September 15, 2020

The Cliburn launches its expanded, robust online music education program for elementary-school students: Cliburn Kids. Created as a resource for school districts, teachers, and parents, the initiative includes 27 lesson plans to date, each with a 7- to 10-minute video, and corresponding individual and class activities that meet objectives of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The Cliburn will release new episodes and lesson plans every Tuesday of the 2020–2021 school year, beginning today, for a total of more than 50 by May 2021.

All lesson plans and videos are housed at the Cliburn Kids website at, where parents, teachers, and students can easily find resources by musical learning category and activity subject areas.

Last spring, we created our Cliburn Kids series as a response to the global pandemic, when children around the world had to adjust quickly to being at home,” said Jacques Marquis, Cliburn President and CEO. “Music education is integral to the Cliburn’s mission. Normally, we would be producing 300 in-school Cliburn in the Classroom programs in the North Texas area this year, which is not possible right now. With Cliburn Kids, we’re able to provide an extensive resource to educators and students everywhere, regardless of their current learning environment. We think this initiative has great growth potential and are excited to continue to add to its depth and reach this school year.


For our youngest Cliburn friends! Cliburn Kids is a (growing!) collection of wonderfully entertaining videos designed to introduce children to the fun of classical music. How does music paint pictures, tell stories, express feelings? How can music help teach about other school subjects? Host Buddy Bray and guest artists use individual pieces to explore topics that delve into the way music is organized and structured, counting and rhythm, expressive elements, and sometimes just lighthearted enjoyment!

Programs are geared towards elementary-aged children, and activities are provided for each episode that are perfect for in-classroom or at-home studies. Twenty-seven episodes are currently available, and a new episode will be added weekly on Tuesdays. Each episode page has links to the supplemental activities, as well as TEKS objectives for each.

Cliburn Kids programs are based on Cliburn in the Classroom curriculum, written by Dr. John Feierabend and Buddy Bray.


Shields-Collins “Buddy” Bray is co-author of the Cliburn in the Classroom programs and has been hosting the presentations in schools for over 15 years, and he says it is the most enjoyable work he does. He is the host of the Cliburn Kids series and plays an integral part in its development.

When he is not in the schools talking about music, Mr. Bray serves as artistic director of the Cliburn at the Modern series and is the principal keyboardist for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Bray also hosts the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s pre-concert discussion series, where he does much the same thing as in the schools—he tries to make his audience comfortable with the music they will hear, and he does it with a spirit of discovery and fun.

Mr. Bray comes from a family of teachers, and he is glad to be carrying on the family tradition.