Music Infants (3-8 months)
#1S | Tuesdays | 12:00-12:45 pm | Adult/Child
#2S | Thursdays | 12:00-12:45 pm | Adult/Child

Sing Your Infant a Lullaby (3-8 months)
#3S | Wednesdays | 9:00-9:45 am | Adult/Child

Music Toddlers (17-20 months)
#17 | Thursdays | 10:00-10:45 am | Adult/Child

Meet the Instrument (2.7-4 years)
#46 | Thursdays 2:45-3:30 pm | Child Only

Please contact Dorothy Appleton, Head of Early Childhood Admissions,
at or 212-369-1484, ext. 43 for additional information.



Diller-Quaile’s 2017-2018 Catalog and A Guide to Your Child’s Diller-Quaile Education, which provide overviews of the School’s diverse offerings, are now available. If you would like to receive hard copies of these documents, please email


Tuesday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 6 at 8:00 a.m.
Friday, May 5 at 1:00 p.m.

At these sessions (adults only) you will have an opportunity to meet faculty, visit classrooms, and learn more about Diller-Quaile programs for children and adults. Attendance at an Information Session is suggested (not required) for Early Childhood applicant families. We look forward to meeting you and hope that you will join us in 2017-2018. There is no need to RSVP.


Prospective parents may apply online for the 2017-2018 school year or download a writable PDF application and arrange for payment of the $60.00 application fee. Applications are considered on a first come, first served basis.  Preference is given to returning students and siblings who apply early. The first round of Early Childhood enrollment contracts are mailed mid-March, followed by continuing admissions for both new and returning students.

See the Admissions Tab for additional information about the admissions process including answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). For more information on Early Childhood classes, or to check on availability before applying, please contact Dorothy Appleton, Head of Early Childhood Admissions, at 212-369-1484, ext. 43 or email

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Beginning the journey of music-making…


The Early Childhood Program—instituted in the early 1960s—offers an extensive selection of courses for introducing small groups of young children and their families to the joys of music and art. By engaging in developmentally appropriate group music experiences (listening, singing, moving, playing percussion instruments, responding to, and creating music), students build the foundation for a comprehensive music education and the tools to express themselves artistically. Key to the Diller-Quaile approach is the collaboration among teachers and students, which creates a unique child-centered musical environment within each class session.

Diller-Quaile’s curriculum, emanating from our years of experience, and incorporating the pedagogies of Angela Diller, Elizabeth Quaile, Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, Zoltán Kodály, Carl Orff, Shinichi Suzuki, Maria Montessori, and Edwin Gordon, is taught through a repertoire of international folk songs as well as classical, modern, popular, and original music. Early Childhood classes feature pianists who improvise accompaniments in a variety of styles in response to the children’s singing and movement, thereby fostering a musically creative environment.

Diller-Quaile’s highly trained and dedicated faculty is further supported by the School’s Early Childhood Development Consultant, Dr. Elaine Heffner. Dr. Heffner works closely with the Early Childhood faculty and is available for periodic class observations and parent consultations throughout the school year. Additionally, the Department presents evening discussions on child development. Many other school-wide events for families are scheduled throughout the year, and year-end student reports provide an overview of each child’s artistic development and classroom experiences.

2017-2018 Early Childhood Program

EC Preschool ClassThe Early Childhood Program offers group classes for children from three months to five years of age.

Individual instrument instruction for children four years of age and up, and musicianship classes for children in first grade and up, are offered through the Instrumental and Vocal Department.

A child’s age as of September 1, 2017 is used for placement purposes.

Early Childhood classes are conducted in the following formats:

ADULT/CHILD: Children attend with a parent, grandparent, or other adult.
CHILD ONLY: Children attend unaccompanied.

All classes meet for a 30 week academic year except Music Infants (3-8 months), which meets for 15 week fall or spring semesters.

2017-2018 Early Childhood Classes
(ages are as of September 1, 2017)

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View and download a PDF Application Form.