Ashuelot Concerts offers schools the unique chance to bring live classical music from some of the world’s leading concert halls into local classrooms. Leading performers from all over the world travel to the Monadnock region to perform in our International Concert Series and before every concert, we visit four schools to perform and talk to as many local children as possible.

Each presentation lasts approximately 45 minutes and includes movements of three pieces from the upcoming concert program. The music is skillfully introduced to guide the children in how to listen and what to listen for during the performance. This program connects children who may never before have experienced live classical music.

Along with the music, each presentation follows a theme inspired by the music, for example:

  • How daily habits can change what we are capable of achieving: Exploring how each of us is a product of our daily habits (both good and bad) and how small changes can lead to big gains over time.
  • Is something difficult in class, or is it just new? Exploring how the brain reacts negatively to something unfamiliar and how after a few days it can feel so much easier with the right learning techniques.
  • Talent does not exist! Exploring how there is no scientific evidence that explains extraordinary ability. However, there are many things that high achievers have in common.
  • What music tells us about how to communicate: Exploring how to utilize the four basic elements of music - pitch, rhythm, dynamics and articulation - to improve communication and make the world a kinder place.
  • Contrast and variety. Using the music as an example, we explore why our brains need variety, contrast and balance to stay healthy and happy.

At the end of each presentation there is a chance for the children to ask questions and interact with the musicians.

Recent highlights have included:

  • The Doric String Quartet performing to 850 children on the first day of a major US tour - bringing with them famous instruments including an Amati Cello from 1587!
  • Guy Johnston performing piano trios in four schools with his 1692 Stradivarius Cello
  • Members of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Centre bringing the sounds of one of the most prestigious stages in the country to the classrooms of New Hampshire.

Click the play button on the map below to see how many schools have participated across SW New Hampshire so far...

Ashuelot Concerts program has a powerful effect on all students, including even those who struggle with attention, self-regulation, and overall engagement. Those who struggle most with emotional and behavioral difficulties every day in class were there today and they were completely captivated by your music and presentation. We see great results in our students when you can provide them with the gift of a live performance and a positive message about hard work.
Erik KrisPrincipal, Franklin Elementary School - Keene, NH
112 students attended the concert and what is great about it is that students are exposed to a type of music and live performance that many would otherwise never experience. Music that is centuries old and enduring and beautiful and that the students can feel and experience directly. The students asked great questions and afterwards said it was like being inside a movie soundtrack because these particular pieces were so emotional/intense and suspenseful.
Mark HaywardPrincipal, Westmoreland School
‘What I appreciate most is, above all, giving my students the experience of witnessing live music. There is no virtual equivalent of watching the musicians interact with each other; seeing Louisa's bow hairs break after a particularly intense violin section, or Nicholas's fingers blur together in a run of 32nd notes; feeling the tension of a fermata radiate through the entire room; looking around and seeing how other students are experiencing the music. Especially post- covid, the skill of interacting with live music as an audience member is something that students need to be taught –– but which they are also craving. I feel very fortunate to have world-class musicians be the ones to introduce my students to this magical world of live classical music. From students, by far the most common reaction is, "they are so good!!" Witnessing this level of artistic achievement and excellence, firsthand, is deeply inspiring to young people. I've also heard on more than one occasion, "it was weird, but I really liked it!" –– Nicholas's introductions to those works gave students just enough information to open their ears a little wider, then find themselves surprised at how much they actually enjoyed it.’
Nell WienerMusic Teacher, Gathering Waters School, Keene NH