Education and Outreach

“Education and outreach work have always been an integral and vital part of the Festival, with an annual collaboration with young musicians and presentation of a free schools’ concert. But from early on it was always one of my ambitions to increase the scope of this work, to reach more children and work with the local community to provide more musical inspiration and opportunities for engagement.  It was with this in mind that we took on Jill Knight as the Festival’s Education and Outreach Manager in 2019 so that we could build on the foundation we already had and to take this area of work to another level.” Guy Johnston

“As Education and Outreach Manager my brief is to further embed the Festival into the cultural landscape of our local community in Hertfordshire with particular responsibility for musical outreach and enrichment to children, young people and the elderly. Our aim is to musically engage, inspire and enable them through a programme of educational concerts, workshops and other events and opportunities.

Normally, on the opening day of the Festival, we offer up to 450 free tickets to pupils from local primary schools to attend one of three educational concerts performed by Hertfordshire-based young musicians. Schools are also offered pre-concert workshops so that children can become familiar with the music and instruments involved and get involved in other cross-curricular projects.

On the Saturday afternoon, we have a concert for the whole family with a programme based around the theme of the Festival with lots of audience interaction and participation. There are also masterclasses given by the professionals to aspiring chamber musicians and a “Young Musicians’ Platform” where young, talented chamber ensembles from Hertfordshire can perform as part of the Festival in collaboration with the Hertfordshire Music Service.” Jill Knight – Education and Outreach Manager

Music has a powerful physical, emotional and social benefit on all our lives. It’s now accepted theory that involvement in music as a child enhances brain function and structure, improving language development, brain connectivity and spatial intelligence, enabling them to do better in subjects like languages, reading and maths. It also improves co-ordination and self-discipline as well as co-operation and reasoning.

By offering more opportunities to become involved in music-making we inspire and encourage our children and young people to aspire to greater things, all of which require collaboration and team-work with others, thus developing personal and social skills alongside musical ones. The trustees of Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival believe in access to music and the arts for all and are therefore delighted to be developing this project. If you are interested in supporting our work with children and young people through the Festival, please let us know.

As we look ahead to the Festival’s tenth anniversary year in 2021, we hope to build on our experiences from this year and extend our Education and Outreach Programme to offer even more opportunities for children and young people to become involved. This will include concerts, masterclasses, workshops, performance opportunities and mentoring both during the Festival and we hope, at other times in the year.

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