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Mission & People Served

Mission Statement

Founded in 1990, Church Street School for Music and Art is the only nonprofit community school for the arts in lower Manhattan, committed to providing high-quality art and music programs for diverse students of all ages, abilities, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.  A long-standing community resource dedicated to public programming and outreach, the school specializes in facilitating the physical creative process, and strives to connect each student with their unique artistic voice. We believe in the transformative and therapeutic power of the arts and are dedicated to providing accessibility to the arts for all. 


Since September 2022, Church Street School for Music & Art has Served:


People Served Through
Events, Programs & Outreach 


People Through
Free Programs & Events

Experiential Learning

In our experiential-learning based programs, we believe learning happens through open-ended creation that allows for random occurrences, improvisation, and exploration. Our classes focus on the individual student’s interests and curiosity while encouraging experimentation and play. Our focus on process celebrates the creative genius of children, empowering them and building confidence that stretches beyond the art studio.

As children mature, our programs gradually incorporate instruction in the more technical aspects of art-making, but always with the emphasis on developing the individual’s unique artistic process.

The Dalcroze Method & Music Education

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.

“I know, because I have experienced.” Emil Jaques-Dalcroze used these words to describe the fundamentals of his method. 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. Read more about the the Dalcroze method here!

Experintial Learning & The Dalcroze Method
  • Sheet Music
    Participants who are doing a musical performance must come with their own music.  You are permitted to make copies of your music for the band using the school copier.  Always be prepared with three copies for the band.
  • Sign Ups
    Signup is in-person the night of, on a first-come first-served basis. Open Mic runs from 7:00-10:00 pm, so please plan to arrive by 7pm if you plan to perform.
  • Performance Guidelines
    Participants perform one piece at a time. After everyone has had a chance to perform once, we start a second round of performances (a third if time permits). Performances should be limited to approximately 5 minutes in length. Be prepared! Have your instrument tuned and your music ready.
  • Weekly Activity Breakdown
    Monday 2:30pm to 3:15pm - School Pick Up and Snack 3:15 pm to 5:00pm - Creative Arts Club  Tuesday 2:30pm to 3:30pm - School Pick Up, Snack and Play 3:30pm to 4:15pm - Explore! Art II 3:30pm to 4:15pm - Explore! Art II Wednesday 2:30pm to 3:30pm - School Pick Up and Snack and Play 3:30pm to 4:30pm - Explore! Piano 4:30pm to 5:00pm - Creative Arts Club Thursday 2:30pm to 3:15pm - School Pick Up and Snack 3:15pm to 4:00pm - Explore! Music II 4:00pm to 5:00pm - Creative Arts Club Friday 2:30pm to 3:15pm - School Pick Up and Snack 3:15pm to 4:00pm - Explore! Piano 4:00pm to 5:00pm - Creative Arts Club
  • How do I apply to CSSMA's Full-Day Summer Arts Program?
    Email to register for Summer Camp!
  • What are the program dates?
    Church Street School for Music & Art's Summer Camp runs from Tuesday, June 20th - Friday, August 25th. We offer flexible scheduling to accommodate your child’s summer plans.
  • What is included in the tuition price?
    Tuition includes a rotating schedule of music & art classes including drumming, ukulele, improv/acting, and studio art. Plus performance opportunities, weekly field trips, and daily outdoor play and lunch in our neighborhood green spaces.
  • Tuition
    Tuition is $650/week. We will prorate the tuition if your child is out for a day or two from the week.
  • How old does my child have to be to attend?
    CSSMA's summer camp is for students ages 5 years - 8 years (Group I) and 9 years - 12 years (Group II). We also offer summer programs for students ages 3 - 5 yr olds, and 13 - 18 years. Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for more information about our exciting Teen Summer Program.
  • When and where are the field trips?
    Field trips happen every Wednesday. Destinations include: walks around neighborhood art galleries, visits to NYC cultural destination like the Natural History Museum, Metropolitan Art Museum, and Central Park Zoo, and other fun trips around the city.
  • Full-Day Summer Arts Program Weekly Themes & Field Trips
