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Link Up for Families & Kids

Sing & Play

Sing and play along to these favorites from the Link Up repertoire! Interactive sheet music makes it easy to play each piece on the instrument of your choice. Don’t worry if you can’t read music—the lyrics to the songs are important, and you can learn to sing each song instead of playing on an instrument. Discover the blues, the waltz, and the symphony, and learn the basics of how to sing and play the recorder from Carnegie Hall teaching artists. Simply pick an activity to get started!

Learn a Blues Standard

Experience the 12-bar blues with a piece by Duke Ellington! Composer and bandleader Duke Ellington loved to write music that featured his orchestra members soloing, and “C Jam Blues” is one of those compositions. With the lyrics added, the work is known as “Duke’s Place.” Many famous jazz musicians sang this song, including Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

First, listen to the song. Click the play button on the sheet music and follow along as the music and lyrics scroll.

Then, sing or play along to the recording. Click the play button on the sheet music. This time, it’s your turn to sing or play along! Use the settings along the bottom of the sheet music to adjust the tempo, change which parts of the sheet music are displayed, and more. Visit Soundslice for additional tips on how to use this interactive sheet music.

Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington (1899–1974) is considered one of the most important figures in jazz history. Born in Washington, DC, he began studying classical piano when he was around eight years old. As a teenager, Ellington became interested in ragtime and jazz and began playing in dance bands at clubs ...

Duke Ellington (1899–1974) is considered one of the most important figures in jazz history. Born in Washington, DC, he began studying classical piano when he was around eight years old. As a teenager, Ellington became interested in ragtime and jazz and began playing in dance bands at clubs and parties. The young Edward—Ellington’s real first name—had an elegant sense of style, which earned him the nickname “Duke” from his friends. He moved to New York City as a young man and began his career as a bandleader and composer. Ellington was hired to lead the house band at the Cotton Club, a famous jazz club in Harlem. He went on to form the Duke Ellington Orchestra—which became known all over the country thanks to radio broadcasts and popular recordings—and toured the world for more than 50 years. Over the course of his long career, Ellington collaborated with many other jazz greats, including Billy Strayhorn and Ella Fitzgerald, and wrote nearly 2,000 compositions.

Duke Ellington
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Play a Waltz

Take a spin with this famous waltz: The Blue Danube composed by Johann Strauss II, who was widely referred to as the “Waltz King.” The waltz was one of the most popular styles of the 19th century, and it is still danced today. Listen for the three-beat rhythm that is characteristic of a waltz.

First, listen to the song. Click the play button on the sheet music and follow along as the music and lyrics scroll.

Then, sing or play along to the recording. Click the play button on the sheet music. This time, it’s your turn to sing or play along. Use the settings along the bottom of the sheet music to adjust the tempo, change which parts of the sheet music are displayed, and more. Visit Soundslice for additional tips on how to use this interactive sheet music.

Johann Strauss II

Johann Strauss II (1825–1899) was born in Vienna, where his father was a famous musician. Although his father urged him not to pursue music (he wanted him to become a banker), Strauss rebelled against the idea and studied violin in secret. At the age of 19, Strauss started his own orchestra ...

Johann Strauss II (1825–1899) was born in Vienna, where his father was a famous musician. Although his father urged him not to pursue music (he wanted him to become a banker), Strauss rebelled against the idea and studied violin in secret. At the age of 19, Strauss started his own orchestra and conducted his first public concert. He went on to become a productive composer and tour internationally with his orchestra. Known as the “Waltz King,” he wrote more than 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as many operettas.

Johann Strauss
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Discover a Classic Symphony

Discover a beloved classic of symphonic music with “Ode to Joy,” which comes from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. This piece is a famous example of a work for which singers were invited to join the orchestra. Its text comes from a poem by Friedrich Schiller that centers on unity and hope. Listen for the stepwise movement of the notes up and down the scale while singing or performing this enduring melody.

First, listen to the song. Click the play button on the sheet music and follow along as the music and lyrics scroll.

Then, sing or play along to the recording! Click the play button on the sheet music. This time, it’s your turn to sing or play along. Use the settings along the bottom of the sheet music to adjust the tempo, change which parts of the sheet music are displayed, and more. Visit Soundslice for additional tips on how to use this interactive sheet music.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) was born in Bonn, Germany. After beginning his piano studies at an early age with his father, Beethoven quickly became a famous pianist and composer in Germany. By the age of 12, he was earning a living for his family as an organist, violist, pianist, and ...

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) was born in Bonn, Germany. After beginning his piano studies at an early age with his father, Beethoven quickly became a famous pianist and composer in Germany. By the age of 12, he was earning a living for his family as an organist, violist, pianist, and composer. Although Beethoven began to suffer from hearing loss as early as his 20s, he continued to compose, creating some of his most famous musical works after he had become deaf. Beethoven’s originality and innovation inspired others to change the way they composed. He amplified the power of orchestral music, and his music acted as a transition into the Romantic era of music. Fun fact: One of Beethoven’s favorite foods was a special kind of macaroni and cheese!

Ludwig van Beethoven
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Learn Recorder and Vocal Basics

Warm up your vocal cords and learn the basics of playing the recorder! Teaching artists lead these instructional videos that are perfect for beginners and seasoned musicians alike.

Vocal Fundamentals

In these six videos, meet teaching artist Shanna Lesniak-Whitney and learn how to develop a foundation for proper singing technique.

Vocal Fundamentals: Posture

Vocal Fundamentals is a sequential series of videos which introduces strategies for teachers to establish proper singing technique for their students.

This video introduces ways for students to visualize and develop awareness of their posture.

This series is a part of the resources offered through Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program. Students in grades 3–5 are given the opportunity to join the orchestra in this highly participatory program, in which they learn to sing and play an instrument in the classroom and perform with a professional orchestra from their seats at a culminating concert at Carnegie Hall. Learn more at carnegiehall.org/linkup.

Recorder Fundamentals

In these six videos, meet recorder player Tali Rubinstein and learn the basics of playing the recorder.

Recorder Basics One: Meet Tali

Discover the Orchestra

Discover the sounds of the symphony orchestra through this interactive listening map. Learn how to identify the different instruments and their families, and then put it all together and make the orchestra come alive.

Dance & Move

Discover music from different cultures, from Brazilian samba to swing and beyond, as you learn fun and easy choreography!

Make Music

Write your own blues or cover song, or even conduct your family orchestra! Step-by-step instructions make these activities perfect for novice or experienced music-makers.

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