The Crowden School is a day school for children in grades four through eight. We combine an intellectually engaging academic curriculum with a distinguished music program for students of strings and piano.
The first of its kind in the nation, The Crowden School remains a place unlike any other. Founded by violinist Anne Crowden in 1983, the school provides an environment for musically interested children. Although characterized by our distinctive musical program, our Primary Goal is to give the children a first-class education in balance with their musical needs. We like to say that we produce "virtuoso children," not virtuoso musicians.
The music program includes technique classes, chamber music coaching in small and large ensembles, music history and theory--all designed help each child find his or her unique, musical voice. Chamber music forms the heart of the music program. Ensemble work develops the ability to concentrate, to cooperate, and to accept responsibility for one's own part of the artistic process. Through coaching, rehearsal and performance, students form an enduring bond with their peers within this very special community.
Students may enter the fourth and fifth grades as beginners. However, piano and composition students must be more advanced to be admitted to the program. String students entering the upper grades should have some musical experience. At every level, the music faculty works with the student's private music teacher to ensure that the Crowden program complements and enhances the student's private study. The Crowden program supports both the exceptionally gifted young musician and the student with a more general interest in music.
The academic program at Crowden is designed to help students achieve intellectual and emotional maturity through the development of analytical and critical thinking. Alumni of the school emerge as well-rounded individuals ready to meet the artistic and intellectual challenges of the high school years. They excel in all major private and public college preparatory high schools.
"Crowden graduates attending CPS have contributed greatly to both our academic and music program. They have brought with them intellectual curiosity and artistic talent and passion."
— Lucia Heldt, Administrator,
The College Preparatory School
Music is an art form that requires both intelligence and commitment. At an early age, young musicians are ready to study music as a full academic subject. We believe that training for young musicians must start early. This should be part of the child's general education, not set apart from it. A period of time is set aside for the students to practice their chosen instrument, and many opportunities are found for them to perform.
The purpose of The Crowden School is to provide early training and the requisite social environment for the education of young musicians. The school serves the developmental stages at which study should begin if a student is to reach his or her potential, and in certain cases, reach the highest levels of the profession. For those with a more general musical ability, not wishing to enter the music profession, the school provides a full education with the enrichment of a shared creative interest.
Our philosophy of education is that all aspects of a child's development should be encouraged, from play-acting, sports, and art, to getting along with others and creating self-discipline. The most remarkable aspect of our school, besides the obvious musical prowess of its students, is the friendship and support that develops among these young musicians, a friendship that endures long after they leave our school. What we have seen emerge over the past twenty years are well-rounded, remarkable individuals who have gone on to be successful in and out of a life of music.
"To say that The Crowden School is a treasure may sound like an exaggeration, but in fact this extraordinary school has no peer in American musical education."
— John Adams, Composer