Cliburn in the Classroom is an interactive concert experience designed specifically for elementary audiences. We bring our own Steinway baby grand piano into every school, along with a virtuoso pianist to perform impressive music. A teaching-artist leads students through activities and bridges connections between the music and theme of the program.

With Cliburn in the Classroom, instructional time is enhanced, not lost. Our interdisciplinary themes explore the intersection of music and multiple subjects, including math, reading, language arts, social studies, history, and art. When combined with our curriculum guides, they address state and national standards for STEAM education for students in the second through fourth grades.

We take a student-centered approach to music education. All Cliburn in the Classroom programs are crafted through a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) lens. Our experiences provide multiple, flexible means of engagement to celebrate the variability in all students, and to allow kids the opportunity to participate in ways that are most meaningful and comfortable for them. We cater to multiple learning styles, utilize movement and peer-building activities, and address social-emotional learning competencies. Our performance length and structure is both attention and sensory friendly. We are also able to offer bilingual (Spanish/English) presentations, so that every child can fully participate. Cliburn in the Classroom is provided without cost to schools and districts in North Texas, to remove financial barriers to access.

For more information about Cliburn in the Classroom, please contact Nicole Paglialonga at [email protected] or call 817.738.6536.

 Cliburn in the Classroom 2023–2024 Programs 

All of our programs are available to be presented bilingually (Spanish/English), based on host availability.

1. Dizzy Fingersdownload the curriculum guide

This program explores American history through one of the most quintessential American musical styles – the rag. We trace the timeline from its origins in Black communities and the “King of Ragtime,” Texas native Scott Joplin, through rags used in dances and copied in classical pieces, all the way to the pop music of today.

Featured Works:

JOPLIN The Entertainer


DETT After the Cakewalk

CONFREY Dizzy Fingers

ARNDT Desecration Rag

SMITH Finger Buster

JOPLIN Stop-Time Rag

WILLIAMS Cantina Band

2. Texan Like Me! – download the curriculum guide

Designed to introduce students to Texas history, this program takes us on a musical tour of the Lone Star State and celebrates our own local culture with composers past and present. Students will have the opportunity to identify important historical and geographical locations through photography synced with the music.

Featured Works:

MASON Korapiano

JOPLIN The Entertainer

RODRIGUEZ Hot Buttered Rhumba

APPLEDORN Scenes from Pecos Country

MEYN Piano Suite (III. Frottola)

BRAY Texas Medley

3. What’s the Score? – download the curriculum guide

Music and math combine in this fantasy-football style competition where kids keep the score. Each class will be assigned a fantasy piano team. Students will learn about new and familiar composers, compare and contrast their musical styles, vote for points, and use addition, multiplication, and percentages to tally the final score.

Featured works:

MOZART Sonata in A Major, K. 331 (III. Rondo Alla Turca)

BARTOK “The Chase” from Szabadban

ESMAIL “Oscillating Figures” from Crystal Preludes

CHOPIN Berceuse in D-Flat Major, op. 57

LIGETI Etude No. 1 “Desordre”

SHOSTAKOVICH Polka from The Golden Age

PROKOFIEV March from The Love for Three Oranges

MASON Sonata ’21 (III. Finale)


4. Pet Parade –download the curriculum guide

Our pets teach us so much about unconditional friendship! This combined literacy and Social-Emotional Learning based program explores the unique bond between kids (or grown-ups!) and their pets, and how each pet is musically portrayed. We will use the piano and animals to build conversations around compassion and empathy.

Featured works:

GERSHWIN Walking the Dog

COPLAND The Cat and the Mouse

BRØDSGAARD “Chameleon Variations” from Animal Universe

BOLCOM “The Serpent’s Kiss” from Garden of Eden

SAINT-SAËNS—BERKOWITZ “Hens and Cockerels” from Carnival of the Animals

DEBUSSY Poissons d’or

AUERBACH “E-Creatures” from Images from Childhood

BEACH Fireflies, op. 15, no. 4


5. Laugh Out Loud – download the curriculum guide

They say laughter is the best medicine! It releases endorphins and strengthens our resiliency to stress. It increases oxygen intake, making us feel more focused and energized. In a time when kids are under more academic and social pressure than ever before, it’s important to remember to just have FUN! This program introduces kids to witty pieces of classical music and shows how even serious composers let loose once in a while.

Featured works:

BACH, P.D.Q. The Short-Tempered Clavier (VI. E-Flat Major)


HAYDN Symphony No. 94 in G Major (“Surprise”)

HIROMI The Tom and Jerry Show

KIRCHER Gold Coin Variations

POULENC Sonata for Four Hands (I. Prelude)

KABALEVSKY Comedians’ Gallop



For more information about Cliburn in the Classroom, please contact Nicole Paglialonga at [email protected] or call 817.738.6536.





Alcon Foundation
Suzanne Allan
Arts Fort Worth
BNSF Foundation
Crystelle Waggoner Charitable Trust
Fash Foundation
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
Fifth Avenue Foundation
Lowe Foundation
R4 Foundation
Jennifer Roberts
Peggy and William Sims
Texas Commission on the Arts
The DuBose Family Foundation
The Graham and Carolyn Holloway Family Foundation Trust
Virginia Hobbs Charitable Trust

Piano transportation supported by The Carolyn and Randall E. Hudson III Cliburn in the Classroom Traveling Piano Endowment Fund.