Learn At Home!
Learn about the instruments, composers, pieces, and how to conduct - from our homes to yours!

Activity -

Tona Brown

This week’s lesson features Tona Brown, the first Black transgender woman to perform at Carnegie Hall and to perform for a United States President.

Tona Brown is a Black transgender American woman who has changed the world of classical music for the better. She studied violin, viola, piano, and voice at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Virginia. Although she has faced many obstacles in her life, she hasn’t let anyone or anything get in her way. Tona has said, “You can’t tell me I can’t do something,” and that tenacity shines through her music. In the video, Tona performs with cellist Kevin Jones for the Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony in Baltimore.

As You Listen...

  • Have you ever been told you can’t do something? Has one of your friends or family been told they can’t do something because of their gender or the color of their skin? 
  • Tona has experienced this discrimination. How has she chosen to move forward and live her dream?
  • What does this piece make you feel? Hopeful? Sad? Both? Why so?

Learn more by checking out this article about Tona Brown and her life as a ground-breaking musician.

Be sure to check our website each week for more activities coming your way!

You Can Help Keep the Music Going!

If you enjoy our weekly activities, please consider a donation to the BSO. The BSO does over 90 in-school performances each year, reaching thousands of students throughout Whatcom County.


More Learn At Home! Activities:

Breanna Sinclaire

This week’s lesson features Breanna Sinclaire, the first transgender person to sing the National Anthem at a professional sporting event!

Carnival of the Animals

Here is a fun Carnival of the Animals activity to do with your kids!

Musical Rivers!

Here is a fun activity to do with your kids involving a piece about a river - The Moldau!

She Sang for a Nation

Here is a lesson about Marian Anderson and her experience as a black woman denied a hall to perform.

William Grant Still

Here is an activity featuring composer William Grant Still and his music.

The Bass

Learn about the Bass with Mark Tomko, Principal Bass of the BSO!

The English Horn

Learn about the English horn with Ken Bronstein, English horn of the BSO!

The Cello

Learn about the cello with Olivia Kingsley, BSO Program Intern!

The Flute

Learn about the flute with Debbie Arthur, Principal Flute of the BSO!

The Horn

Learn about the horn with Kristi Kilgore, member of the BSO horn section!

Conduct with Yaniv

Learn how to conduct with Maestro Yaniv! (Featuring Jonah)

Green Pepper Shakers

Make a Rhythm Instrument from a Green Pepper!

Carrot Kazoo

Make a kazoo from a carrot!

Whatcom Arts Project

The BSO is a proud participant and a founding member of the new Whatcom Arts Project, a group of over 30 community arts nonprofits. The goal of the Whatcom Arts Project is to reach our community during this time of need to provide hope, entertainment, learning opportunities, and a sense of togetherness. Each week, the BSO posts learning activities and videos on our website and to social media as part of the Whatcom Arts Project. To learn more about the Whatcom Arts Project and home friendly activities in our area, please visit: www.facebook.com/WhatcomArtsProject/ or https://www.bellingham.org/whatcom-arts-project/.