Award-winning music lessons, ensembles, and group classes for aspiring musicians of all ages and skill levels — children, teens, and adults.
Morning & Full-Day Preschool programs with a full, child-centered curriculum of creative specials like music, science, drama, social and emotional learning, and more!
Established in 1966, our pioneering Center for Music Therapy (CMT) uses guided music experiences to help individuals meet life's challenges.
BOP STOP at The Music Settlement is Cleveland's premier listening room: an intimate, acoustically pristine performance venue with sweeping views of Lake Erie.
Browse answers to the questions that families ask us most often. If you can't find what you're looking for, contact us. We're here to help!
What is your policy on vaccinations?
More information about The Music Settlement's response to COVID-19, as well as policies and procedures for the Center for Early Childhood, can be found on our Coronavirus page.
What is the mission/vision of The Music Settlement?
Our Mission: To welcome all to our music and arts community to learn, create, inspire and heal.
Our Vision: To unlock the potential in everyone.
What makes your school unique?
Center for Early Childhood at The Music Settlement, founded in 1955, developed with the idea of providing a quality preschool experience with a commitment to creative arts and individual development.
Children involved in our programs participate in regularly scheduled Specials of music, science, drama, SEL literacy courses, in addition to classroom learning. All developed in a process based approach. Dalcroze-inspired classes, which introduce children to musical concepts and theory through a variety of movement activities. Pre-Kindergarten students are also involved in additional experiences which encourages music composition and provides ensemble experience through the playing of pitched and unpitched percussive instruments. Drama is another creative component that classes experience. Children participate in weekly drama classes, where they have an opportunity to discover their creative potential using elements of storytelling and movement. In class they explore self-expression through familiar tales and original works. Another unique feature of our school is the Science program. In addition to the science experiences, which occur daily in the classroom learning center, children are provided the opportunity to explore science concepts in a dedicated Science Room (Discovery Room).
The focus on the individual, the engagement of the family, and the play based creative arts curriculum all make TMS unique. Our Center for Early Childhood is enhanced by our accessibility to the University Circle, Ohio City and the Cleveland community, as well as by the strong involvement of our parents. Visit us to see our programs in action!
Is my child required to be toilet-trained?
YES, for all Early Childhood education programs children are required to have toilet mastery. This includes dressing and undressing as well as all aspects of toileting. We believe that successful mastery of this self-care skill allows children to be more able to connect with the group.
What makes up a typical day?
Half and Full day options are available. A typical day is made up of the following components: classroom activity/learning centers, group and story times, Specials, snack and gross motor play. Each classroom’s routines vary due to the times they are scheduled for Specials.
What are TMS student/teacher ratios?
Below is the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) licensing ratio guidelines. The Music Settlement exceeds these guidelines, and adheres to those set by Step Up to Quality and maintains lower classroom ratios.
*TMS is currently operating with conservative ratios that meet pandemic guidelines. It is not known how 2021-22 ratios will expand. They will not exceed guidelines set by ODJFS and SUTQ.
What is the general education background of your staff? What is the turnover rate?
Our teaching staff meet educational standards as established by ODJFS and align to accreditation guidelines of Step Up to Quality and Universal Pre-Kindergarten, with a majority of staff holding a Bachelor's or Master's degree in Education or related fields. As per state licensing requirements, our staff is also trained in First Aid, CPR, Child Abuse Recognition, and Communicable Disease Prevention. Staff annually attend professional development trainings and workshops, observe other early childhood programs, and access our professional library. Staff turnover is very low; the average tenure of our dedicated staff is 8 years.
Are there any other expenses during the year other than tuition?
The registration fee and deposit are the initial payments to secure your enrollment. Tuition is billed monthly, in equal amounts throughout the school year. There are no additional school expenses. There is a one-time Activity Fee assessed by the Parent Committee. The activity fee pays for a variety of classroom enrichment aspects, such as allowances for classrooms and specialists, field trips (for PreK & K), school pictures, health screenings, Guest artists and performances.
What about discipline?
TMS’s philosophy regarding discipline is one of guidance. Part of the early childhood school experience is to help children understand what behaviors and activities are appropriate and acceptable. This is done by communicating feelings, problem solving and encouraging cooperation. Redirection to another activity for a short time or a one-on-one activity with a teacher may be used when a child experiences difficulty during play or transitions. Teachers and parents work together to resolve problems and support each child. We use Conscious Discipline as our guidance style in the classrooms. TMS partners with community resources to provide additional assistance, as necessary.
What is your policy on separation?
Each child is an individual and, depending on your child’s and your family’s needs, we address each transition individually. Separation sequence gradually begins each year. We feel it is very important and fundamental that you and your child feel comfortable and secure in making the transition from home to school.
Diversity/equity experiences for children?
TMS Early Childhood is proud of the diverse backgrounds of the children and families engaged in our programs. It is in keeping with our educational goals to involve all children to explore diversity through discussion, dance, music, stories, cooking, art, etc. We also invite and encourage parent participation in our school community.
How can I be involved in my child's experience?
The Music Settlement recognizes that the parent/guardian is the child's most important caregiver. The parent/teacher relationship should be that of a cooperative partnership working for the fullest benefit of the child. Parents are encouraged to be active in their child's experience through regular communication, social functions, classroom engagement event if virtual. We believe our parent’s involvement to be one of the strengths of our school and welcome you to join us.
What accreditations does the school maintain?
Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) is a voluntary rating system for early care and education centers in Ohio. SUTQ was created by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services - Bureau of Child Care and Development to improve the quality of child care in Ohio. Participating centers earn a one to five-star rating by meeting an extensive list of quality benchmarks that exceed licensing standards. Experts say these benchmarks improve the growth and development potential of children. These benchmarks include low child-to-staff ratios, group size, accreditation, staff education, specialized training, improved workplace characteristics and early learning standards. SUTQ assists parents in making more informed choices on behalf of their children in center-based programs licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Visit www.stepuptoqualtiy.org
Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK), unique to Cuyahoga County, was initiated in 2007, and makes high quality early care and education more affordable for families. All UPK sites licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) must be enrolled in Step Up To Quality and meet a series of standards, proven through vast research to be the hallmarks of quality that result in improved school readiness. These standards include teacher qualifications, formal assessment, lower staff to child ratios, use of approved curricula, engagement of families, and family linkages to necessary supportive services. Visit https://investinchildren.cuyahogacounty.us
PRE4CLE, PRE4CLE is Cleveland’s plan to expand access to high-quality preschool in community-based and school-based Pre - Kindergarten programs for Cleveland families who are seeking an excellent preschool experience for their children. PRE4CLE’s success will fulfill a key goal of the Cleveland Plan, a plan to ensure that every child in Cleveland attends a high-quality school and that every neighborhood has a multitude of great schools from which families can choose. PRE4CLE embraces the vision that every child in Cleveland will enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school. Visit http://pre4cle.org
What summer camps do you offer?
We have summer camps for students of all ages! Click here for more information about our summer camps at The Music Settlement.
As a former teacher in Early Childhood at CMSS (Cleveland Music School Settlement), I am grateful for the curriculum CMSS provides and the leadership of Sylvia Easley for so many years.