Preschool & Toddler Program

Established over 35 years ago, the Preschool and Toddler Program at NMS offers children ages two through five a state-licensed, arts-based preschool experience. Young children are natural explorers, learners, and creative thinkers, and the arts are the perfect vehicle for them to experience and understand the world around them.

Both full-day and half-day program options provide a warm and loving environment that promotes creativity, individual expression, cognitive development, and community spirit. This supportive, mixed-age preschool approach is suited physically, socially, and developmentally to the needs of young children.

Our Program

Play-based learning unfolds as teachers integrate curriculum concepts into natural, free-play interactions, both indoors and outdoors. Every day is filled with rich exposure to the arts. At any given time, our students may be found pretending to be astronauts, writing books, peeking under the hood of a Steinway, charting the growth of tadpoles, or singing and dancing to music from around the world. These diverse explorations give children unique insights into the world around them and feed their joy of lifelong learning.

Student-teacher ratios of 6:1 in the Preschool and 4:1 in the Toddler Program allow for supportive interactions and guidance from teachers. Every day, the classrooms are prepared with a variety of activities in all of our interest areas, such as block-building, dramatic play, writing center, science table, and art corner. As the children explore and develop their own interests, our dedicated teachers introduce concepts related to literacy, science, and mathematics. Through interactions with their mixed-age peers, and with the support of teachers, children grow socially and emotionally in an atmosphere that fosters a passion for learning.

An important piece of our curriculum is turning children's literature and poetry into movement, music, and art experiences. Creative dance classes for preschoolers with live accompaniment in our professional dance space and daily music time for all children are included in the curriculum.

We have a community culture, and parents are a particularly important part of the large family we create every year. Parents are welcome to participate in classroom activities and family events during the year.

Uniquely situated within the main facility of Neighborhood Music School, Preschool and Toddler children are exposed to all the resources of NMS and its community, including dance and music performances, as well as community events.

Our Philosophy

Our dedicated teachers create an environment that supports and respects each child’s individual development. Through age-appropriate activities, children learn to embrace art, music, dance, and storytelling as important parts of their worlds and a means of individual expression. Encouraged to ask questions, to find answers, and to express their feelings, children safely explore the world around them.

Our Goals

  • Provide a setting in which young children can learn to become members of a group, as well as to develop an awareness of themselves as unique individuals
  • Offer a variety of learning experiences that develop a child’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm for all areas of learning
  • Create a foundation for future involvement in music, dance, drama, and art
  • Provide parents with opportunities to interact and learn with their children through music and community-related activities

Our Staff

Please visit Preschool Staff to meet our gifted group of early childhood educators.


Families interested in applying to the Preschool and Toddler Program are invited to schedule a conversation with the Program Director, Christine Missakian.

Please click here to submit your inquiry. We also encourage you to visit our page for prospective families.