The Eight Best Ways for Children to Learn About Art

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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

Creative Expression and Child Development

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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

How to Inspire Your Child’s Creative Genius

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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

The Eight Best Ways for Children to Learn About Music

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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

Annual Appeal 2014

“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.


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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.

With Gratitude,

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Creativity…Community …Accessibility
Make more music. Make more art.

9 Tips on Handeling Preschool Separation with Your Kids

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It’s a process, for both children and adults. I sat in the lobby of my daughter’s preschool for two months, just in case she might need me, in case she came out looking for me. The director of the school finally came to me one day and said gently, “You know, I think she’s fine.” She was fine – I was the one with the separation issue.

Everyone’s situation is unique. Some parents need to drop their children off and run to work. Others have caregivers that can hang around until the child seems comfortable. Others still may want to sit in the lobby for a while, like I did with my daughter. Every situation is workable, and it’s important for both children and grown-ups to feel like they own the process to a certain extent. Read more

What is the Dalcroze Method?

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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. Today Church Street School founder and director, Lisa Ecklund-Flores, describes why the method is an incredible tool for teaching music.

“I know, because I have experienced.”

This famous quote from Emil Jaques-Dalcroze[1] captures perfectly the basis of his method.  It is the student’s physical experience of musical concepts that builds strong musicianship.  “Not just brainwork or fingerwork, but ear, mind and body working together.” These are the fundamental tenets of The Dalcroze method. Read more

Annual Appeal 2013

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The future of Church Street School for Music and Art is in your hands. Please be generous TODAY so your community will have a school for music and art TOMORROW.


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If you would like to give at a different level please click here to make a donation now!