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Early Childhood

Early Childhood

SmartSheet benefits

Smart Start

SFCM is excited to partner with The Royal Conservatory to offer Smart Start in January! Smart Start is an Early Childhood Music Education curriculum designed to awaken a curiosity for music in young children. This group curriculum was developed by The Royal Conservatory, in collaboration with neuroscientists, and accomplished music educators. Smart Start was developed with science-backed research to deliver the rich, developmental benefits, to all children, in their earliest possible stages of learning. With each child’s developmental stage in mind, the Smart Start curriculum consists of weekly classes, delivered by specially trained music teachers. Lessons are filled with fun and engaging activities that guide the child through foundational music principles fostering cognitive development. Smart Start empowers every child and their family to experience the wonder of learning music, while benefiting from the advantages of early cognitive education. In January, we will be hosting classes for children ages 1-3. Classes are 45 minutes in length and are held weekly. Registration for Smart Start is open now!

Cost per Semester

Tuition $595
Registration fee $25
Materials fee* $30

*This fee includes classroom materials and access to Smart Start digital resources

Age Detail

Smart Start is organized by birth year to allow us to plan appropriately for the learning needs and experience level of the children. Students are registered by age as of December 31.

Class Descriptions

Expand your child's musical skills through movement, and further develop cognitive skills in fun and engaging ways.

The positive atmosphere of this class helps foster lifelong connections with music, builds strong parent-child emotional bonds, and develops the foundation for basic cognitive skills including attention, memory, perception, and cognitive flexibility. Through Smart Start’s neuroscience-based curriculum, you and your child will learn about the fundamentals of music by moving your bodies, singing, and playing. In every class session, you will learn multicultural songs and games with particular attention paid to beat, rhythm, and listening skills. You’ll also receive access to the parent portal which includes downloadable activities to try at home, curated articles and content on childhood development, and updates on your child’s growth throughout the course.

A care provider accompanies their child for all classes for this course.
Students are registered by age as of December 31.

Develop your child's musical abilities through more independent activities and expand cognitive skills through creativity and self-awareness.

Set your child on the right path by engaging them in multicultural music, movement-based play, and neuroscience-based learning. This class focuses on cognitive skills relevant to music, such as sustaining attention, remembering songs, and recognizing perceptual cues as well as developing gross motor function in toddlers by encouraging them to move their bodies in time to
sounds and music. Children will also practice listening and singing, playing simple instruments like maracas and drums, and taking turns, leading to musical competence, confidence, a sense of belonging, and increased social skills. You and your child will participate actively in the class, while you support the development of your child's musical creativity and build further skills for
musical interaction together. You’ll also receive access to the parent portal which includes downloadable activities to try at home, curated articles and content on childhood development, and updates on your child’s growth throughout the course.

A care provider accompanies their child for all classes for this course.
Students are registered by age as of December 31.

Singing, dancing, playing games - children adore this active, play-based learning

This neuroscience-based class supports the growth of your child’s cognitive skills through activities such as recognizing musical patterns, focusing on the most important aspects of music, and understanding connections across artistic representations. Your child will learn foundational musical skills such as tempo, meter, pitch, and volume, and play a wider variety of percussion instruments. They’ll also play with picture-based pre-notation and collaborate in musical activities with other children designed to foster basic musical knowledge and encourage individual and group creativity. You’ll also receive access to the parent portal which includes downloadable activities to try at home, curated articles and content on childhood development, and updates on your child’s growth throughout the course.

A care provider accompanies each child in Smart Start (3 Years) for the first few sessions only.  Students are registered by age as of December 31.

Young children play with bells in a semi-circle

Comprehensive Early Childhood Program

Applications to the comprehensive Early Childhood program for the 2023-2024 academic year are now closed. Applications for the 2024-2025 academic year will open next spring.

We provide developmentally appropriate music instruction through Group Dalcroze Eurhythmics Classes and our Comprehensive Early Childhood Program geared toward all young learners.

Comprehensive Early Childhood Program
Dalcroze Eurythmics Group Classes


Open to students between the ages of 4-7 years of age as of September 1. No prior musical experience necessary, however the child must demonstrate a curiosity for and interest in learning a musical instrument.

