Behind the Scenes at the Orchestra


Things are starting to get busy for us as we enter our final week here in La Paz, Mexico. Even though we have quite the to-do list before our departure, we still are making time for some final excursions into town. We read about the open rehearsals of the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Escuela de Música del Estado (the Symphony Orchestra of the State Music School), which are held every Tuesday at 6:00 pm and Friday at 5:00 pm. Since the notice clearly stated children are welcome (and we double checked to make sure we had the translation correct), we decided to go for a listen.


The rehearsals are held in the Sala de Conciertos (Concert Hall) located at the corner of Morelos and Marcelo Rubio, two blocks northeast of the Arturo C. Nahl Estadio de Beisbol. We arrived with a half hour to spare and found a large, shaded courtyard surrounded by classrooms of vocalists singing, pianos playing, and horns blowing. After burning up some energy (and adding our footsteps and laughs to the chorus of the courtyard), we took our seats in the concert hall itself.



DSC02713-picsayAs we were the only non-musicians in the audience, we had our choice of seats. We all found it fascinating to hear and focus on the individual instruments and families (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion) as they worked through their parts of the Russian Dance from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. It was even more thrilling to hear all the instruments come together and form a complete whole. Since the performance was a practice and people were coming and going the entire time, we didn’t feel pressured to stay until the very end and were able to leave when we felt ready.

Our trip to the orchestra has inspired us to learn more about the orchestra, and we found these videos below to be perfect for younger and older learners alike. 


6 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes at the Orchestra

    • It’s hard to believe our three months in La Paz are almost at an end. For us, 2-3 months in a place is plenty, and we are excited to learn more about the birthing lagoons of gray whales as we spend a month of the Pacific side of Baja.

  1. I can’t wait to show my kids these videos. I used to work at a Philharmonic, and so I hear Classical Music everywhere. I love that it’s usually the background music for the old cartoons, and I love to hear classical music used in movies and brilliant commercials. This will be fun!

    • Classical music is something we have neglected for too long, and we were grateful to have such a great first-hand experience to get us enthusiastic as a family. The first video really gets into some good orchestra vocabulary after it sets the stage for music in general.

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