Arts Fuel Creativity and Learning


Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra education programs promote 21st-century skills and learning while ensuring access for students of all backgrounds.

Young People’s Concerts are the largest component of CSO’s education program, annually reaching nearly 18,000 students from over 200 schools representing 30 districts. Each concert has an accompanying Teacher’s Guide with standards-based arts integrated lesson plans and recorded musical samples for music specialists and classroom teachers.

 Through Young People’s Concerts, the CSO strives to provide students with a captivating introduction to the orchestra while reinforcing learning objectives and creativity in music and non-music curriculum areas. 

20% increase in students reached through Young People’s Concerts

89% of participating teachers indicate that Young People’s Concerts help develop critical 21st-century skills in their students.

54% of students attend Young People’s Concerts for free or reduced admission.

CSO and Pops musicians frequently visit classrooms around the region, giving students of all ages up-close, personal interaction and cultivating curiosity.

This school year, students at the Academy of World Languages in Evanston piloted a program called “Mindful Music Moments.” The program, a partnership with City Silence, invites students to engage with classical music on a daily basis. Every morning, the entire school listened to excerpts of CSO recordings, and were given discussion prompts to practice both mindfulness and music literacy.

Mindful Music Moments at Academy of World Languages, a K-8 Cincinnati Public School with 50%+ ESL students, many of them refugees.



Igniting Young Minds Through Music

CSO education programs create access for our region’s richly diverse students.

The Orchestra’s youngest fans try out instruments in the Family Fun Zone before all Lollipops Family Concerts. 



Including the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra Philharmonic and Concert Orchestras, as well as the Nouveau Chamber Players, the CSYO program offered a training ground for 190 talented young musicians this season.

At the center of the CSYO’s mission is reinforcing excellence in students and challenging them to expand their own boundaries through the highest level of performance and collaboration.

Where young talent comes to play

The Nouveau Chamber Players perform regularly prior to CSO concerts, as well as recitals at churches and in the community. 

CSYO students attended the annual Patron Appreciation Luncheon, visiting with patrons and even giving short instrument lessons.


Developing 21st Century Skills


 The CSO/CSYO Side-by-Side concert is an annual highlight for the CSYO Philharmonic, with the professional players of the CSO turning pages for these talented student musicians and featuring student soloists. This year’s concert was conducted by Louis Langrée and CSYO Conductor Gene Chang.


Another highlight this season occurred when CSYO Philharmonic and Nouveau Chamber Players members Myles Yeazell (pictured top with John Morris Russell) and Matthew Adams (pictured above) were selected as Sphinx Competition, Junior Division semifinalists. The students traveled to Michigan to compete with seven other talented young Black and Latino musicians from across the nation.