Express the Music

Showcase your students’ imagination and creativity with Express the Music (ETM), now in its 26th year of celebrating student poetry and prose from throughout the region. ETM, a free cross-curricular writing competition, invites students in grades 6-12 to discover an orchestral work and respond with poetry or prose that expresses creative thought and emotion inspired by the music. 

How to Participate

Participation in this cross-curricular program is free and online submission allows for quick and easy entry. With Express the Music, middle and high school students listen to the selected piece of music in their classrooms, write prose or poetry inspired by it, and edit and refine their compositions. Teachers encourage creativity, guide the writing and editing process, and select the prose and poetry to submit. Finalists are celebrated in a public ceremony at Powell Hall where top entries in each category receive cash prizes. Finalists' compositions are compiled in a book that is distributed at the ceremony.

Contact Us


Express the Music is presented by the St. Louis Symphony Volunteer Association and sponsored by Employees Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis.