The HPO believes in the value of music and music education.

Bring the full experience of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra to your students with programs designed to integrate musical concepts and activities into your existing classroom curriculum. Enhance your students’ learning through the understanding and appreciation of orchestral music.

Available workshops

The Rehearsal Experience

  • Gr. 9 to 12 music classes
  • Maximum 30 students
  • 90 minutes
  • FREE

Bring your students to an HPO rehearsal. See how the orchestra and conductor prepare a piece of music for performance. Hear the music come to life! Interact with the conductor and musicians in a brief Q&A session.


Learn more

How does it work?

Classes should arrive 20 minutes prior to the beginning of the rehearsal. An HPO representative will greet the students and give a brief explanation of what they are about to see and hear.

Students will view the rehearsal for approximately 40 minutes. The class will then have the opportunity to meet with an HPO musician, or the conductor, who will answer any questions the students may have regarding the music, rehearsal technique, or even life as a professional musician.

Who can attend?

The Rehearsal Experience is available to high school music classes only. Each visit can accommodate one class (max 30) per rehearsal.

What’s the cost?

The Rehearsal Experience is free of charge.

When can my class attend?

The following dates are available:

Opening Night: Russian Celebrations
Friday, September 22, 2017 | 10 am | FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place)

Gemma Conducts Haydn
Friday, February 16, 2018| 10 am | FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place)

Beethoven & James Ehnes
Friday, March 16, 2018| 10 am | FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place)

From the New World
Wednesday, April 18, 2018| 10 am | FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place)

Bernstein & Music of the Americas
Friday, May 11, 2018| 10 am | FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place)

For more information or if you have any questions about a visit to an HPO rehearsal, For more information please email Stephanie Laporte or call 905‑526‑1677, x230

Discovery Workshop: From the Concert Hall to the Classroom

  • Available to all grades
  • Maximum 300 students
  • 60 minutes


Thanks to government grants, arts organization funding, and business and private support, the fee is only $250 + HST per ensemble.

Have an HPO chamber ensemble come to your class and present one of four highly engaging, informative and entertaining classical music discovery workshops for students. These workshops introduce students to elements of music through the world of orchestral instruments through a combination of performance and student participation.

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The Discovery Workshop offers students an interactive concert experience up close and in familiar surroundings, while eliminating the need for field-trip permission forms and providing minimal disruption to school days. Workshops are adjusted to meet the needs of the participating grade level.

String Quartet

The HPO String Quartet presentation provides a close-up look at instruments of the string family. The instruments are heard separately and in small combinations, allowing students to experience the different pitches and tonal qualities of the violin, viola and cello. Elements of music such as tempo, dynamics, rhythm and harmony are demonstrated using student participation.

Woodwind Trio

The HPO Woodwind Trio is comprised of three favourite instruments: the Flute, Oboe and Bassoon. Energetic and entertaining, this presentation introduces students to the range and flexibility of instruments in the woodwind family. Students learn elements of music while listening to a variety of engaging pieces and participating in activities with the trio.

Brass Quintet

The HPO Brass Quintet engages students in a lively and informative exploration of music-making. The French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone and Tuba are each featured in music from a wide range of musical styles and periods. Students learn how brass instruments work and discover their varied pitch and tonal range. This energetic show features interactive components and shows students how to create an instrument from found materials.

Teacher’s Guide

A Teacher’s Resource Guide including music and cross-curricular activities is available for all shows.

For more information please email Stephanie Laporte or call 905‑526‑1677, x230

Found Sound Workshop

  • Gr. 2 to 8 or Gr. 9 to 12 music classes
  • Maximum 60 students
  • Session One: 30 minutes, Session Two: 60 minutes
  • $250 + HST (Contact us about pricing for high needs schools)

Abigail Richardson-Schulte, HPO’s Composer-in-Residence, spends two sessions with classes and leads students through an exploration of various found instruments and helps them create their own soundscape. The first classroom visit consists of an introduction and demonstration of “found” instruments (she plays the turkey baster!) and a discussion of why a composer might use these instruments. Students are encouraged to go home and discover their own “found” instruments. The second visit is scheduled for up to two weeks later at which point students “show and tell” their own found instruments and create a soundscape together.

To book your Found Sound Workshop please email Stephanie Laporte or call 905‑526‑1677, x230.

Storytelling Workshops

The Sleeping Giant

  • Gr. 2 to 8 or music classes Gr. 9 to 12
  • Maximum 100 students
50 minutes
$125 + HST (Contact us about pricing for high needs schools)
$350 + HST in conjunction with the Found Sound workshop.

HPO Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte leads your students through her exciting composition The Sleeping Giant, as they learn about the creative power of music and how it is used to tell a story.  Each workshop is custom designed to fit the age group of your class.  The Sleeping Giant is based on an Ojibwe legend of Nanabosho, son of the West Wind, who protected his people and land but when he made a mistake, he was punished and turned to stone.  Nanabosho became known forevermore as The Sleeping Giant.


The Hockey Sweater/Alligator Pie

  • Gr. 2 to 8 or music classes Gr. 9 to 12
  • Maximum 100 students
50 minutes
$125 + HST (Contact us about pricing for high needs schools)
$350 + HST in conjunction with the Found Sound workshop.

Did you know that HPO Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte wrote the incredibly successful orchestral music for two of Canada’s most iconic books? Join Abigail as she shows just how she turned these famous books by well-known authors Roch Carrier and Dennis Lee into music.

To book a Storytelling Workshop please email Stephanie Laporte or call 905‑526‑1677, x230.

For an immersive and enriching experience, book The Found Sound workshop and one of the Storytelling workshops together for $350.

The HPO gratefully acknowledges the support of our sponsors, without whom the HPO Education Programs would not be possible.



Dougher Fund through Hamilton Community Foundation
Kathleen C. Nolan Education Fund through Hamilton Community Foundation
Edith H. Turner Fund through Hamilton Community Foundation
Malloch Foundation Fund through Hamilton Community Foundation