Schedule a Free Introductory Class!

Schedule a free introductory class anytime


The Academy of Art of Highland Park (AAHP) was born out of a long, time-honored tradition of studio apprenticeship, where the practitioner learns closely from the instructor all of the skills and sensibilities one needs to study their craft as artist. For over 20 years, the AAHP, located in central New Jersey, USA, delivered this unique and invaluable experience to countless practitioners, many of whom travelled great distances to train with our highly professional staff.

We are so excited to now be able to offer this amazing opportunity to young practitioners from all around the world with Da Vinci’s Toolbox (DVT)!

Before your youngster can subscribe to DVT, they will enjoy an absolutely free, and absolutely incredible, introductory class with the Program Director and Chief Instructor, Aaron S. Balavram.   

Who is eligible for a free introductory class?

If your youngster is between the ages of 7 and 12, and has not already participated in any AAHP online or in-person programming, they are eligible to apply for a free 1.5 hour introductory small group class with the Chief Instructor!

If your youngster is between the ages of 13 and 17, we highly recommend you visit our pedagogical associates at Big Blue Sky Creatives (BBSC), and apply to one of their many amazing programs for extraordinary teens.

We warmly welcome your youngster’s siblings and other child family members to try a free class as well. Simply submit one application form per youngster.

Our curriculum and pedagogy require that the young practitioner can demonstrate:

  • a reasonable level of emotional well-being
  • agepr-approiate command of these top 10 learning skills 
  • experience with online learning

The youngster who does not possess these skills and sensibilities is likely to experience difficulties and disappointment. Regretfully, AAHP Online at this time does not have remedial programming or tools. 

Needing Programming for Other Family Members?

The AAHP live studio remains closed during the pandemic; The AAHP does not currently offer online programming for children under eight years old, or for adults ages 18 and above. If  this age restriction affects you or your youngster, we do invite you to join the AAHP’s no-share-no-sell mailing list, so that you can be notified if and when programming for these age groups does become available.

When can my youngster enjoy the free introductory class?

Free introductory classes are not given during regular online class hours. They are special appointments made on a first-come, first-served basis. These classes must be scheduled in advance with Aaron S. Balavram, the Director, who will contact you to set up your appointment once your Free Introductory Class Application has been processed.

Free Class Dates and Times

These free introductory classes are held on the second Sunday of every month. In order to be placed in the current month’s free introductory class, you must submit the application no later than the 10th of the month. Any applications submitted after the 10th will be for the following month’s free introductory class.  See the DVT schedule page for specific dates.

Free introductory classes are held at 7:00 p.m. on those specified dates, and run for a duration of 1.5 hours. The class will be followed by a sit-down with parents and Aaron S. Balavram, the Director and Chief Instructor, to review the class and answer any questions, which will run for one additional half-hour. This sit-down with the Director/Chief Instructor is also free of charge.

Important: Before you continue to apply for your youngster’s free introductory class, please confirm current class slot availability on the DVT Schedule Page.

If there are no regular weekly seats currently available, you can use the Free Introductory Class Application to request to be placed on a short wait list, and then will be contacted if and when a seat does indeed become available. 

How should my youngster prepare for the free introductory class?

To participate in DVT’s free introductory class, your youngster will need a safe warm and supervised workspace, as well as certain technologies.  For their drawing supplies, they can temporarily use a set of household materials.

Please note that if you do indeed subscribe your youngster for DVT after the free introductory class has been completed, there will be additional tools and materials that they will need to acquire. You will receive this supplies list after completion of the free introductory class.

Tools and Materials Needed for Free Introductory Class: 

  • 2B graphite pencil (drawing pencils are best, but your average #2 school pencil will do just fine)
  • a white eraser (not attached to the pencil)
  • a drafting brush (this can be substituted with a clean and unused feather duster, or even a clean white sock)
  • a clean rag (roughly the size of a washcloth)
  • a small stack of clean white printer paper (about five sheets) 
  • one piece of smooth (non-corrugated) cardboard that is at least the size of the printer paper

Supporting Technologies and Capabilities:

Please know that at AAHP Online, your youngster’s online and mobile safety and security is our number one concern. Please read our online security and safety protocols.  

  • a computer or tablet with webcam capabilities 
  • a stable internet connection that supports live video conferencing, specifically through Zoom
  • a mobile phone nearby with a working camera
  • a safe, quiet workspace with ample room and controlled, direct lighting.

Please review our Technical Guidance for Remote Learning at Home for detailed descriptions and further information.

To apply for a free introductory class, click the button below.

Privacy and Online Safety & Security Notice to Minors. Please read.

If you are under the legal age in the country where you live, and/or at the actual place or virtual space wherever you use the Internet, you CANNOT submit to AAHP Online information about yourself, or anyone else, without written consent of your legal guardian. In addition, you cannot reach AAHP Online by using any channel or means that ignore legal age where you live and/or operate online. Failure to follow all rules at AAHP Online may lead you to face disciplinary action, which may include summary dismissal from AAHP Online. Please work with us to safeguard everyone’s privacy and personhood. This is a huge part of the ethics of being a Studio Practitioner in AAHP Online. Please read and discuss with your legal guardian all privacy and online safety and security rules, listed in the AAHP Online’s Terms of Use. These rules are also found in the AAHP Online’s User’s Manual. The Manual is issued to you if and when your legal guardian initiates your monthly subscription. Thank you for being awesome!