Did you know that ERSO has an amazing history of working with children? And why music can make such a big difference to kids?


ernest read at queenswood
Ernest Read with pupils at Queenswood School

ERSO was founded in 1931 by Ernest Read, the pioneer in the development of music education and youth orchestras.  He was passionate about spreading music as widely as possible, particularly to children, and was well known for his Ernest Read Concerts for Children which began in 1945 at the Royal Festival Hall.

Read developed an innovative format that many professional orchestras still follow today: day-time concerts with short programmes, accessible introductions to the music and audience participation. These concerts had a well-renowned and established reputation and sold out for over 50 years.

We are proud of Ernest Read’s legacy and have continued to dedicate 2 or 3 concerts a year to working with children and families.

Engagement with music-making brings many well-documented educational and social benefits to children, including: improved academic progress, verbal abilities, listening skills, reading, memory and fine motor skills; increased motivation and discipline from the rigour of practice together with improved social skills from working with others.  Research shows that the educational and social benefits are especially important for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Next season we’ll put on two Camden concerts with young people: our November concert with the Camden Training Orchestra and our March GCSE and A level “Spotlight on the Set Works” concert with the Camden School for Girls.


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