The Music Van

Musical Petting Zoo

The first encounter with our Music Van programs is the Petting Zoo. What is the music van? A literal van full of musical instruments that travels distances far and wide! A typical petting zoo has many instruments for both children and adults to enjoy. Well-loved (and well-used) trombones, trumpets, violins, and even a cow bell can be found buzzing and squawking in our charming “corral.” 

The Petting Zoo is available at community events around the county such as Children's Day in the Plaza, Paso Pops!, Avocado & Margarita Festival, Stone Soup Festival, BravoSLO at the PAC, library events, and more.

Music Van Presentations

Our nationally acclaimed Music Van will be visiting 3rd grade classrooms in San Luis Obispo County beginning in January 2018. Tours go until March, so sign up to ensure your place on our schedule!

A visit from the Music Van to your school includes a lesson by a trained presenter and the chance for each and every child to try our collection of musical instruments. 

Our Music Van presenters prepare an entertaining and educational demonstration about the instruments of the orchestra, how sound works, and the relationship between the size and shape of the musical instrument and the sound it makes. Following the presentation, the hands-on fun really begins when we give students a chance to try ALL the instruments in the van!  Trumpets, trombones, violins, cellos, percussion, and more!  Music Van presentations last 45 minutes and up to two may be scheduled in one day.

We do ask that each school provide two adult volunteers per presentation to assist the Music Van presenter. Volunteers are needed to help unload the van, pack up the van, set-up, clean-up, and supervise student during the presentation and petting zoo. The classroom teacher is also required to stay with the class during the presentation and when children are trying the instruments.

Music Among the Books

Our newest addition to the Music Van Programs is Music Among the Books. We partner with surrounding libraries to bring the same Music Van presentation elementary school students receive from January through March to a larger audience of all ages. Music Among the Books brings symphonic instruments and a Symphony-trained presenter to educate community members on the various families and instruments of the symphony. Various string, wind, brass, and percussion instruments are brought directly to the library for a special presentation. Afterwards, everyone is welcome to try each instrument!  

The presentation is offered at $100 for a 1 hour presentation. The entire fee goes DIRECTLY to the presenter. This program is perfect for summer months or in early August before school starts so that kids can connect to our Strings in the Schools program. After the presentation is over, the community is then connected to Symphony performance events, Youth Symphony opportunities, area Strings in the Schools campuses, community events, and private instructor information.  

How to book the Music Van

Be sure to reserve your Music Van visit early as registration is on a first-come first-served basis. To make reservations for your school, please fill out this reservation form and  contact our Music Van Coordinator at email 

Music Among the Books CONNECTS the community to tangible music education opportunities. 


Sponsored by:

Janssen Youth and Sports Fund 

Rita's Rainbows