SFS Kids

Website review by
Conny Coon, Common Sense Media
SFS Kids Website Poster Image
Safe, simple introduction to classical music and composers.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn about types of instruments, the sounds they make, and how they work within a symphony. Through the website's "radio," they can choose from various channels to hear snippets of classic pieces from Mozart to Mahler. With a bit of reading and few clicks of their mouse, kids can see the symbols used to write music and learn musical concepts such as tempo, rhythm, pitch, and harmony. SFS KIDS offers a simple introduction into classical music and what goes into making it, plus a safe place to explore the various elements of a symphony.

Positive Messages

Encourages an appreciation and understanding of classical music and offers opportunities to explore and create music.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

As a sister site to the San Francisco Symphony's website, it subtly promotes the symphony and upcoming concerts. A link to the Symphony's main website is prominent throughout.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SFS KIDS is a music-focused site from the San Francisco Symphony that encourages kids to learn about and discover classical music, instruments, and composers. Through simple activities, it offers an elementary introduction to what goes into creating an orchestra, from types of instruments to the difference between rhythm, pitch, tempo, and harmony.

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What's it about?

As a safe, kid-friendly companion to the San Francisco Symphony website, SFS KIDS offers kids an opportunity to engage with classical music on many levels. It provides an overview of orchestral music, including the types of instruments you'd find, the sounds they make, and where the musicians sit within the orchestra. The site's Music Lab requires some reading but is peppered with quick activities that encourage interaction and experimentation while reinforcing concepts such as tempo, rhythm, pitch, and harmony.

Is it any good?

As a basic introduction to classical music, SFS KIDS is a smart place to start. It's colorful, fun to explore, and has some interesting interactive activities that may pique a young kid's interest in music. It might even get them geeked enough to try a musical instrument or take a trip to see the symphony. That, of course, is the motivation here. Aside from giving a general overview of music, instruments, and composers, this site aims to encourage kids to visit the San Francisco Symphony. Although there are only a small number of activities, younger kids will find some fun, music-oriented spots to hear snippets of classical pieces, learn about instruments, see the symbols used to write music, and learn musical concepts. Though it requires a bit of reading, kids will find a cursory collection of activities that may spark some musical creativity -- or at least a desire to hear and learn more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how many different types of musical genres there are. How many can you name? What are your favorites and why?


  • Discuss how kids can use computers to learn about the arts. What do you like to create using the computer? How does it add to the arts education you receive in school?


  • Chat about how learning about composers and music can tell you a lot about history. Why do you think classical music was such an important part of history? How did composers use music as a form of storytelling?


Website details

  • Subjects: Arts: music, playing, rhythm
  • Skills: Creativity: combining knowledge, innovation, making new creations
  • Genre: Music
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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