Toy Symphony is an international music performance and education project led by composer and inventor
Tod Machover at the MIT Media Lab and Media Lab Europe. It strives primarily to introduce children to the creative music-making process in bold, new ways. Building on visionary technologies developed for Machover's groundbreaking Brain Opera, specially designed Music Toys enable children to immediately engage in sophisticated listening, performing and composing-activities normally accessible only after years of study. The participation of major symphony orchestras, conductors and soloists enables children to play alongside some of the world's most accomplished musicians, and to learn by doing.

An integrated approach to music education and creativity is at the core of Toy Symphony. Through coherent musical concepts that are fused with intensive hands-on workshops, online activities for home or classroom, the exploration of new technological inventions, and a culminating public concert, Toy Symphony serves to show children that they can create their own music, discover the potential of the symphony orchestra, absorb musical and technological principles through Music Toys, and ultimately be an important part of a large-scale, professional production.

The workshop element is the means to this end. The working model for the Toy Symphony project is a week-long endeavor, in which the MIT Media Lab and Media Lab Europe teams are in residence with a particular performing arts organization. The launch event for each location where Toy Symphony will be performed is a festive Open House to introduce the general public to Music Toys, new technologies and the core music of the project. During the week, a series of workshops are held, introducing a number of children to musical expression and composition using Music Toys, and allowing about 40 children to prepare to participate in the final concert.

The culminating concert will highlight and promote the exciting new music created for and by children. These performances will include a full orchestra of professional musicians playing traditional instruments with electronic enhancements, local children using Music Toys, world-class conductors, and a celebrated hyper-soloist. It is a chance for all involved to engage in music making that bridges past and present, using futuristic technology, innovative pedagogy, and inspiring music to step firmly into the 21st century.