As I stood looking at an exhibit of toddler art on the wall of my school one day, the parent standing next to me said, “This rivals an installation at the Museum of Modern Art”. It was true; all of the elements of form color and texture were there, and not the work of a seasoned and acclaimed artists of our time, but rather created unselfconsciously by two year old children.
This is a testament to the creative spirit of all human beings, which can be seen most clearly in the creative prowess of a young child. The natural qualities of childhood are the building blocks of this creativity – their physicality, their openness, their present-ness, their insatiable curiosity. Read more
At a recent get-together of parents, teachers, and community members interested in supporting the arts, we had a dynamic discussion about the importance of creativity in child development. Those of us from Church Street School for Music and Art stressed the three key reasons for the importance of creativity in our music and art classes – to introduce students to artistic process, to build their self-awareness and self-confidence, and to help them find their unique artistic voice.
All of those in attendance lamented the current state of education that emphasizes didactic approaches, memorization and test performance. We all agreed that such traditional approaches to education are more a source of anxiety for kids than of learning. We pondered together how to move the current culture of education forward, from the darkness of a system that focuses on performance and competition, into the light of a future where creativity and new ideas are prized. I think parents everywhere are pondering these same things. Read more
Young children are creative dynamos. They surpass adults in their openness to possibility and their willingness to explore without fear. If you give toddlers a drum they immediately create rhythms on it; if you give them paint and a brush they instantaneously drip and rub and mix. In my experience, when most adults sit down in the same kind of open-ended situation, they worry about what they are supposed to do.
Toddlers and preschoolers do not share that worry. They are unmistakably ‘in the moment’. They don’t yet have a firm understanding of the past or the future. While this may present challenges for parenting, it uniquely situates the child for exploration of art and music. As Picasso said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Read more
Ever since researchers discovered that fetuses respond to sound in the sixth month of pregnancy, there have been those in the baby biz that have tried to capitalize on this information. New parents have been manipulated to feel that they need to engage in some sort of special stimulation of their unborn child to build a ‘better’ baby. Or once born, parents feel compelled to buy special CDs and music videos that purport to make their baby smarter. And through my experience as a music educator I know that many parents worry if their child doesn’t start playing an instrument at three years old they will somehow fail to develop to their full potential. Nothing could be further from the truth. Read more
Tuesday, March 3
7 pm – 11 pm
2 Desbrosses Street
Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner, Artist Chairs
Danielle Elder, Event Chair
Michael Dorf, CEO and Founder, City Winery
Honorable Margaret Chin, New York City Council Member District 1
Special performance by KT Tunstall
cocktails . . . dinner . . . silent auction . . . musical performances . . . dancing . . . support the arts . . .
Click here to learn how you can purchase a table or become a sponsor of this event .
Click here to Donate an auction item to this event.
SuperStar Table $20,000
Listing & verbal mention, table for 10 w/ prime stage positioning.
Platinum Rock Star tabLe $10,000
Listing & verbal mention, table for 10 w/ prime seating.
Gold Rock Star tabLe $5,000
Listing & verbal mention, table for 10.
Silver rock star table $3,000
Listing & verbal mention, table for 10.
Rock Star duet $1000
Listing & verbal mention, 2 tickets to event.
Couple Admission $500
Single Admission $250
Please call 212.571.7290 to purchase tickets
Join us for our Spring Open House!
Saturday, February 7th 10am-4pm at 74 Warren St.
A free day of art and music fun for the whole family Read more
Caili O’Doherty is one of a handful of exciting new teachers joining the Church Street School faculty this fall. In the following interview she discusses her approach to teaching piano, as well as her own musical development and blossoming career as one of New York’s most promising young pianists.
Toby Wine (TW): Talk a little about your philosophy and methods as a teacher.
Caili O’Doherty (CO): My approach comes from first, listening to music. Exposing kids to different types of music, then moving on to singing – being able to sing what they hear and connecting what they sing with what they can play on the piano. I teach music as a language, and kids understand that as a way of learning to improvise, and to improve. I ask them if they speak another language, and many of the kids at Church Street do. I’ll ask them “how do you learn?” and they’ll say “my mom speaks to me in French.” Music is the same; you have to listen to it to be able to play it and you have to practice and listen a lot to get better and to build vocabulary. I think it helps to reduce frustration at not being able to play everything right away, when I can get them to think about it that way. I relate playing the piano to vocal qualities, to speaking and communication, which is its purpose in my opinion. Read more
Endless Candy, Cheerful Laughter, Copious amounts of icing, Live music… Decorate gingerbread!
Workshops / All ages
Church Street School @ 74 Warren Street
December 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21
Saturdays at 2:15pm & 4:00pm
Sundays at 11:00am, 1:00pm, & 3:00pm
$95 per house before December 6th! Register early to receive this discount!
Workshops / Adults
Maslow 6 Wine Bar @ 211 West Broadway
Sunday, December 7, 1-4 PM
Champagne, nibbles, & live music!
$125 single / $150 couple
Questions? Check out our Gingerbread Decorating Workshop FAQ
Select the workshop of your choice and we will be in touch to confirm your registration.
Host a party for your office or family on the date and location of your choice. Includes houses, candy and talent to guide the experience. Add live music and catering! Call today 212-571-7290!
Kits to go This unique and priceless gift includes house and supplies. $85 each; $10 off each additional kit. Give the gift of gingerbread!
“Freedom of expression is the foundation of self-fulfillment… Church Street School offers us this opportunity.”
Harvey Keitel, Actor, Church Street School Parent.
Dear Friends of Church Street School –
As we embark on our 25th year, we reflect on the many years that music and art have filled this school and extended joyfully into the community around us. It is Church Street School’s mission to facilitate creativity, build community, and assure accessibility to students of all ages and economic means. This is why we:
- provide free weekly choruses for children and seniors;
- bring art and music to neighborhood events at no charge;
- welcome the public to free programs at our open house events;
- showcase our students in free recitals that are open to the public;
- offer more than $50,000 annually in scholarships to students in need.
We do all of this through the generosity of our community. We do this because we know that when people come together through the arts, the world is a better place.
Please make a donation to Church Street School today. Help us continue our approach combining renowned and talented teaching artists, visionary leadership, and arts education based in best practices, which together make Church Street School an extraordinary cultural beacon for the next generation.
If you would like to give at a different level please click here to make a donation now!
Your gift will show that creativity, community building, and access to the arts are important to you too.
Be a part of our future – support Church Street School today.
Make more music. Make more art.