Welcome to the

VSO Music Learning Lab!

An extension of our Education and Community Engagement programs, the Learning Lab features dozens of videos about orchestral instruments, playing technique, and our musicians’ secrets of success.  Below you will find series for all ages and levels of playing.  Be sure to download the companion worksheets and technique exercises as well!

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s Music Learning Lab is generously supported in part by

Virtual Petting Zoo

Join musicians of the VSO to learn about each instrument that makes up an orchestra!  Developed for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade, these videos introduce children to how each instrument makes sound, how they are made, and how they are used within the symphony.

Complete the worksheet that goes with each video:

Percussion Worksheet
Coming Soon!

Timpani Worksheet
Coming Soon!

We need your feedback! Please click here to take our survey.

Through this series of videos and accompanying activity worksheets, the Virtual Petting Zoo addresses the following Virginia Standards of Learning:
Music SOLs: K.9, K.12, K.13, 1.14, 1.16, 1.17, 2.7, 2.10, 2.13, 2.14, 3.11, 3.12, 3.15, 3.16, 4.10, 4.11, 5.16, EI.18, EI.20
English SOLs: K.3, 1.7, 1.8, 2.3, 2.6, 3.2, 3.4, 3.9, 4.2, 5.4
History and Social Science SOLs: K.1, K.6, 1.11, 2.2, 2.11


Technique Tips

This video series is for middle and high school students who have been playing their instruments for a few years.  Hear the hidden secrets from VSO musicians on how to improve your playing technique to master your instrument!

Accompanying resources coming soon!

We need your feedback! Please click here to take our survey.

Through this series of videos, Technique Tips addresses the following Virginia Standards of Learning:
Music SOLs: MIB.2, MIB.3, MIB.4 MIB.6, MIB.10, MIB.11, MIB.15, MII.9, MII.10, MII.14, MIAD.9, MIAD.10, HIB.3, HIB.4, HIB.10. HIB.11, HII.9, HII.10, HIAD.11, HIAD.12


Getting ready to step into the spotlight? Tune in to advice from professional VSO musicians to shed some light on how you can tackle challenges and become a more confident musician. These special topics include overcoming performance anxiety, preparing for auditions, orchestral etiquette, bringing the notes on the page to life, and more!

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s Music Learning Lab is generously supported in part by Bank of America, The Cook Foundation and the Williamsburg Community Foundation.

Do you want to help bring these valuable online lessons to students, parents, and teachers throughout Hampton Roads?  Please click HERE to make a gift to the VSO today.  We are grateful for your continued support!

VSO Guest Artist: Andrew von Oeyen

Hailed worldwide for his elegant and insightful interpretations, balanced artistry and brilliant technique, Andrew von Oeyen has established himself as one of the most captivating pianists of his generation.

Since his debut at age 16 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mr. von Oeyen has extended his interpretive voice to a broad spectrum of repertoire as both a soloist and recitalist. He has collaborated with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Utah Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Marseille, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto USA Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic and Slovak Philharmonic. As both soloist and conductor he has led concerti and orchestral works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and Kurt Weill. On July 4, 2009, he performed at the U.S. Capitol with the National Symphony in “A Capitol Fourth,” reaching millions worldwide in the multi-award winning PBS live telecast.

‍Mr. von Oeyen has appeared in recital at Wigmore Hall and Barbican Hall in London, Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Boston’s Symphony Hall, Zürich’s Tonhalle, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, St. Petersburg’s Philharmonia, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, Sala São Paulo, Teatro Olimpico in Rome, in Mexico City, Hanoi, Macau, and in every major concert hall of Japan and South Korea. Festival appearances include Aspen, Ravinia, Grant Park, Mainly Mozart, Saratoga, Schubertiade, Spoleto, Brevard, Grand Teton, Chautauqua and the Mariinsky’s “Stars of the White Nights.”

Mr. von Oeyen has recorded for Warner Classics since 2017. His albums under that label, including works for piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Gershwin and a disc including Debussy’s Fantaisie pour Piano et Orchestre, have been met with critical acclaim. Mr. von Oeyen has also recorded award-winning recital albums of Liszt, Debussy, and Stravinsky under the Delos label.

Mr. von Oeyen, of German and Dutch origin, was born in the U.S. He began his piano studies at age 5 and made his solo orchestral debut at age 10. An alumnus of Columbia University and graduate of The Juilliard School, where his principal teachers were Herbert Stessin and Jerome Lowenthal, he also worked with Alfred Brendel and Leon Fleisher. He won the prestigious Gilmore Young Artist Award in 1999 and also took First Prize in the Léni Fé Bland Foundation National Piano Competition in 2001. Mr. von Oeyen lives in Paris and Los Angeles.