Church Street School for Music and Art specializes in process-oriented approaches to arts education. Our objective is to facilitate creativity and give voice to the natural musical and artistic sense through direct, physical experience.
“I know, because I have experienced.” Emil Jaques-Dalcroze used these words to describe the fundamentals of his method. This approach is just as fresh today as it was at the turn of the twentieth century when it originated. 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; Sergei Rachmaninoff and George Balanchine were among the renowned artists that spoke passionately about the virtues of this method.
Our process-oriented art program allows for random occurrences, improvisation, and the use of nontraditional materials. The students’ focus is determined by their own individual interest, curiosity, and manipulation of materials: rubbing with the side of a brush, watching dripping paint, scratching with their fingers, mixing the paint to gray. This is a part of a young child’s natural exploration of art media, and therefore is highly engaging to them. Our process celebrates the creative genius of children, empowering them and building confidence that stretches beyond the art studio. As they experience this process developmentally there work changes from abstract to figurative, and combined with training in the more technical aspects of art making, is essential for developing one’s own artistic voice.