Mission & Values

“Creating community, sparking potential and sharing joy through the arts”

About Us

Neighborhood Music School (NMS) is the largest non-profit community arts organization in Connecticut and one of the 10 largest in the country. Founded in 1911 as part of the settlement house movement serving new immigrants to New Haven, NMS now serves more than 2,700 students from 80+ cities and towns annually. Students of all ages receive individual and group instruction in music, dance and drama and participate in over 100 weekly ensembles. NMS also houses a certified arts-integrated preschool, several summer programs and provides over $220,000 in financial aid and tuition support for more than 500 students each year.

View our 2018-2019 Annual Report here. 

Core Belief

We believe in the power of the arts to transform lives and strengthen communities.

NMS Core Values
  • Diversity: Our school is a vibrant hub for all ages, genders, races, nationalities, and economic backgrounds. Through shared learning and self-expression, we overcome fear of our differences.
  • Relationships: We respond to the individual needs of our students and families, treating them with warmth and care.
  • Teaching Excellence: Our talented and passionate teaching artists inspire students of all levels of ability to discover their unique potential.
  • Responsiveness: Rooted in the classical tradition, we respond to the present-day interests of our community to encourage participation.
  • Lifelong Learning: We provide opportunities for continual growth and development, both in our organization and in those we teach.
  • Welcoming Space: We offer an open and collaborative environment, where individuals feel comfortable and supported.
  • Community Presence: We actively go into the community to share the joy of the arts.