BPO Teaching Artists

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Teaching Artists

Bring unique arts engagement into your classroom through the dynamism of the BPO’s professional musicians. Presentations feature interactive music learning opportunities and authentic connections between music and other areas of learning, with an emphasis on artistic excellence and can meet varied classroom learning objectives. Your BPO understands the importance of arts engagement in developing creative thinkers and innovators who value learning over a lifetime.

The BPO offers Classroom Programs or Instrument Workshops & Clinics.

Select each tab below to explore programming.

Classroom programs explore arts learning through movement activities, active listening and authentic connections between music and other areas of study. These musician-developed programs bring a unique perspective and a wealth of beautiful music to concepts you are teaching in your classroom.

Programs can be adapted for your needs and specific age groups.

Behind the Music: The Science of Sound

BPO trombonist Tim Smith
Grades K-6

What is the science behind the sounds we hear? How do composers use sound to create beautiful music? BPO musician Tim Smith will demonstrate the difference between sound and noise (how does a brass player turn breath and buzzing lips into a lovely note?) and explore concepts like pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre and resonance using many different sizes of trombones and other fun materials. Using music written by some of the greatest “manipulators of sound” this interactive workshop illuminates the building blocks of music.

With connections to: NYS Standards for Mathematics, Science and Technology

Music, Math and Time

BPO violinist Deborah Greitzer
Grades K-6

Explore the relationship between musical time, math and the emotional content of music with BPO violinist Deborah Greitzer. Using a variety of musical examples from the orchestral and violin repertoire she creates a fun interactive lesson about musical time using fractions (cutting up a whole into parts) and how that works in notating time signatures and feeling musical rhythms. Then using familiar songs as well as beautiful examples from orchestral and violin repertoire, Deborah invites students to find out how composers choose the best time signature to express a musical statement and how time signatures can help us better understand what the music is about.

With connections to: NYS Next Generation Learning Standards for Mathematics

Conflict Resolution

Anna Mattix, English horn and TBD
Grades K-6

BPO musicians Anna Mattix and TBD address how people can work together to resolve conflict. Using music to present different kinds of problems, TBD and Anna work with students to find their harmony. This fun and interactive program uses music from all eras including Telemann, Mozart and popular movie themes in order to portray the musical conflicts that may arise in tempo, harmony and style. They also address common inner conflicts and how they can be uniquely addressed in musical performance.

With connections to: NYS Next Generation Learning Standards for Social Studies

Meaning, Mood and Movement in Music

BPO Oboe/English Hornist Anna Mattix
Grades K-8

How do musicians interpret musical compositions to create meaning for an audience? What kind of choices do composers and musicians make to create mood and atmosphere? Anna Mattix explores how the manipulation of sound and time can create movement in music. Anna presents music that incorporates Greek mythology, popular song, and the famous Dvorak New World Symphony English Horn solo that became the spiritual “Going Home.” Her presentation is interactive and engages students in active listening, movement and musical choices. This presentation helps students learn how to integrate and evaluate information presented through a diverse format.

With connections to: NYS Next Generation Learning Standards for ELA and Literacy

Music By, About and For Women:  In Honor of JoAnn Falletta’s 20th anniversary with the Buffalo Philharmonic

BPO English hornist Anna Mattix
Grades 5-12

Oboe and English hornist, Anna Mattix, presents a program using music by women composers, music composed for women and music inspired by the amazing contributions of JoAnn Falletta to our community. With her interactive style, Anna presents music that is both familiar and new to showcase the feminine contribution to art and community.

With connections to: NYS Next Generation Learning Standards for ELA and Literacy and Social Studies

Traveling Down the River with Huck and Jim

Diana Sachs, violin, Alan Ross, violin, Anya Shemetyeva, viola and David Schmude, cello
Grades 6-12

This program explores Mark Twain’s famous novel Huck Finn with the fantastic musicians of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra String Quartet. Help this important piece of literature come alive for  your students through music with accompanying visuals! The program begins with a popular Scott Joplin rag and continues with an eventful ride down the Mississippi River. Highlights of the story are told and depicted with musical selections including Gershwin’s Lullaby, Copland’s Hoe-Down, Morton Gould’s Old Time Religion, and excerpts from Dvořák’s American String Quartet. This program is adaptable to your needs.

