CYM Student Highlights

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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CYM Students Perform in PMTA Honors Recital

November 4, 2019

Four students have completed the second local requirement of a state festival. We are certainly enjoying watching the progress in these students! The journey began when they entered the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival in October. Read more about that phase of this journey here. CYM piano students from Ms. Simmi’s piano studio performed this past Sunday at the local Pennsylvania Music Teacher’s Association Honors’ Recital in affiliation with the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival. The students performed beautifully and were awarded for advancing from the local round to the statewide showcase (occurring later this month at Penn State University). Pianists Sami Alissa, Siena Smith, Yazan Alissa. (Not pictured, Clara Yuo) Congratulations students and Ms. Simmi! Let’s cheer these hard working students on as they prepare for the showcase on November 23. Stay tuned for updates!

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CYM Pianists Advance to Statewide Showcase

October 16, 2019

Congratulations and a job well done to these piano students from Ms. Simmi’s piano studio. This past weekend, they participated in the local round of the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival (held by Pennsylvania Music Teachers’ Association). Each of the students received high scores on their theory exams as well as “Superior” rankings on their performances, and have qualified to perform in the Local Honors’ Recital here in Pittsburgh and the Statewide Showcase at PSU in November. Let’s cheer them on as they progress through this Festival– stay tuned!

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Summer Camp Highlight: Lochlan McGinnis

September 4, 2019

CYM student Lochlan McGinnis spent a week at the Chautauqua Music Camps this summer. This was Lochlan’s first experience with this well-known institution, where he studied with a private instructor and played in a chamber group and an orchestra. