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S.F. Symphony's New Website for Kids
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S.F. Symphony's New Website for Kids: Let the Games Begin

By Mark MacNamara
March 6, 2014
It may not be as slick, sick, and cool as last week’s videos of a new hover skateboard — which is either a tech breakthrough on a par with the camera or the computer, or one of the more compelling hoaxes of all time — but the new San Francisco Symphony website for kids, sfskids.org, is still very cool. And definitely not a hoax.
It’s a 2.0 version of the original SFSkids site, launched nearly a decade ago. Since then, it has attracted more than 5 million users in 20 countries. The old site home page was a huddled jumble of icons and strictly informational. The new site has a dokey, swanky look and is tuned to the new-new technology of gaming.
The site is focused on a half-dozen modules, which allow you to play, perform, conduct, and compose. And also just listen to music, as well as natural sounds. You can write your own music, you can experiment with different instruments, and you can learn the basics of conducting. It’s all in the spirit of fun, including the push to develop expertise by acquiring points. It can be played on either a desktop or a laptop, although in the case of a laptop, you need a mouse as well as the touch pad, in order to simulate the motion of left hand and right hand.

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