CSO for Kids videos supplement curriculum in hundreds of schools

Chicago jazz legend Kurt Elling narrates "The Music in George’s Head," a CSO for Kids video about George Gershwin.

© Todd Rosenberg Photography

Launched in September 2020, the CSO for Kids series provides free, educational videos that support the social and emotional needs of children — an especially important matter during the pandemic. Each video is based on a popular children’s book and features classical music performed by CSO musicians, with animation inspired by the book’s illustrations. Accompanying preparatory guides offer activities and resources for teachers and parents. CSO for Kids videos have been viewed more than 120,000 times to date.

The first video, My Magic Breath, helps children harness the calming and restorative power of mindful breathing, and The Music in George’s Head tells the story of the creation of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. The third release, May There Always Be Sunshine, features CSO brass musicians in a joyous celebration of children’s words and wishes. Additional titles will be announced in the months ahead.

Educators in approximately 200 schools are using these videos in their classrooms across a variety of subjects, including music, reading, art and social and emotional learning. “The CSO for Kids series is educational and entertaining, and very well produced and edited,” said Nicholas Hall, a Chicago Public Schools music teacher. “I look forward to using all upcoming videos in the series with my students.”

CSO brass musicians Esteban Batallán, Tage Larsen, Gene Pokorny, Michael Mulcahy and David Cooper perform in "May There Always Be Sunshine," a CSO for Kids video.

© Todd Rosenberg Photography

"This video features amazing scenes of Symphony Center, with the musicians up close and personal. It's such a great way to see and hear the instruments."   ~ Karen Huelskoetter Gast, music teacher, St. James Lutheran School
“Thank you for creating such beautiful videos! The resources are perfect for our younger students.”   ~ Lori Dedelow, administrator, Montessori Children’s Schoolhouse