Program Overview

The Preschool at Church Street School for children 2-5 years offers a curriculum of immersive arts education that supports early childhood development and school-readiness while nurturing the whole child. Children play, sing and bond while developing self-confidence, social skills and creative thinking.

What makes The Preschool at Church Street School extraordinary?

  • a curriculum based in visual art, music, movement and dramatic play
  • students use their natural curiosity and creativity to investigate, understand and transform their surroundings
  • an emphasis on developing each child’s understanding of their own power as thinkers, problem-solvers, creators and friends
  • small class sizes and a low student to teacher ratio, allowing for individual attention, an inclusive environment for students of all abilities and a curriculum tailored to support all learning styles
  • the Dalcroze method of music education emphasizes learning through whole-body experience and expression of rhythm, movement, and melody
  • faculty of educators, working artists and musicians
  • flexible schedule to meet your needs (half-day, full-day, partial or full-week programs available) with ongoing admissions

Our Preschool Philosophy

The Preschool at Church Street School develops each student’s natural investigative, creative and problem-solving powers.

Our arts-based, play-to-learn approach reflects the latest research in child development and emergent (child-led) curriculum practices. Classroom activities provide sensory and tactile experiences, afford opportunity for self-discovery and self-expression, and encourage collaboration and social connection.

At Church Street School, art and music are the catalyst for learning and discovery. Every day we encounter math and science as we count rhythms and articulate patterns in music; we support language acquisition as we sing the alphabet together and enjoy storytime; we develop gross and fine motor skills as we manipulate a paint brush and dance to the piano. And most importantly, we help each child prepare to be lifelong learners and discover their own, invaluable creativity and curiosity.

Our music curriculum uses the Dalcroze Eurhythmics approach, emphasizing whole-body experience and improvisation with rhythm instruments and voice. We incorporate music and movement activities throughout the day with ear, mind and body working together.

The visual art curriculum emphasizes a process-oriented approach, empowering students to develop creative thinking through open-ended projects. Students discover a wide array of art materials, tools, and projects that emphasize the creative process, including exploration, experimentation and expression.


“Children who have had the opportunity to grow and thrive in an environment that supports curiosity, discovery, and creative expression have more self-confidence. They are more self-aware. This may be the most important gift we can give them in this complex and ever changing world.”

Dr. Lisa Ecklund-Flores, CSSMA Founder & Director

A Day in The Preschool at Church Street School

Every day in preschool provides the opportunity for children 2-5 years to create, sing and bond with classmates. Our flexible schedule offers half day and full day options and enrollment for 2-5 days per week, enabling parents to find a nurturing community for their child that fits their needs.

Half Day (8:45-11:45am or 12:00-3:00pm) includes:

Free PlayIt’s time to learn through play, discover new things and build our social skills.
Song CircleWe sing songs, learn the alphabet, bond with our classmates & more.
Dalcroze EurhythmicsIn music & movement we learn about rhythm, dance to the beat and explore instruments.
Visual ArtWe paint, draw, build and experiment with diverse projects and materials.
SnackWe provide snack and take a moment to enjoy together.
StorytimeWe develop our language skills, vocabulary and complex thinking.
Extended Day (11:45am-12:30 or 3:00-3:45pm) Morning extended day includes lunch (packed from home) plus free play. Afternoon extended day includes snack plus free play.

Full Day (8:45am-3:00pm) includes all of the above, plus rest, outdoor play or field trip.

Ask about Pre-K options too!

Meet Our Faculty

We are passionate about providing exciting and nurturing educational experiences that prepare young people to be creative and enthusiastic lifelong learners.


Lisa Ecklund-Flores, Founder & Program Director

Lisa Ecklund-Flores holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the City University of New York Graduate Center. She received her Dalcroze Teachers License in 1987 from the Dalcroze School of Music in NYC under Dr. Hilda Schuster. A registered music therapist and NYS certified music teacher, Lisa received her Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Fredonia in 1980 and her Master’s degree from Hunter College in 1992. In addition to founding, directing and teaching at Church Street School for Music and Art, Lisa has taught at Greenwich House Music School, Diller-Quaile, Brooklyn College Preparatory Center and The Washington Market School. Lisa is an educational consultant for the Nickelodeon show Blue’s Clues, and is also a professor at Mercy College and a research scientist at New York State Psychiatric Institute.


Cristina Corso, Lead Teacher

Cristina Corso was born in Colombia South America in 1983. Cristina works predominantly in the medium of photography, but includes drawing and paintings in  large scale installations. Cristina completed an MFA in Los Andes University in Bogota, Colombia in 2008. She also completed an MA in Art Education in New York University and an Art History Certificate at  École du Louvre in Paris. She has been a teaching Artist in New York City for 10 years. When she is not in CSS she is teaching in public schools with Studio in a School.


Angela Jaeger, Lead Teacher

Angela Jaeger is a singer, performer and a NY State Dept. of Education certified early childhood educator. Born and raised in New York City, Angela studied voice at Third Street Music School and musical theater at SUNY Purchase. Her studies brought her to London and Barcelona, where she worked with an extensive group of musicians including post-punk bands Pig Bag, The Monochrome Set and pop producer Trevor Horn. Angela holds a masters from Touro College and has completed training in the Responsive Classroom model and the Mindfulness in Education program at Omega Institute. Angela was the choral director at PS 234, where she developed the 4th & 5th grade chorus, and created an intergenerational learning partnership with The Caring Community Center. She has also taught at LREI and Music Together.

Read about our Specialists and Assistant Teachers:

Sabine Heubusch

Johanna Kopp

Gina Moffit

Richard Younger


“Church Street School’s teachers – each individually – showed patience and genuine kindness. They were such a pleasure to work with.” 

– Former CSSMA Preschool Parent


We accept preschool applications throughout the year, and will admit students as space becomes available. Apply as early as possible to guarantee a spot and the schedule you prefer.

Interested in enrolling for Fall 2017?  We will do our best to accommodate children who will be two years by 9/15/2017. We also have limited spots available in our Spring 2018 classes for children who will be two years by 2/2/2018. Children do not need to be potty trained.

To enroll call 212-571-7290, email or request a tour below:

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Child's Name

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How did you hear about us?


“The Preschool Program at Church Street School has given Freya confidence, security and joy on a daily basis for two years.  As parents we were seeking a place where she could find a balance of total creativity, play and openness while at the same time finding the very early basic structures of school- routines, washing hands, taking turns etc. I feel that she is more than ready for pre-k in terms of her social skills learned at CCS and the enthusiasm that she has developed for school and teachers while there.”

– Jessica, CSSMA Preschool Parent


Research & Further Reading

We are passionate about providing developmentally appropriate educational experiences that prepare young people to be creative and enthusiastic lifelong learners.

Our approach placing art, music, and play central to early childhood education (as opposed to a segregated curriculum) is supported by the latest research in cognitive development and education.

Click through  to read more about creativity and play in early childhood education: