About Us

Neighborhood Music School (NMS) is the largest non-profit community arts organization in Connecticut and one of the ten largest in the country. Founded in 1911 as part of the settlement house movement serving new immigrants to New Haven, we now serve more than 2,400 students from 80+ cities and towns annually. Students of all ages receive individual and group instruction in music, dance, drama, and film, and participate in over 100 weekly ensembles. In addition, we house an arts-integrated preschool and an independent, theatre-based middle school. We provide close to $500,000 in financial aid and tuition support to more than 500 students each year.


The mission of Neighborhood Music School is to deepen the human experience and build connections through the learning, practice, and presentation of the performing arts.


  • The Performing Arts: The performing arts are an essential part of the human experience at every stage of life.
  • Diverse Community: We celebrate each individual, nurture lasting relationships, create a sense of belonging, and understand that we are stronger when we learn from our differences.
  • Educational Excellence: Our talented and passionate teaching artists engage each student’s interest and enthusiasm, providing the tools they need to reach their unique potential.
  • Equity: We actively promote equity in arts education, enable broad access through financial aid, and remove barriers to learning and participation.
  • Joy: Together, we create joyful experiences that provide fulfillment, feed our souls, and energize us.