    June 20th - 23rd: Art - Motivational Posters Music - Drums, Piano, Ukulele, and Improv June 26th - 30th: Art- Comic Book Making Music- Drums, Piano, Ukulele, and Improv July 5th - 7th: Art- Sculpture Making Music- Drums, Piano, Ukulele, and Improv July 10th - 14th: Art - Painting Techniques and Dioramas Music- Drums, Piano, Ukulele, and Improv July 17th - 21st: Art - Puppet Making Music - Drums, Piano, Ukulele, and Improv Field Trip - National Museum of the American Indian July 24th - 28th: Art - Video Animation & Stop Motion Movie Making Music- Drums, Piano, Ukulele, and Improv Field Trip - Local Gallery Tour July 31st - August 4th: Art - Art History Week Music - Drums, Piano, Ukulele, and Improv Field Trip - The Metropolitan Museum of Art August 7th - August 11th: Art - Drawing Technique Music- Drums, Piano, Ukulele, and Improv Field Trip - American Museum of Natural History August 14th - August 18th: Art - Slime Projects Music- Drums, Piano, Ukulele, and Improv Field Trip - Art on the Ave at The Oculus & Gallery Walk August 21st - August 25th: Art - Large Scale Puppets Music- Drums, Piano, Ukulele, and Improv Field Trip - The Museum of Chinese in America
  • What are the program hours?
    Camp begins every morning at 9am, and dismissal is at 4pm. We offer for early drop-off at 8:30am and late pick-up at 5pm for an additional cost $15/ day each.
  • Registration
    Age deadline determined as of September 15th of the academic year. The school year is divided into two 18 week semesters from September-June. Annual registration fee= $60 per student or $85 per family. Classes are filled on a first come, first serve basis. Tuition is prorated for the remainder of the term from the first class taken. Church Street School reserves the right to change the schedule of classes, teachers or cancel classes at any time if needed. Tuition rates account for all major school holidays and academic breaks. Payment is due in full at the time of registration, or a 25% deposit must be given and a credit card kept on file, with the balance run automatically on the first day of class. Students enrolling on or after the first day of class must pay in full at the time of registration. Any student who has an outstanding balance at the end of the semester will not be allowed to enroll for the following term. Payment plans are available for a fee of $35 and require that a credit card be kept on file, with payments being scheduled automatically on the 10th of each month. Payment plans must be set up before the payment is due in order to avoid late fees. A late fee of $25 will be applied to all late payments. If the balance continues to go unpaid, late fees will continue to be applied on a monthly basis, and the student will be at risk of dismissal. Audits may be scheduled for trial classes or siblings/ friends who would like to attend a class. Prior permission must be granted by the front office and an audit fee must be paid. For each academic year, families must provide up-to-date medical and emergency contact information for each child registered in programs at Church Street School. Forms can be accessed on our website and should be returned to our front office. Please let us know of any changes ASAP.
  • Scholarships & Financial Aid
    New text – In keeping with our mission of accessibility to the arts for all, CSSMA offers financial aid based on demonstrated economic need. Merit based scholarships are also available annually. Please contact us at for more information on how to apply.
  • Enrollment Policies
    INVOICES/ PAYMENT ALL OUTSTANDING BALANCES AND PAYMENT PLANS WILL BE CHARGED AUTOMATICALLY TO THE CREDIT CARD ON FILE ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW SEMESTER If you prefer to pay with another method, the alternative payment must be received before the first day of the semester. Families are welcome to sign up for an installment payment plan for a fee of $35. Your invoice includes your registration details – class name, day and time. RE-ENROLLMENT For students registered in the Fall 2023 Semester, we will automatically hold your scheduled day and time for the Spring 2024 Semester on each registration, unless you cancel or reschedule before December 1st. The Registrar will still need to confirm with you in order to process payments. Each student will receive a 5% discount for paying in full on your Spring registration by December 15th. For private instrumental students, if you do not confirm by January 2nd, we will open up the schedule for new students. TRIAL CLASSES, DISMISSAL & LATE PICKUP FEES Siblings/ friends who wish to join for a single class must arrange permission with the front office 24 hours in advance and are required to pay a single class fee. Students must be picked up promptly after their class or lesson ends and must be signed out from their class by a parent, guardian or authorized caregiver. Those who arrive late for pickup will automatically be charged a $15/hr late fee for after school care. MAKE UP CLASSES One make-up class is granted per semester for students enrolled in the full semester. Make-up classes must be requested and approved by the front desk within 24 hours notice. IMPORTANT DATES The Fall Semester runs September 11th, 2023 – January 28th, 2024 CSSMA follows the NYC