With connections to: NYS Next Generation Learning Standards for ELA and Literacy

Are you looking for a guest artist to work in-depth with your instrumental music students on repertoire, music fundamentals, instrument-specific techniques, performance techniques or even to speak on career readiness?

Our musicians can work with your band, orchestra or instrumental section on individual and ensemble music proficiency. Choose an artist from your preferred instrument family and bring an expert into your music room to inspire the best from your students!

Instrument Clinics

Various BPO Musicians
Grades 5-12

Bring in a BPO musician to work with your instrumental students in small group settings or virtually.  This is a great way to help take your program to the next level by bringing in an expert that will give technical support, reinforce high standards and provide inspiration for improvement.

All-Brass, All-Woodwind and Double Reed Clinics available, as well as the following instruments:


String Workshop 

Amy Glidden, associate concertmaster
Brett Shurtliffe, associate principal bass
Elementary, middle and high school string students

Both Amy and Brett have a wealth of knowledge in string pedagogy and string repertoire at all age levels, and love working with students. They can work with small groups, or your full string orchestra, as needed.

Chamber Music Coaching

Various BPO Musicians
Grades 6-12

Give your chamber music groups a boost with a coaching by a BPO musician. Many of our musicians are avid chamber music performers as well as orchestral musicians and can share their expertise with your student groups. Musicians will be selected based on the chamber group being served.

Musicianship Workshop

Fernanda Lastra, Conductor Diversity Fellow
Middle and high school ensemble students

The BPO’s Conductor Diversity Fellow, Fernanda Lastra, can present to your band or orchestra students to further their development in ensemble literacy and basic musicianship. Fernanda will work with you to address your goals for the presentation, whether it is fundamentals, ensemble communication, specific repertoire or performance readiness.

Accessible Music Workshops 

specifically designed for children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities

Kathleen Bassett
All ages & adults

Kathleen Bassett has been teaching in public and private schools for over 20 years. She has taught in self-contained special needs classrooms as well as integrated classrooms and has extensive experience in instructional differentiation for diverse learners. As a BPO Teaching Artist, Ms. Bassett will bring her expertise to your students and engage them in active lessons to participate in music through auditory, kinesthetic, and visual experiences.

Instrument Families Exploration

Various BPO musicians
Grades K-4

Bring a musician from each instrument family to your students for this multiple-presentation “residency.” One of our teaching artists from the strings, winds, brass and percussion will bring their expertise and instruments to your students and give a wonderful introduction, or deeper dive, into each instrument family of the orchestra.  This requires a four-presentation commitment, but scheduling is flexible based on your needs and our musicians’ availability.

Half Day or Full Day Residencies

Various BPO musicians
Grades 6-12

Bring in a BPO musician for a half day or a full day of workshops and activities at your school. We will work with you to design a visit that will serve your needs that can include small group coachings, full ensemble clinics, presentations on requested topics and even joint performance opportunities. This option is highly customizable and pricing will be determined by the scope of the work.

Professional Development for Music Educators

Robin Parkinson, Vice President, Education & Community Engagement
Select BPO musicians

Receive professional development that will address the unique needs of your department.  Robin Parkinson, Vice President, Education & Community Engagement will share a wealth of information on how the BPO can be a resource to music educators and their students both in the classroom and at Kleinhans Music Hall. Then, a BPO musician will present a mini-workshop, selecting from a range of topics.


  • Single musician presentation (40-60 minutes) = $150
  • Two presentations back-to-back (two 40 minute periods) = $225
  • Conflict Resolution program (40-60 minutes) = $250
  • BPO String Quartet single presentation = $525
  • Half Day Residency (single musician) = starting at $500
  • Full Day Residency (single musician) = starting at $975
  • Professional Development Workshop (60 minutes) = $150

Please note that mileage costs may apply to any Teaching Artist visit outside the Buffalo metro area. You may inquire about financial assistance for Title I schools. 

Erie 1 BOCES Logo


The BPO is a proud partner of Erie 1 BOCES Arts in Education and Exploratory Enrichment programs. For more information please click here.

Questions? Contact the Education Department at (716) 242-7822 or rpudlewski@bpo.org.