At the Festival we aim to embed our work 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.

November 2020 update

We are delighted that in these challenging times for everyone, we are still able to bring you a free Schools Concert from the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival 2020. Though we cannot invite you to join us for a live concert at Hatfield House, we are offering you an opportunity to view the concert in your classrooms or school hall at a time convenient to you, as many times as you wish, through this video link. The concert lasts 40 minutes, but you are free to pause it and pick it up again later to suit your individual timetables and circumstances.

As part of our ambitious Education and Outreach Project we are sending this concert to every primary school in Hertfordshire giving thousands of primary school children access to high quality chamber music and associated activities through this year’s Chamber Music Festival. The concert is performed by students at the Purcell School for Young Musicians at Bushey, Herts with a programme featuring music by composers from Handel to the Howard Skempton in a variety of different instrumental ensembles.

A package of support materials is available for schools to accompany the concert. This includes a Concert Programme with full details about each piece being performed, a Concert Festival Quiz and a Cross-Curricular Worksheet with a variety of suggestions for follow-up work in music (including one extended project) and other subject areas. If you are interested in receiving this package please contact our Education and Outreach Manager

We realise that at the moment schools are concentrating on making sure their pupils have caught up with any education they missed during lock-down, whilst at the same time trying their best to keep staff and pupils safe and making progress with the curriculum for this academic year. There is a huge amount to do! Nevertheless we must not forget that music has a powerful physical, emotional and social benefit on all our lives – especially for children and young people. Unfortunately participation in music-making has suffered recently but with this concert we are hoping to re-engage and inspire children and young people to embrace music in their lives once more.

If you have any questions about the Schools Concert or support package please get in touch. We hope that in these challenging times our music will bring some joy and inspiration to you and all your pupils and families. Enjoy!

In order that out talented young musicians in Hertfordshire do not miss out on the opportunity to perform at the Festival in the Young Musicians’ Performance Platform (last year held on the Sunday afternoon, with 36 performers), we are inviting them, through their schools and Hertfordshire Music Service, to film and submit their own performance of a piece of chamber music. The very best of these will feature on our Festival website over the coming months. If you are interested in submitting a recording of your chamber ensemble or know of anyone who would be, please contact us.

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.

However, involvement in music-making is often an expensive luxury, well beyond the financial means of many families living in and around Hatfield and other local Hertfordshire towns. 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 contact us via

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.

Poems from Year 6 at Countess Anne Church of England Primary

Teach me the Language of Lion – by Matthew, Marcel and Dawid

Teach me the language of lion, that enormous stare,

An aggressive growl and a wide-mouthed prowl.

Teach me how to hunt

The prey that I know, it only takes a twitch,

A pounce and a rip and that’s everything I wish.

Teach me that roar

That marks my territory and my place as king.

Show me your hideaway places that no-one knows.

Don’t teach me tiger

Because I am strong and you are weak.

So don’t you dare challenge me!


Teach me the way of the Elephant – by Gloria and Harvey

Teach me the way of the Elephant,

The big stomps shake the fruit off the trees,

The gentle tail swishes in the wind,

The soft trunk sucks up water.

Teach me how to swat flies with my tail,

Teach me how to spray myself with water.

I make a loud noise with my trunk to scare people away.

People try to cut my tusks but I run away in time.

Don’t teach me to be a mouse,

They are so small and they make me run,

They squeak – none of that!

Teach me the Elephant way.

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