Ears Wide Open

Ears Wide Open: Secondary Schools

Ears Wide Open is a unique music journey where MSO Cellist and Cybec Assistant Conductor, Nicholas Bochner deconstructs famous classical pieces so that you understand the context, history and story behind well-known works. You will get into the mind of the composer, will hear the musicians perform what is being explained, and you will deep dive into the pieces.

This series of four episodes is perfect for online or classroom learning for secondary school music students. These episodes are designed to assist teachers to engage students while delivering high-quality, curriculum-linked lessons. Each episode includes:

  • An online video
  • A downloadable resource, and
  • A curated playlist. These are excellent for engaging students while delivering high-quality, curriculum-linked lessons – perfect for online learning or in the classroom.


Ears Wide Open 1: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring

May 29, 1913 was a pivotal moment in music: the premiere performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Even if you’ve never heard the piece, many parts will be strangely familiar: it has influenced nearly every composer of the 20th century, and most particularly film composers.

Watch online

Access the teaching resource

Listen to the playlist


Ears Wide Open 2: Beethoven Symphony No.7

Never before had rhythm been given such a fundamental role in Beethoven’s music – it generates the symphony’s structure, melodic and harmonic gestures and its powerful rhetoric.

Watch online

Access the teaching resource

Listen to the playlist


Ears Wide Open 3: Sir Andrew Davis’ Messiah

Since its triumphant premiere in Dublin in 1742, Messiah has remained Handel’s most frequently performed work. In 2019 The MSO presented a new orchestration of this beloved work, arranged by our previous Chief Conductor, Sir Andrew Davis.

Watch online

Access the teaching resource

Listen to the playlist


Ears Wide Open 4: Scheherazade

Great Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov lays the foundations for this bright, colourful and gorgeously textured evocation of the exotic.

Watch online

Access the teaching resource

Listen to the playlist