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CYM Student Highlights

Cello Crew Gets Creative with Collaboration

May 29, 2020

Lessons, group classes, recitals and more are all happening virtually here at CYM: with a little TLC the aural experience is excellent and having the internet at your fingertips gets needed info to our students very fast! Of course, our chamber music groups have had one special challenge…LATENCY!Unfortunately, because participants are miles apart, it takes time for the signals to be exchanged between devices. This delay is enough to prevent students (and everyone else) from playing together in sync. Individual instrumentalists can play along with reference recordings or those made by their teacher, and clever use of metronomes and mute buttons can facilitate a review session, but the delay caused by distances cannot be avoided.CYM’s CelloCrew is using Soundtrap to work around the latency issue. Soundtrap is a multi-track (this means more than one part) browser-based (this means no special software or equipment required), super-user friendly software that allows students to...

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Benjamin Solomon Graduates

May 15, 2020

Ben attends Pine-Richland High School where he is a senior. He plays acoustic and electric guitar, tenor sax, ukulele, banjo, and piano. Ben began his academic career at CYM in the “Babies” class when he was not even one year old, and has been continuously enrolled at CYM for eighteen years! Ben could read notes before he could recognize letters. After the Toddlers class, Ben began with Mark Marston as a Twinkler, then took up Classical Guitar in the Suzuki program. Aside from CYM, Marching Band was a favorite school activity. At school Ben was a member of the National Honor Society and Ski Club, Vice President of Math Club, and Founder and President of Bike Club. Ben volunteered his time playing guitar and helping with Sunday School at Temple Ohav Shalom. He played Soccer and Tennis for his school teams, and holds a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do....

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Thirteen CYM Students Participate in Achievement Day

May 1, 2020

Mr. Mark MarstonMs. Grace BurnsMs. Rochelle Agnew Thirteen students prepared solos for CYM Achievement Day last weekend. The event included students of all ages, performing on piano, guitar, and violin. Mr. Mark, Ms. Rochelle and Ms. Grace listened to each performance and wrote comments with regard to the following categories of performance: MusicalityPoiseTechniqueTone Preparedness The encouraging observations and helpful suggestions, along with scores, were shared with the families via email at the end of the day. This kind of event is a wonderful way to hear objective perspectives on a student’s progress and musical growth. The comments are discussed in the next lesson, and integrated over several weeks of practice. Performance experiences such as this often become turning points for young artists! Congratulations to all who participated, their families, and teachers!

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Piano Students’ Virtual Broadcast With SLB

April 24, 2020

On Saturday morning, April 18, CYM piano students from my studio, Abby, Will, Sami, and Yazan, participated in the Saturday Light Brigade radio show, performing from the comfort of their homes! The host of the show, Larry Berger, chatted with the students on various topics including the switch to online school and music lessons, hobbies they’re spending their time on now that they’re home, and their feelings and thoughts on the current pandemic. One student replied that it was difficult, not to be able to see his friends, yet he liked being able to stay at home and spend more time than usual doing things he loves to do: draw, play tennis, and play piano. Parents of the performers said that the session gave their family members who live far away, a positive and much appreciated experience. The four piano students performed their solo pieces absolutely beautifully; their friends and...

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CYM Instrumentalists at Saturday Light Brigade

April 16, 2020

Last Saturday, CYM students Lily, Elijah, Sydney, Daniel, and Rosa participated in a call-in to the Saturday Light Brigade radio program called Youth Express. The program allows K-12 Pittsburgh-area students to showcase their performing arts skills. Each of the five students performed individually and were asked about their other interests and hobbies. They also explained how lessons and classes are taking place online at CYM. Lily, Sydney, and Daniel each played the violin, while Rosa played cello, and Elijah played the guitar. The musicians performed and spoke with poise and professionalism – we are proud of you! Listen to the broadcast here. This Saturday, April 18, piano students of Simmi Tripathi will be featured on the same show, that starts at 10:05 am. These students also are ready to play, having enjoyed this performance experience before, and excited to be interviewed, rehearsing their pieces and practicing their answers to potential...

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CYM Book 3 Recital via Zoom – Claudia’s Accomplishments Celebrated

April 16, 2020

Claudia, CYM cellist, performed her Book 3 recital this week. She played her pieces with a piano accompaniment track and delighted an audience of 37 friends and family from around the country! Folks joined the performance by Zoom from the comfort of their homes. At the end of the recital, Mr. Ryan asked audience members to switch to “gallery view” so that they could see all those “in attendance” enjoying the music. Everyone was happy to show Claudia their appreciation through applause, smiles, signs, and good words. Congratulations to you Claudia, to your parents and family members, and to Mr. Ryan! Recitals, Individual and Group Lessons, Achievement Day, Serenades, are all moving along with wonderful success online at CYM. Why not share your ideas to have fun while studying music with us? We have received great suggestions from parents who have answered our survey – let us know what you...

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Young Artist Students Closing in on Awards

March 20, 2020

We have three students who have been diligently working toward goals in their music studies, and two are currently on track to be recognized at the Solo Recital this spring. The three are students of Ms. Grace, and include Hafsah S., who will be receiving her Ambassador certificate at solo recital, and Reka G. and Manus M. who are both working toward their Mentor Certificates. Part of earning the Mentor Award includes visits to Musicianship classes or early childhood music classes such as Suzuki Readiness and Musikgarten. Students will attend classes, assist the teachers, and perform for the students. Congratulations to all on your accomplishments thus far! Keep up the great work- you are making CYM proud!

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Students Accomplish “Year of Practice” Goal

February 14, 2020

As many of us have been immersed in the February Challenge, a different achievement has come into focus. Students of Ms. Leah have reached the extraordinary goal of practice every day of the year. I’ll let that sink in. Practice every day for 365 days. How is this possible, and how did it go, you might wonder!  The brother and sister team took this goal on by their own initiation. I asked Jonah and Chloe’s mother if she would reflect on the past year and  be willing to share the journey with us. Here is what she shared with me.  Enjoy, and be encouraged! “Jonah and Chloe finished the February practice challenge last year (2019) and asked about doing a whole year practice challenge. We were excited that they would show this initiative, but nervous about that level of commitment. We are professional musicians and music teachers, and we have...

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Music and Art at CMA for the Holidays

December 11, 2019

On Thursday, December 19th, CYM students and their teachers will regale museum-goers with beautiful music. Holiday selections and other favorites will be offered by several violin and cello students. Enjoy browsing and taking in the arts- visually, and aurally. The current exhibit of Carnegie Trees and Neapolitan Presepio will delight the whole family! The Presepio was constructed originally between 1700 and 1830, and is an incredibly detailed panorama of life in the 18th century. Read more about this tradition here. The CYM performance will take place from 6:30-7:30 pm. For more information, contact Ms. Rochelle at Come support the arts in Pittsburgh!

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CYM Cellists to Perform in Allison Park

November 22, 2019

CYM cellists will be performing Saturday afternoon at the Cumberland Woods Village in Allison Park. Mr. Ryan will be leading the concert that will feature selections from Robert Frost’s Christmas Kaleidoscope. Not the Robert Frost of The Road Not Taken, poetry fame, but Robert S. Frost, pedagogical strings composer, conductor, and teacher. Kaleidoscope is a collection of 14 Christmas Carols, which may be performed on a variety of instruments. For this, the instrument of choice is the cello! Come out and support our student performers in this secluded, wooded, hilltop setting! November 23, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Cumberland Woods Village 700 Cumberland Woods Allison Park, PA 15101 For more information, contact Mr. Ryan at

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