P.L.A.Y. Music

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The Piedmont Learning Academy for Youth Music (P.L.A.Y. Music) is the Winston-Salem Symphony’s El Sistema-inspired program, which places an emphasis on the teaching of the whole child: head, heart, and hands. The central focus of the curriculum is instilling in each student a thankfulness for their background and place in the world, an appreciation for those different than themselves, a motivation to work with others in a team, and to better themselves holistically through active contribution and participation in an ensemble.

Additionally, the program strives to assist students to excel academically—particularly in the area of early childhood literacy—by creatively including academic activities in each music lesson.

Team Mozart

Team Mozart is the primary level of string ensemble musicianship training and provides beginner K–2nd grade students the opportunity to develop basic musical skills including music notation, creative movement and dance, beginner violin techniques, and care, composition, improvisation, and solfege singing, which are all accomplished through participation in “paper orchestra” and beginner strings ensemble.

Teams Beethoven and Brahms

Team Beethoven is the secondary level of string ensemble musicianship training and provides students upwards of 5th grade and graduates of Team Mozart the opportunity to further develop their musical skills. Team Beethoven students transition from the “general” music format of Team Mozart into a more formal “orchestral” setting through more consistent use of chairs, stands, music books, and an introduction to cello for select students in hopes of graduating into our newest, most advanced group—Team Brahms—or preparing them to successfully audition for the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Orchestras Program.

In an environment that supports their musical growth, social growth, and participation in the ensemble, students will develop musical literacy, learn basic music theory concepts, practice group performance pieces, compose and improvise short compositions as a class.


Currently, the P.L.A.Y. Music program operates at the following schools:

  • Old Town Elementary
  • Diggs-Latham Elementary
  • Jefferson Elementary
  • Easton Elementary

Students must be enrolled at one of these participating schools in order to be eligible for the program.

Enrollment takes place in the fall of each academic year. Spaces are limited.


There is no cost for students who attend 100% Free/Reduced Lunch schools. Tuition costs for other locations range from $200 – $230 per quarter depending on class level/team. Scholarships are available.

Tuition Includes:

  • 10 Weeks of Instruction: One 90 minute lesson per week with highly qualified Musicians and Educators.
  • Instruments and Supplies: Cardboard violin, real violin, case, bow, rosin, book, and music stand, all valued at $200.
  • Your tuition also helps to cover some program costs for students on scholarship
  • A family subscription to the 2018–2019 Winston-Salem Symphony Discovery Concerts for Kids Series, valued at $110
  • Quarterly performances at the Stevens Center of the UNCSA.
  • Various other opportunities to attend and interact with the Winston-Salem Symphony

Ready to P.L.A.Y. Music?

To sign up, use our online application below or contact:

Rachel Watson, P.L.A.Y. Music Program Manager
336-725-1035 ex. 223

P.L.A.Y. Music Registration

     This registration form should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

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This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. www.NCArts.org

The Winston-Salem Symphony receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

Educational initiatives made possible with funding by Wells Fargo, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Schools.