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Classical (Suzuki)

What is the Classical Program?

The Classical Program develops well-rounded, highly-skilled musicians by upholding careful performance standards for instrumental study and by providing thorough music literacy training. The Classical Program is the most sequential and comprehensive program at CYM. It provides an excellent background for further study in Jazz or Modern music. Instruments taught include piano, guitar, violin, viola, cello and voice with technical proficiency standards appropriate for music conservatory preparation. Music literacy study using nationally-recognized pedagogical sources rounds out the development of the whole musician.

A CYM Classical student participates in a Group Class and Technique Class each week. The Group Class teaches listening and collaborative skills and provides music theory instruction. Students learn to support one another and to enjoy making music together. A gentle, cooperative approach to motivation effectively propels students to steady achievement. The Technique Class, usually conducted as a private lesson, provides personalized instruction on the student’s instrument.

The Suzuki Method underlies CYM’s Classical instruction. It relies on a sequential series of pieces which is consistent throughout the world, affording students the advantages of a shared repertoire and experience. A unique attribute, studying the same literature and philosophy, allows CYM’s Classical students to easily create music together at Suzuki summer institutes held across the globe.

The students’ performance skills will likely grow so quickly that they outpace the student's music comprehension and reading skills. Our faculty is attentive to cognitive musical development, and sensitive to the process in which these skills catch up to the student's physical prowess. Motivated students become advanced performers at a very early age and excellent readers soon afterward.

Your commitment:
This program meets weekly for eleven months of the year with breaks at holidays, and comprises:

  • A weekly 50-minute Group Class with two primary objectives, first, to practice instrumental basics and shared repertoire and second, to develop music literacy skills in a playful atmosphere. Instrumental group practice emphasizes repertoire review, proper technique and small ensemble playing. Music literacy work builds upon a sequential, CYM-developed curriculum to build the students’ ability to sing, hear, read and write music.
  • A weekly 30, 45, or 60 minute Technique Class on the student’s chosen instrument— piano, violin, viola, cello, guitar, and voice.

Who teaches my child's class and lesson?

CYM’s highly trained faculty teaches both Group Class and Technique Class. You may read more about our faculty here.

Why a group class & a private lesson?

A group and private lesson work in tandem so that music literacy and comprehension are given due diligence in the motivating atmosphere of a peer group, giving the student freedom to move at their own pace in learning the technique of their chosen instrument in a focused one-on-one teaching session. This provides a varied and well-rounded approach to learning that can be tailored to each student’s individual needs

Group Class: Proper technique on the instrument, and review of the repertoire is best handled in an enjoyable and supportive classroom environment. An added benefit is that CYM students join a peer group at their developmental level with whom to share a long-term commitment to music-making.

Private Lesson: Students may also choose to study an instrument in a private lesson. The purpose of a private lesson is to discover a students’ unique “voice” through instrumental expression. Combining the technical skills needed to play an instrument or sing while developing a student’s musicality through performance is a challenging and exciting journey. Focused time spent with CYM instructors is necessary to achieving this goal.

When do we register for this program?

  • CYM allows open enrollment year round.
  • Entry into group classes is highly encouraged at the start of each school year in September, or mid-year in January; however, integration at different points during the year can be achieved successfully. Parents work with our admissions staff to find the right fit for the student.
  • Entry into a private lesson is encouraged year-round. This may mean that a student would join CYM’s Solo Studies Program until reaching an appropriate entry point into group class. Parents work with our admissions staff to find the right fit for the student.

How do we register for this program?

  • Current class availability by CYM school location is found on page 2 of the enrollment form.
  • Online Trial Registration is located here. Link to 4 Week Trial
  • After submitting a completed online registration, a member of our admissions team will contact you to confirm your child’s schedule and supply welcome materials and a class reservation form.

The Classical Program, with the group class in conjunction with a private lesson, is the ideal foundation for a thorough and balanced education for CYM’s instrumental and vocal students in CYM’s. However, the Solo Studies Program, with a weekly private lesson, is also available for students who require an individualized structure

Click here for more information about the Solo Studies program.

FAQs about the Classical program

It is fantastic that you are eager and enthusiastic about your child’s musical studies! It is especially great to see young children showing a natural inclination toward music and the support of their caregivers in nurturing that spark. Families at CYM need guidance in choosing the right path, pace, and overall fit for their child’s musical journey. Here are a few FAQ’s for those interested in their child’s early beginning...

What is my commitment?

This program meets weekly for eleven months of the year with breaks at holidays, and comprises:
  1. A weekly 50-minute Group Class with two primary objectives, first, to practice instrumental basics and shared repertoire and second, to develop music literacy skills in a playful atmosphere. Instrumental group practice emphasizes repertoire review, proper technique and small ensemble playing. Music literacy work builds upon a sequential, CYM-developed curriculum to build the students’ ability to sing, hear, read and write music.
  2. A weekly 30, 45, or 60 minute Technique Class on the student’s chosen instrument — piano, violin, viola, cello, guitar, and voice.

Is this program the right one for my child?

It's a good starting point if:
  • Your child is age 4-19 with prior musical instruction. For children in the younger range, a background in early childhood music is recommended.
  • Your child already knows that they want to learn how to play a particular instrument.
  • You know that you want your child to have the opportunity to develop the discipline and self-awareness offered through long-term music study.

In which level should my child begin?

  • Classical Level 1 with 50 minute group class and 20 or 30 minute weekly private lesson:
    If you have already participated in CYM’s Early Childhood Music Program and you would like to join the Classical Program, then you will likely enroll in Classical Level 1 with its 50 minute Group Class featuring an instrumental section and a music literacy section. For the Technique Class, you will choose a 20 or 30 minute weekly private lesson based on your child’s maturity as well as your budget. Classical Level 1 Group Classes feature a mixed group of instrumentalists. You will then progress through the succeeding levels of the program with a peer group all studying the same instrument, advancing through each level based on your child’s instrumental and music literacy progress.
  • Suzuki Starter with 30 minute literacy class and 15 or 30 minute weekly private lesson:
    If you are joining mid-year, or just getting your bearings at CYM and are new to an instrument, you could join the Suzuki Starter Program. Your child will participate in a 30 minute literacy class to get started on the basics of rhythm, melody and vocalization, and you will choose a 15 or 30 minute weekly private lesson based on your child’s maturity and your budget.

Can my child trasfer in to CYM's Classical Program?

If you have studied music elsewhere, we can find an appropriate CYM group for you to join simply by meeting with you and listening to your child play.

Can we make adjustments after we join?

Yes! Students in each level of the Classical Program are guided by their teachers as they move through each level. Upon re-enrollment each school year, parents and teachers work together to choose a student’s path forward. During the course of the school year, a student may need to accelerate into the next Group Class level, add a lesson in addition to their group, or change the duration of their lesson.