The Philharmonie des enfants is the expression of a wish to create a permanent place for children. This new venue, intended for 4 to 10 year olds, is an open, welcoming door.

The choice of low-tech or a belief in autonomy

We opted for a low-tech approach that conceals the technical core of the installations. There are no adult mediators because we chose to believe in the autonomy of children, to leave them free to imagine and evolve inside the space, without systematic recourse to screens. The Philharmonie des enfants, by aiming at immersion and spontaneous adhesion of the children, wants to anchor the children in reality and reconnect them to their sensations, and so put in a place where they can have a personal and striking encounter with the mystery of music. The modules are designed to create situations that compose the entire body, both in terms of its unity and its relationship with others. Special attention has been paid to ensuring that children with disabilities or special needs can feel at home and find suitable activities (Without ears!, Seeing sound, etc.).

Total staging and phantasmagorical world

The Philharmonie des enfants is a space dedicated to the exploration of sound and music through some thirty installations. The course stimulates both the body and the mind, leading to surprises but also to giving free rein to the imagination. The children themselves as well as the adults that accompany them are amused, interested and transformed by this experience.


5 theme-worlds


Forest of sounds

This first set of installations dedicated to sounds and sound phenomena invites the children to a sensory and immediate approach to sounds produced by materials, mainly natural (wood, stone, metal...). With this installation, the child is invited to listen in a different way, and thus discovers that the ear is not the only organ through which we can perceive a sound.

Forêt des sons
— Forêt des sons - © N.Houguenade
— Forest of sounds  - © N.Houguenade

Sound machines

Giant, curious, mechanical or electronic instruments are played by the children and illustrate the immense wealth of sounds that can be created as well as the components and techniques used to create the instruments.

Machines sonores
— Machines sonores - © N.Houguenade
— Sound machines  - © N.Houguenade

On stage! 

Built around two flagship installations, one devoted to the conductor and the other to amplified music, this space gives children the opportunity to be artists on stage themselves. They can play «as if», immerse themselves in the sound of an instrumental ensemble by conducting a symphonic piece or take hold of a simplified musical instrument to play in a group with their friends.

En scène !
— En scène ! - © N.Houguenade
— On stage! - © N.Houguenade

Thousand of voices

The voice is the primary instrument of the human being and is at the centre of this theme-world. Organised around a monumental installation designed to explore vocal expressions and techniques from around the world, the space offers children an opportunity to play with their voice and to discover the voices of others.

Des voix par milliers
— Des voix par milliers - © N.Houguenade
— Thousands of voices  - © N.Houguenade


Music this way!

This fifth module deals with music as a language and means of expression. It presents its evocative power, its capacity to tell stories, composition and musical writing.

Par ici la musique
— Par ici la musique - © N.Houguenade
— Music this way - © N.Houguenade

Other surprises


This immersive studio brings the children into a totally new immersive audiovisual experience by combining a 3D sound diffusion system with a panoramic video projection device on four walls. A veritable “listening cinema”, this space allows the exclusive creation of musical films, stories, concert recordings or sound experiences that immerse the spectator in a unique auditory experience.

Plein les oreilles
— Plein les oreilles - © N.Houguenade
— Earfuls  - © N.Houguenade

Little factory (From 2022)

All year round, this unique place hosts, on a temporary basis, prototypes of innovative musical or sound installations designed for children. In this «laboratory», visitors become beta-testers of games in the construction phase. Thanks to their feedback, the game designers invited to the Little Factory can improve their prototypes. These designers come from the creative spheres: artists, students, craftspeople, makers, designers, coders, start-ups, and sound and music experts.



The Philharmonie des enfants is a project of the Cité de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris, the Banque des Territoires through its Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir, Invess – Île-de-france, Maif Investissement social et solidaire and France Active Investissement. 

The Philharmonie des enfants thanks L-Acoustics, its equipment partner for the immersive studio.

Set design : Constance Guisset Studio