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

Activity -

The Cello

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

Questions to Consider:

  • How does a cello make sound?
  • What family is the cello a part of? What smaller instrument is it modeled off of?
  • How did the different excerpts (pieces of music) make you feel?
  • Watch this video with a violin string in slow-motion. Was this what you expected the string to look like while being played?

Fun at Home!

  • Even if you don't have a cello or string instrument, you can make a sound like one!
  • Step 1 - Get a ruler or paint stick, glue, stapler, a cereal box, and rubber bands.
  • Step 2 - Glue the ruler/ paint stick halfway onto the cereal box. You want the stick to hang off the end of the box quite a bit. 
  • Step 3 - Once the glue has dried, cut a piece of cardboard into a rectangle about 3 inches wide and 1.5 tall. This will be your bridge. Take your bridge and glue it a few inches underneath the end of your paint stick onto the cereal box. 
  • Step 4 - Once the glue has dried, find four rubber bands (with different thicknesses if you can!). Cut the rubber bands so that they are long  strips. Staple one end of the strip to the paint stick and the other end to the cereal box so that the rubber bands rest on the bridge.
  • Step 5 - Staple four different rubber bands onto your “violin” in the same way as before.
  • Step 6 - Now that you have your violin, you can put your fingers on different parts of the paint stick/ ruler to play different pitches. To make sound, you can “pluck” your strings with your fingers. Happy playing!

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:

Fruit & Veggie Instruments

Carrot Kazoo

Make a kazoo from a carrot!

Cauliflower Trumpet!

Make a conch or trumpet from a cauliflower!

Gourd Ocarina

Make an ocarina out of a gourd!

Green Pepper Shakers

Make a Rhythm Instrument from a Green Pepper!

Make a Watermelon Drum!

Learn how to make a drum out of a watermelon!

Radish Scraper

Make a scraper instrument from a Daikon radish!

Squash Udu!

Make an Udu from a butternut squash!

Conducting & Instruments

Conduct with Yaniv

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

The Bass

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

The Cello

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

The English Horn

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

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!

Conducting & Instruments

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!

In the Hall of the Mountain King

Stories and music! Here is a fun activity to do with your kids involving the piece In the Hall of the Mountain King.

Inspiring Composers!

Hear words of inspiration from composers Alexandra Gardner and Frances Pollock.

Musical Rivers!

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

Opera for Kids with Ashley!

Learn about kid friendly operas with soprano Ashley Becker!

Opera with RBG

Today we remember Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who was a champion of people and opera!

Sharon Isbin & Classical Guitar

This week’s lesson features Sharon Isbin, the guitarist who created the guitar program at the Juilliard School!

She Sang for a Nation

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


Here is a fun activity to do with your kids involving Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony!

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.

William Grant Still

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

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/.