Enrollment in the Early Childhood Program does not guarantee placement in the Young Persons Program or Comprehensive Program. Students interested in the Young Persons Program or Comprehensive Program must successfully complete an admission audition.


Admission to the Early Childhood Program is by application and interview only as there are limited openings available each year. Due to the number of applicants, families will be selected to interview based on their application. 

February 1 Application Opens
May 1 Application Deadline
May 14 - May 21 Interviews Conducted with Prospective Students & Families (financial aid form due)
Mid-June Admission Decisions Released


Davis Law, violin
Corina Santos, violin
Sima Kouyoumdjian, piano
Luba Kravchenko, piano
Yi-Fang Wu, piano
Scott Cmiel, guitar
Scott Gossage, guitar
Yoriko Richman, Dalcroze Eurhythmics
Kayla Wilfong, choral ensemble


The Early Childhood Program provides developmentally appropriate training for children to establish a strong foundation in performance skills and music literacy. The core curriculum consists of weekly private lessons and group class instruction, as well as parent education sessions. Classes occur on Saturdays over 30 weeks each academic year.

The curriculum has been carefully curated to ensure that students are supported and guided in their first steps as musicians.


a guitar teacher teaching a private lesson

Weekly Private Lesson

Students will receive weekly lessons with Early Childhood faculty covering all aspects of the instrument: musical technique, expression, repertoire, etc. These lessons will be 30-45 minutes depending on what is best for the student as decided by the faculty.

Early Childhood eurythmics class

Weekly Group Class

Group instruction is a vital part of the Early Childhood Program curriculum. Students learn in a social atmosphere that prioritizes listening, working with others, playing together and working on the basic building blocks of ensemble at an early age.

a young violinist performing

Performance Opportunities

Students will have the opportunity to perform for their family members and the Pre-College community throughout the academic year. These performances will vary from more formal presentations to smaller, more casual events.

a parent walking their child into school

Parent Sessions

Parental involvement is vital to a child’s success in learning an instrument. Parents will need to develop tools that they can use to support their child’s learning at home, and to best equip parents with these tools, SFCM provides parent sessions both before and during their child’s study. These sessions will teach the philosophy and methodology behind our Early Childhood Program and provide specific training and tools to use while supporting their child’s musical studies.


  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Violin


Annual base tuition for the Early Childhood Program is $4,450. A non-refundable registration fee of $50 is charged annually for all enrolled students. Families may choose to pay tuition through a payment plan.

Base tuition* $4,450 (2023-2024)
Registration fee $50/annually
Materials fee $35 (2022-23)
Library and student badge deposit $50 (one-time only)

*Select faculty members require a supplemental tuition fee. Please contact the Pre-College office for more information.

Financial aid is awarded based on the joint criteria of demonstrated financial need and merit. 

Dalcroze Eurhythmics Group Classes

By tapping into the natural desire for movement that all children possess, Eurhythmics imparts a thorough sense and feel for music and an understanding of its written language. The study of music through movement cultivates inner hearing and gives children an intuitive understanding of musical elements, such as pulse, meter, rhythm, phrasing, and form.

Dalcroze Eurhythmics Group Classes are 45 minutes in length and are held weekly throughout the academic year on Saturday mornings. Students with no prior musical experience are encouraged to join! Dalcroze classes are available for students ages 4 to 9.

Registration for Dalcroze Eurhythmics Group Classes opens each summer.


Tuition $1,300

Registration fee



Yoriko Richman B.A., Musashino Academia Musicae, Tokyo; Dalcroze Teacher's License, Dalcroze School of Music, New York; Berklee College of Music, Boston; Postgraduate Diplome, Institut Jaques-Dalcroze, Geneva; former faculty, Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division and Showa Academia Musicae, Yokohama, Japan; collegiate faculty, San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

"I create young musicians (using movement, percussion, xylophone and piano) who begin with learning rhythm based on the Dalcroze Method, then continue from this strong start into ear training, theory, solfege and beyond, with the ability to feel the music."



Get In Touch

keelin davis headshot

Keelin Davis

Program Manager
Pre-College at SFCM

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