Early Childhood Overview

Church Street School’s Music & Art Drop Off Program at Asphalt Green BPC for children 2 – 4 years is a 3 hour program, running 9am – 12pm Monday – Friday.  The program offers a curriculum of immersive arts education that supports early childhood development and school-readiness while nurturing the whole child. We are currently accepting applications for January 2022. Email betsy@churchstreetschool.org for more information about this and other program options for preschoolers. 

What makes Early Childhood Experiences 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

Little Creators

Little Creators is an ideal supplement to a traditional preschool drop-off program for children who are not enrolled full-time, have a day off when their regular school is closed, or are struggling with separation.

Little Creators offers a place for children to explore first art experiences and make friends with no pre-registration necessary. Each morning includes a music or art class plus open play and story time.

Join us for a 90 minute, or full morning, session!

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.

Our Early Childhood Philosophy

Early Childhood Programs at Church Street School develop 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

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.

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.

Allie Glassman, Lead Teacher

Allie Glassman is a singer/songwriter on the NYC music scene. Allie enjoys teaching students of all ages, and assisting her students with all of their musical goals. Allie also teaches voice, piano, and guitar, and she is also a choir director at Henry Street Settlement.

Allie performs her original music around NYC, and has appeared at venues including Rockwood Music Hall, Bowery Electric, and Pete’s Candy Store. Allie released her 2016 single ‘Fears Take Flight’ on itunes and Spotify.

Allie graduated with a BFA in Vocal Performance, at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, in 2012. Allie also received her masters degree in Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, in 2018. Allie is very excited to be joining the Church Street School!

Ruby McCollister, Lead Teacher

Ruby is an actress and comedian in New York City. She graduated from Bennington College with a focus in performance and film. She has performed her work at MoMA, PS1 and the New Museum, as well as a plethora of comedy venues across the city. She applies a personal approach to teaching performance and theater at Church Street School, with an emphasis on monologue and narrative construction.

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

– Former 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: