, many of our new partners find that following their first year of Link Up, teachers become more comfortable with the curriculum and are able to introduce aspects of the more advanced program pathways despite limitations in instructional time.

Can students with different levels of preparation participate together in the same concert?
Some schools do not begin recorder study until fourth grade, yet the program is offered to third graders as well. The basic pathway has a singing-only option for most repertoire, and the Link Up curriculum also provides both basic and advanced instrumental parts. On most selections in a Link Up concert, there will simultaneously be students singing, playing recorder, and playing violin - all at different levels depending on grade, skill level, and instructional time available.

Are there Link Up resources for string teachers?
Yes, the Link Up teacher and student guides include bowings for violin students.

Do you have to be a music teacher to teach Link Up?
No, but we recommend that teachers have some basic prior knowledge and/or experience with music. The program includes skills-based work in reading music, singing, and playing the recorder, and there are multiple pathways for participation in the program depending on the level of students, instructional time available, and the skills of the participating teacher. Additional Link Up online resources are particularly helpful for classroom teachers with limited music reading and teaching experience.

Generous support for this program is provided by:

The Harry A. & Margaret D. Towsley Foundation | Haworth, Inc. | JSJ Corporation | Louis & Helen Padnos Foundation | Pridgeon & Clay Inc. | Artsplace | Beusse & Porter Family Foundatoin | Chase | Fifth Third Bank