School House Symphony Mission Statement:

School House Symphony’s mission is to foster both an understanding and appreciation of music from many different cultures and time periods, and to promote an awareness of how music is structured and performed.


Todd performingSchool House Symphony is a 6-member symphonic ensemble that has been bringing live music to preschool, elementary, and junior high classrooms in the Cincinnati Tri-State since 1976. SHS presents over 250 educational shows each year, with an audience of approximately 8,000 individual students, many of whom see SHS multiple times throughout the school year. SHS programs are engaging and interactive shows crafted to reinforce educational benchmarks. By combining teaching with performing, SHS not only provides cultural enrichment, but also presents musical concepts, history, and culture, which help open young minds to a world of new experiences through music.

The SHS approach includes a series of three or four performances presented throughout the school year. Each performance is designed to introduce specific concepts during a 30- or 40-minute performance, and the audience is limited to approximately 130 schoolchildren per performance, ensuring every child has an up close and personal view of the instruments and the music. The atmosphere created is informal and intimate, allowing students to sit near the performers and to interact with them through active listening and participation, as well as through questions and answers. While being entertained, children learn about the woodwind, brass, percussion and string instrument families. They learn about the science of sound, the history of music in America and around the world, and elements of musical composition through the centuries.

As educators, the members of School House Symphony know children learn best when they want to learn. That is why SHS members strive to present ideas in a relaxed atmosphere, starting with concepts the students already know and building to full understanding of new ideas. SHS performances are presented in the school, including all students in their own environment. SHS shows are animated and engaging because the SHS performer-educators have a sincere interest in children and strive to help them absorb both the music and the concepts that make up each performance.

Make a reservation request here to bring School House Symphony to your school.

What teachers have to say about SHS …

You guys have been coming to our school for YEARS! In my opinion, there really is no substitute for the SHS. It ties in beautifully with our curriculum and provides an opportunity for kids to experience a real instrumental performance, up close.