Public School calendar. Holidays and closures are listed below. No make-up classes or refunds will be given in the case of natural disasters, extreme or inclement weather. FALL 2023 SCHEDULE Fall Semester Begins — Mon, September 11th Rosh Hashanah (closed) — Fri, September 15th - Sat, September 16th Yom Kippur (closed) — Mon, September 25th Indigenous People's Day (closed) — Mon, October 9th Election Day (closed) — Tues, November 7th Veterans Day (closed) — Sat, November 11th Thanksgiving (closed) — Thurs, November 23rd - Sun, November 26th Winter Recess (closed) — Sat, December 23rd - Mon, January, 1st Fall Classes Resume — Tues, January 2nd Martin Luther King Jr. Day (closed) — Mon, January 15th Fall Semester Ends — Sun, January 28th SPRING 2024 SCHEDULE Spring Semester Begins — Mon, January 29th Midwinter Recess (closed) — Sat, February 17th - Fri, February 23rd Easter Weekend (closed) — Sat, March 29th - Mon, April 1st Eid al-Fitr (closed) — Mon, April 10th Spring Recess (closed) — Mon, April 22nd - Tues, April 30th Memorial Day Weekend (closed) — Sat, May 25th - Mon, May 27th Eid al-Adha (closed)— Mon, June 17th Summer Programs Begin — Mon, June 17th Spring Semester Ends — Tues, June 18th Juneteenth (closed) — Wed, June 19th Make Up Week — Thurs, June 20th - Wed, June 26th
  • COVID Protocols
    Church Street School for Music and Art’s (CSSMA) policies comply with New York State and City guidelines and with CDC recommendations and follow the NYC Department of Education policies. This policy is subject to any changes made by the NYC Department of Education. All policies will apply to CSSMA programs, held at 41 White Street and at any off-site location. Additional policies may apply when programs are held in off-site locations. ORGANIZATION-WIDE POLICIES: • All CSSMA employees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before teaching or working in-person unless they have a medical exemption. In the case of a medical exemption, CSSMA requires the employee to produce a negative COVID test weekly. • Everyone is encouraged , but not required to wear a mask while in the school. Masks will be provided if needed. • Only Employees, registered program users and rental clients are allowed in the facility. No guests, drop-in users or non-pre-registered customers will be permitted into the facility. -Prospective students must be arranged by appointment -Vendor deliveries can be left just inside the facility without contact -If necessary, parent/caregiver limited to one per program participant for children under age 14 years. FACILITY UPDATES: • Front desk has a new acrylic barrier to protect front desk staff while having conversations. • Lobby seating is spaced to easily adhere to social distancing guidelines. • New HVAC system filtration and cleaning. Our central air system has been fully serviced and we have installed new hospital grade filters. This system can be used throughout the year to improve overall air quality throughout the school. • Windows will also be opened to let in outside air whenever possible. • No-touch hand sanitizing stations are located in all lobby areas. CLEANING: Daily Cleaning Protocols: • Sweep, mop, vacuum and clean the space daily or more as needed. • Remove garbage and add new lining to cans daily or more as needed. • Supply a hand washing stations with soap, and paper towels or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol – check supplies throughout the day. • Clean common areas with guest access including bathrooms and entrances daily and additionally as needed. • Wipe railings with disinfecting spray prior to classes and between classes throughout the day. Additional precautions we will take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to the standard cleaning protocol: • Limit guest count based on state and local capacity guidelines: Ask parents to drop off and pick up at front door. • Space out classes and rentals to allow for cleaning between activities • Disinfect high touch surfaces and shared amenities such as light switches, door knobs and railings throughout the day. • Properly clean pianos and other instruments between use with the appropriate supplies which will be provided in each classroom and teaching studio. • Provide a hand sanitizer and disposable masks for guests and employees if needed. • Capacity will be monitored at the front desk, and lobby areas are configured to adhere to social COMMUNICATION: CSSMA will provide a clear safety plan to our community accessible on our website and posted inside the school. This information will be updated regularly to reflect state and city guidelines.
  • General Policies
