Workshops for Schools Play orchestra instruments, test synthesizers or go on a sound safari – all with the workshops for schools.

Hear – and play – music!

Pick up your instruments, get ready, go! Whether it’s a violin or a trombone, the much-travelled Indonesian gamelan or a modular synthesizer: the Elbphilharmonie World of Instruments’ huge collection contains more than 500 different musical instruments. These are not kept out of reach in showcases: they can be touched and tried out in different theme workshops, subdivided into three categories: »Klassiko«, »Kosmos« and »Kreativ«.

Supported by the Hubertus Wald Stiftung


The workshops go on sale at different times:

Tue, 13 June 2023, from 16:00 for concerts taking place from August to October 2023
Tue, 5 September 2023, from 16:00 for concerts taking place from November 2023 to January 2024
Tue, 7 November 2023, from 16:00 for concerts taking place from February to April 2024
Tue, 6 February 2024, from 16:00 for concerts taking place from Mai to July 2024

All offers from the 2022/23 season are fully booked.


From the tubby double bass and the slim flute to the mighty kettledrum: »Klassiko« takes a closer look at the instruments of the classical symphony orchestra. After all, every instrument has its own playing technique and its own unmistakeable sound. »Klassiko Orchestral Instruments« gives participants a general overview, while the workshops that follow are dedicated to individual groups of instruments.

Orchestral instruments
Orchestral instruments © Sophie Wolter

Orchestral Instruments :Klassiko | School Years 1–13

Heard in unison, string, percussion and wind instruments produce the marvellous sound of a symphony orchestra. The workshop »Klassiko Orchestral Instruments« presents them all, after which pupils can try them out themselves.

Duration: 90 min.
Venue: Elbphilharmonie Kaistudio

World of Instruments
World of Instruments © Claudia Höhne

Blasinstrumente :Klassiko | Klasse 3–13

Some shine golden, others look quite twisted: The wind instruments of an orchestra differ not only in appearance but also in sound. However, instruments that are not found in the symphony orchestra are also presented.

Duration: 90 min.
Location: Elbphilharmonie Kaistudio

Saitentage © Sophie Wolter

Saiteninstrumente :Klassiko | Klasse 3–13

Violin, viola, cello and double bass form the basic framework of a symphony orchestra. But the large family of stringed instruments also includes the mandolin, banjo, ukulele and the sole record holder in terms of number of strings: the harp.

Duration: 90 min.
Location: Elbphilharmonie Kaistudio

Percussion © Claudia Höhne

Schlaginstrumente :Klassiko | Klasse 3–13

Here you can drum for all you're worth: In addition to the classical percussion instruments and baton instruments of a symphony orchestra, non-European rhythm instruments are also used in this workshop.

Duration: 90 min.
Location: Elbphilharmonie Kaistudio


It’s not only classical symphony orchestras that play at the Elbphilharmonie. The highly diverse programme also covers many other genres, from jazz and organ to world music. Thus, school pupils can make trips to a wide variety of musical worlds. In the »Kosmos« workshops, they play on Cuban drums and Indonesian gongs, or experience the effect of musical sounds with their entire bodies.

Supported by the Stiftung Elbphilharmonie with funding from the Körber Foundation’s »ZukunftsMusik«.

Sound © Claudia Höhne

Sound :Kosmos | School Years 1–6

Our ears are not the only way of hearing music: sound chairs, water spring bowls and other unusual instruments invite participants to experience sounds intensively with their whole body and all their senses. Pupils attending this workshop feel the relaxing effect of the vibrations produced and even make sounds visible.

Duration: 2 hours & 30 minutes incl. break
Venue: Elbphilharmonie Kaistudio

Gamelan © Claudia Höhne

Gamelan :Kosmos | School Years 3–13

The traditional Indonesian gamelan consists of gongs, metallophones, drums und xylophones. By trying these instruments out, participants find out how the gamelan brings people together: the sense of community is always paramount in Indonesian music.

Duration: 2 hours & 45 minutes incl. break
Venue: Elbphilharmonie Kaistudio

Minimal Music
Minimal Music © Claudia Höhne

Minimal Music :Kosmos | School Years 5–13

With minimal music, a new style of music developed in the USA from the 1960s onwards, with catchy, repetitive melodies or rhythms, so-called  »patterns«. In the workshop, the participants learn about the music style, can try out different instruments and play their own minimal music piece together at the end.

Duration: 2 hours 30 min. incl. breaks
Venue: Elbphilharmonie Kaistudio

Organ © Claudia Höhne

Organ :Kosmos | School Years 7–13

The Elbphilharmonie organ has a total of 4,765 pipes – so many that you may well get a bit confused sometimes. Luckily, organist Thomas Cornelius is on hand to explain the instrument’s secrets and introduce the participants to the many timbres the organ has: firstly using a model, then on the real instrument in the Grand Hall.

Duration: 2 hours & 30 minutes incl. break
Venue: Elbphilharmonie Kaistudio and Grand Hall


In the »Kreativ« workshops, participants can put their own ideas into practice, experiment, discover new things and even get a little bit crazy. At the »Sound Safari« they assemble scraps of sound previously recorded to create their own, personal piece. In the composition workshop and in the workshop »Modular Synthesizer«, they assume the role of composer themselves.

Composition © Claudia Höhne

Composition :Kreativ | School Years 1–13

It’s not all that hard to write your own piece of music, you just have to give it a try. After all, even great composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Clara Schumann started small: with a melody, a rhythm or a particularly beautiful note. The workshop participants become composers themselves through sound experiments and improvisation techniques.

Duration: 2 hours & 45 minutes incl. break
Venue: Elbphilharmonie Kaistudio

Sound Safari :Kreativ | School Years 3–13

This workshop sends participants through the Elbphilharmonie with their ears pricked and microphones at the ready to capture exciting sounds. Is the echo in the bathroom different from in the foyer? And what does it sound like when you tap on the wooden wall? With the help of a tablet and an easy-to-use app, scraps of sound are collected and then assembled to form a little piece of music.

Duration: 3 hours & 30 minutes incl. break
Venue: Elbphilharmonie Kaistudio

Modular Synthesizer
Modular Synthesizer © Claudia Höhne

Modular Synthesizer :Kreativ | School Years 7–13

Electronic music, a sacrosanct mystery? This workshop offers the opportunity to find out how electronic sounds are produced – practically and using one's senses. No fewer than twelve synthesizers are available for participants to create sounds, tunes and noises. Together, they make up the Modular Synthesizer Ensemble, and join forces to produce a composition of their own under the guidance of experienced synthesizer specialist Gammon.

Duration: 3 hours & 30 minutes incl. break
Venue: Elbphilharmonie Kaistudio