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10 x 10 – Music for Education and Family Concerts!

Anna’s 10 x 10 - Composers you should know series: Educational Music!

Peter and the Wolf has been a traditional and much-loved staple of children’s and educational music concerts. Storytelling through the representation of anthropomorphic animals on instruments with clear musical motifs bring pieces like Prokofiev’s timeless story to life. Other compositions such as Benjamin Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” offers the audience an understanding of how sections can beautifully work together. Music has the power to teach and instill knowledge for the young and the less young.

On a human level, music offers powerful avenues to express love, fear, anger, sadness, and numerous other important concepts where words alone may not be as effective. In today’s 10 x10, we venture into light hearted fairy tales, epic journeys, as well as some tough societal subjects, which can be powerful for today’s concert audience. Compositions for this series include either narrator, visuals, or strictly music (no voice, as that will come later).

As a reminder, this is my process for choosing music for the 10 x 10 series. Currently, I have 131 composers that identify themselves as either female or a composer of color on my database. I have reached out to all living composers who have offered their email addresses to me and send requests for these composers to send me their top compositions that would fit into certain categories. So far, I have requested music that would fit into these categories: holiday, chamber orchestra, concertos, string orchestra, and concert band music.

Once I receive the composer's music, I put all of their information on my database and then proceed to listen to all of the music. My intention is to present a diverse compilation of composers with respect to gender and race – though my primary interest is to offer compositions that I find compelling. My goal is to offer examples that may interest Music and Artistic Directors from top tier orchestras to their counterparts at community orchestras. My interest is to be a part of the mindful and proactive change towards diversity on the concert stage. Please feel free to send suggestions for future 10 x 10 series as well as pieces by composers you love. There are so many great composers out there and I hope to hear as many as possible.

Please enjoy!


Entries will follow the following format:

  • Composer Name (hyperlink to additional info about the composer)

    • Titles (hyperlink to more information and recordings)

      • Length

      • Orchestration

      • Link to rental information via publisher or composer


Homemade Instruments:

Strings: Milk carton Violins, Cereal Box Cellos, Washtub Bass

Winds: buzz straws, Comb Kazoos, PVC pan-pipes

Brass: Hose-phone, bleach bottle bugle

Percussion Pitched: Snapple bottle Xylophones, Flower pot chimes

Percussion Drums: Coffee can drums, bucket drums

Percussion: Shakers - rice, beans, in paper plates stapled together, or in jars,

or plastic containers


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