    Church Street School embraces diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. By participating in classes or visiting Church Street School, you authorize the school to use photographs, video or other media of you or your child at any time in the future for publicity or marketing purposes. No compensation will be extended for such use. The school reserves the right to exclude, or terminate the enrollment of any student at any time if in the judgment of the school, in its sole discretion, the student has not adjusted to and/or will not benefit from the program of the school; the student’s conduct, or attitude is undesirable according to the school’s mission; or the continued enrollment of the student in the school is or may be detrimental to the well-being of the student, other students or the school for any reason; neither the school nor any of its trustees, officers, or employees shall be liable in any way whatsoever for any such exclusion or termination of enrollment.
  • Absence, Closure, & Dismissal Policies
    Absences & School Closure Your child must be picked up and signed out from their class promptly at the end of class (if it is a drop-off class). In the event of an emergency, please call the school and let us know what other arrangements will be made. Parents must notify the school if their child will be missing class. One make-up class is granted per semester for student absences in non-instrumental classes. All make-up classes must be arranged with the front office at least 24 hours in advance. One instrumental makeup class per year will be offered at the end of the spring semester for absences for which 24 hours notice was given. Church Street School for Music and Art adheres to the New York City public school calendar and in case of inclement weather will follow school closure guidelines decided by the NYC school board. Church Street School cannot be held accountable for extreme weather or other unforeseen catastrophic events and will not be able to refund tuition for missed classes in the event of related school closures. Please note that per our policy, there are no make-ups for inclement weather days. Dismissal Students must be picked up promptly after their class or lesson ends and must be signed out from their class by a parent, guardian or authorized caregiver. All parents who arrive late for pickup will automatically be charged a $15/hr late fee for afterschool care. If a child has permission to walk home alone, the school must be notified and given written permission via the “Pick-up Authorization form.”
  • Withdraw, Credits, & Refunds
    Students wishing to withdraw from their current registration at Church Street School must present a written request stating the date and reasons for the withdrawal. Refunds (minus classes taken and the non-refundable registration fee) will be given up to the 4th week after beginning class. No refunds will be given after the 4th week. Students withdrawing within the first 4 weeks of registration have an opportunity to convert their tuition to an in-house credit toward another class. Credits must be applied before the end of the fiscal year (August 31) in which they are issued. Credits can be applied toward the current semester, summer classes, prepaid tuition for future semesters, tickets for school events, or converted to a tax deductible donation. Preschool deposits are non-refundable. Please note that no refunds will be given for missed classes.
  • What are we learning?
    During this immersive 12-week program, students receive three 3-hour ensemble class from 12-3pm, Monday - Friday, as well as 10 one-hour private lessons per semester. This one-of-a-kind jazz program grants students access to almost 10 hours/week of direct contact and mentorship from the leading lights of New York City’s music scene! Our ensemble classes are led by a rotating roster of coaches including: Grant Stewart, Jeremy Pelt, Pasquale Grasso, Bruce Harris, David Hazeltine, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth, and others. The instructors will utilize a very hands on approach, not only coaching but also at times playing with the ensembles, addressing a broad range of crucial areas in the process, including: Favored repertoire of artist instructors Nuances and secrets of effective ensemble playing Improvisational approaches Ballad and up-tempo playing Each instructor's unique interpretation of the tradition And much more! Private teachers are selected by the student in tandem with the Artistic Director.
  • Registration and Tuition
    ENROLLMENT IS CURRENTLY OPEN FOR: Winter 2024 - Monday, January 15th to Friday, April 5th Spring 2024 - Monday, April 8th to Friday, June 28th Tribeca Jazz Institute ensemble classes are held on weekdays from 12-3pm at Church Street School for Music and Art at 41 White Street in Lower Manhattan. The Fall 2023 semester runs from Monday, September 18th - Friday, December 8th. Our Artist Diploma program consists of two 12-week semesters. Upon satisfactory completion of both semesters the player will receive their Diploma. Each semester is $6000.00 and includes three 3-hour ensemble classes per week as well as ten 1-hour private lessons scheduled separately. Over the course of each semester, students will receive 120 hours of direct instruction playing for and WITH their mentors. Space is highly limited (one student per instrument)! Applicants should contact to schedule an audition. Students accepted to the program must secure their spot by making a 25% deposit upon registration. Full tuition is due 60 days before the start of the semester. Full Tuition Deadlines: Winter 2024 - November 15th Spring 2024 - February 8th
