Church Street School for Music and Art (CSSMA) is the only nonprofit community school for the arts in lower Manhattan, committed to providing high-quality art and music programs for diverse students of all ages, abilities, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and socioeconomic backgrounds. We believe in the transformative and therapeutic power of the arts and are dedicated to providing accessibility to the arts for all.
Process-Oriented Arts Education
In our process-oriented art program, we believe learning happens through open-ended creation that allows for random occurrences, improvisation, and exploration. Our classes focus on the individual student’s interests and curiosity while encouraging experimentation and play. Our focus on process celebrates the creative genius of children, empowering them and building confidence that stretches beyond the art studio.
As children mature, our experiential program gradually incorporates instruction in the more technical aspects of art-making, but always with the emphasis on developing the individual’s unique artistic process.
The Dalcroze Method & Music Education
Church Street School’s music classes incorporate The Dalcroze Method, a whole-body music education technique created by a Swiss composer, musician and educator in the early twentieth century.
“I know, because I have experienced.” Emil Jaques-Dalcroze used these words to describe the fundamentals of his method. Rhythm is best understood when it is directly experienced as it is taught. It begins with the natural rhythms of human life – breath, heart, steps.
The Dalcroze Method is geared to all ages and levels of ability. It is ideal for the youngest child because classes are highly physical and upbeat, the way young children learn best. It is also an acclaimed alternative to traditional methods of learning music theory for older children and adults. Read more about the the Dalcroze method here!