Tunes & Tales

Education Programs


School Tunes & Tales



A Memphis Symphony Orchestra | Shelby County Schools Collaboration

A fun musical interpretation of a story presented FREE OF CHARGE in your school by a small ensemble from the MSO
during the school day OR in the evening – invite parents!

School Tunes and Tales are storybook concerts with musical animation that  introduce instruments of the orchestra and promotes reading and comprehension.  School Tunes & Tales are typically presented at Family Nights, Literacy Nights and other in-school activities that support Title I compliance and 3rd Grade reading proficiency. Performances are available to schools throughout Shelby County. 


For more information or to schedule your School's Tunes & Tales please contact Erin Kaste. 

Erin Kaste

(901) 779 - 7834

See below for open dates. Call or email Erin Kaste today to schedule a Tunes & Tales for your school! You can also Download the Flyer Here

Library Tunes & Tales






The Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s Library Tunes and Tales is a reading-enriched musical series for young children, ages 3-8. Free to the public at neighborhood libraries, each event is a storybook reading enhanced with live music. The series includes five performances based on five very special books for children.


As a language, music truly is the most universal – it provides a shared mode of expression that connects us to ourselves, our families, our friends and our community. Like music, literature is a rhythmic art, and for children, pairing the two creates an exciting learning experience. As documented by Memphis’ own Urban Child Institute, one of the most powerful ways parents can prepare children to succeed in school and in life is to introduce them to reading. Through Library Tunes and Tales, the MSO has a unique opportunity to meet the very real needs of all community children.


Hour-long events begin at 11:00 on Saturday mornings. Each concert is based on one children’s book, with musicians and a narrator telling the story through music. Children attending all concerts experience all of the instrument families in the orchestra – strings, brass, winds and percussion – and learn how composers use music to tell stories. After each performance, librarians and volunteers artistically engage the children with crafts or activities that respond to the music they have just heard.


MSO ensembles, representing the orchestra instrument families, present their concerts on a rotating basis at five community libraries: Benjamin Hooks (Central), Bartlett, Cordova, Germantown, Collierville and Whitehaven. By rotating the ensembles to each library, children can enjoy every performance in the series at a single, convenient location. 

Central Library – 3030 Poplar, 38111

Collierville – 501 Poplar View Pkwy, 38017

Cordova – 8457 Trinity Rd, 38018

Germantown – 1925 Exeter Rd, 38138

Orff-Orchestra Side by Side Concerts 

A Shelby County Schools Partnership

Launched in our 2015-16 Season to support SCS Orff activities, the Orff-Orchestra Partnership takes the full orchestra into elementary schools for a public side-by-side concert in which every grade participates in content creation and performance. In partnership with MSO, participating Orff music teachers have established a high-functioning network to support integrated learning, student performance, and professional development. Following a competitive application process and high demand, twelve SCS elementary schools will be chosen for the upcoming concert season participation. The selected schools will represent a good cross-section of the district geographically and demographically.  

2019-2020 Orff Concert Season Schools:

  • Westhaven Elementary
  • Crump Elementary
  • Snowden Elementary
  • Downtown Elementary
  • Idewild Elementary
  • Cordova Elementary
  • Shelby Oaks Elementary
  • Kingsbury Elementary
  • Germantown Elementary
  • White Station Elementary
  • Balmoral-Ridgeway Elementary


Orff Background

Carl Heinrich Maria Orff ((1895-07-10)10 July 1895 – 29 March 1982(1982-03-29)) was a German composer, best known for his cantata Carmina Burana (1937). In addition to his career as a composer, Orff developed an influential approach toward music education for children called the Orff approach. This dynamic approach to learning music offers active and creative musical experiences through a combination of speech, body percussion, singing, instruments, and movement. The Orff approach emphasizes the values of exploration, discovery, and critical thinking in the music classroom and encourages students to be creative and collaborative!