  • Stop, Look, Listen
  • A Letter from the Artistic Director
    What we are offering here is not for everyone. The Tribeca Jazz Institute is directed towards the few players in each class that are already close to professional level and have the clear goal of becoming the best jazz artist they can be. Maybe you’re about to enroll at a college for jazz performance and have a year off before you attend. Maybe you’ve just finished a jazz degree somewhere and feel that you’re in need of a sort of “finishing school” as you enter the scene, or perhaps you’re already a professional but feel like you’re stuck and can’t get past a plateau. In any of these cases this is the program for you. We believe we can only teach our art the way we learned it, and the way we learned to play jazz music was through one-on-one private instruction and mentorship, and by playing under the guidance of great musicians. That is what is at the core of this program. Each semester will be an intensive 12 weeks of lessons and apprenticeship combined with 3 weekly three-hour “sessions” with the top jazz artists working on the NYC jazz scene. As a musician, your late teens and early 20’s are almost always the most important developmental years and essentially, when the artist is formed. This time must be taken advantage of fully if your goal is to reach your true potential as a player. We believe that the other aspects of music education (the countless extra courses, papers, and projects demanded by a jazz performance degree) can be put on the back burner until the primary goal is achieved. Don’t get us wrong – we believe a university education is invaluable and encourage anyone that can go to do it. However, our objective is to make you the best musician you can be and if this is the right program for you (and you are the right student for the program), the distractions of a conventional performance degree are not necessary right now. Not to be overlooked is the cost of said degree at any of the main schools in New York City, on average around $60,000 per year. In the end the young artist is often saddled with debt and no realistic means of paying off a $200,000 education.  At the Tribeca Jazz Institute, the relationship between the students and resident teaching artists extends beyond the walls of the school, building a bridge towards integration into the professional jazz scene. This is our true goal for you. We look forward to seeing what can happen when exceptionally talented young musicians are placed in a “supercharged” environment to propel them forward artistically, and  their abilities are given the resources and nurturing they rightly deserve. Yours Truly, Grant Stewart, Artistic Director
  • Commemorative Giving
  • Underwriting
  • Volunteer
  • In-Kind Donation
  • Buy it Now
  • Donor Advised Funds/ Stocks/ IRA Distributions
  • Donate
  • Employer Match
  • Sponsor Our Events or Programs
  • Is it important for my child to arrive on time and attend every class?
    Yes! This program strives to build social skills in the children, and so regular attendance and timely arrival is extremely important for establishing new friendships with their peers and the teacher.
  • Why is it important to have the support of a caregiver at the beginning of this program?
    Young children need to feel secure in new environments before they are willing to explore new things on their own. This sense of security is of paramount importance in building confidence in young children.
  • What types of music and art activities are included in this program?
    Church Street School specializes in physical experiences in art and music making because this helps to form the firmest foundation in the arts and is the way that young children learn the best. Our talented teaching artists provide open-ended activities with engaging materials that leaves space for your child’s unique artistic voice to shine.
  • How will the transition to separation take place?
    The teacher will work with you/your caregiver about the timing and process. We will respect the individual needs of each child. As children become familiar with the class structure and the other children and teacher, it will be suggested that the grownup sits on the side and passively observes the child during the class. Eventually the goal will be for adults to be able to wait in the lobby after the child gets settled into the free play period.
  • What if my child needs to have a diaper changed or go to the bathroom during the class?
    Your caregiver is there to support those kinds of needs.


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