Early Childhood Enrichment

The Early Childhood Enrichment course curriculum at New Music School aims to provide a positive and dynamic environment to nurture life-long passion for music. The goals of the curriculum include cultivating pitch-related skills (“fixed do” solfege, color associations, note names), non-pitched skills (counting, tapping, reacting to tempo), as well as performance etiquette and music appreciation.

By completion of the Early Childhood program, at 4-5 years old, each child will have an idea of which instrument he or she would like to study and will be recommended for private lesson instruction to further nurture a love and dedication to music-making.

Parental guardians or caretakers are recommended to be present for the class. 


Tuning Tots - 16-24months

The aim of 16-24 month-olds Tuning Tots is to develop a foundation for fun, playful, exploratory music education! While nurturing confidence, independence and curiosity through positive encouragement, the class lays the groundwork for pitched (singing and listening through “fixed do” solfege, color associations to each note: “Do”-Blue, “Re”-Yellow, “Mi”-Red, “Fa”-Green, “So”-Purple, “La”-Orange, “Ti”-Brown) and non-pitched (counting and tapping) musicianship skills, as well as general music appreciation for composers, musical genres and basic musical concepts and their corresponding terms.

Course Curriculum

  • Free exploration (pitched and non-pitched instruments)

  • Non-pitched skills: rhythm (counting up to 2, 3)

  • Pitched skills: solfege on “fixed do” (assigning colors and solfege to each pitch)

  • General skills: dynamics (dynamics, forte vs. piano)

  • Listening sessions (building a basic familiarity with jazz and classical composers)

Primary Learning Objectives

  • Develop awareness of surroundings

  • Nurture a healthy curiosity for sound

  • Learn how to function within a community

  • Develop basic musicianship skills

  • Develop an appreciation for jazz and classical music


Early Childhood Photo.jpg

Twinkle Toes - 2 year olds

Twinkle Toes gives children a fun and dynamic environment to further develop a love of music and music-making. The class will begin to develop specific musical skills (active counting, active listening, responding and playing with others) general skills (performance etiquette: bowing, clapping), that will help the child transition into formal music instruction in the future.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction to Performance etiquette (clapping and bowing)

  • Non-pitched skills: rhythm (counting up to 2, 3, and 4 using gravity as a “conductor”)

  • Pitched skills: solfege (assigning colors, solfege and note names to each pitch)

  • General skills: dynamics (dynamics, forte vs. piano, and crescendo/decrescendo)

  • Active listening sessions (building interactive relationship with jazz and classical music)

Primary Learning Objectives

  • Develop a healthy curiosity for sound

  • Learn how to make intentional sound by responding and playing with others

  • Hone basic musicianship skills


THUMPER BUMPER - 3&4 year olds

The 3-4 year Tuning Tots course is intended as primer level course for private instrumental instruction. The children are encouraged to spend more time on the instrument(s) they have a natural preference for. Honing in on an instrument or instruments of choice, each student will develop more advanced skills, such as performing for the class, following a conductor, finding pitches through solfege and note names, and developing a general knowledge of scales and dynamics).

Course Curriculum

  • Choosing a favorite instrument (piano, violin, cello, guitar, drums or other)

  • Honing Performance etiquette (clapping and bowing, live performances)

  • Non-pitched skills: rhythm (counting up to 2, 3, 4 and 6, following a conducting patterns).

  • Non-pitched skills: tempo (different speeds, from Lento, Andante, Allegro, Vivace).

  • Pitched skills: solfege on “fixed do” (solfege and note names)

  • Pitched skills: singing (through sing alongs and games)

  • General skills: scales (C major, G major and F major scales)

  • General skills: dynamics (dynamics, forte vs. piano, and crescendo/decrescendo)

Primary Learning Objectives

  • Develop a keen interest in an instrument of choice

  • Learn basic performance etiquette both as performer and audience

  • Develop basic musicianship skills

  • Develop an understanding of basic music theory

Young Yoshi.jpg

4-5 yrs.

At 4 or 5 years old, depending on evaluated factors (attention, discipline and enthusiasm) on a child-by-child basis, the child will be recommended to transition out of Tuning Tots and into private instruction, or stay in Thumper Bumper. By age 6, all students are recommended for private instruction.




Shi-an (Andy) Costello is a seasoned music teacher having 16 years of teaching experience as a private lesson instructor in piano, composition, music theory and ear training. He has studied under Dr. Vladimir Leyetchkiss at DePaul for his graduate degree, under Dr. Better Coulson at Columbia College for pedagogy, and is Dalcroze Eurythmics trained.  

"My teaching philosophy is a complex convergence of opinions and schools of thought that, ultimately, can be embodied rather succinctly: Music is not easy. There is no easy fix for anything – there is no short cut to the finish line.  Each musician is unique, and must find equally unique solutions for him or herself. My work as a pedagogue aims to equip my students with a passion for autonomous problem-solving, so that my students’ personal challenges and solutions can guide them long after I am gone. The key to learning the piano is sobering self-assessment, followed by driven, focused work, fueled by inspired, creative thinking, and resulting in overwhelming joy and wonder.  Virtually everything I impart to a student, from technique to expressivity, from fundamental musicianship to artistic philosophy, is a variation on this underlying notion.” -AC