Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts

Never too early for the arts

The way we engage children in the first years of their lives has a profound impact on future learning and success.

Imagine the challenge for
teachers, whose mandate is to make sure children develop a daunting array of academic and social skills during this short window of time. They need to be highly creative in the classroom—and they deserve the best tools possible. Arts-integrated tools fall under the category of “best tools possible.” There is a wealth of research showing the efficacy of using the performing arts to engage children early and improve the way they learn.

But these resources are frequently unavailable or under-utilized. Especially in economically disadvantaged areas, where children need the most support. The mission of Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts is to address this challenge in classrooms nationwide.

Each year, the program benefits more than 50,000 thousand children from infancy to kindergarten age, along with their teachers and families.

Wolf Trap's Approach

Train Teachers

Train Teachers

Through classroom residencies and workshops, Wolf Trap teaching artists train teachers to use performing arts techniques to enhance instructional practice and achieve curriculum goals set for young children. The focus is on essential areas such as math, language arts, performing arts fundamentals, critical thinking, and collaboration.

Learn more
Engage Children

Engage Children

Teachers use the arts to tap into children’s innate desire for active, multisensory learning. Children ages infancy to kindergarten literally embody cognitive, physical, and social skills when—through singing, dancing, storytelling, and role-playing—their imaginations are engaged.

Learn more
Measure Impact

Measure Impact

Wolf Trap Institute strategies directly support curriculum goals for early childhood education. Research shows a significant increase in math, literacy, and basic life skills among children who have participated in a classroom residency.

Learn more
Build National Network

Build National Network

Through its nationwide network of affiliates and partners, the Wolf Trap Institute has created a vibrant community of practice. Together we are ensuring that proven arts-integrated teaching methods become integral to early childhood education.

Learn more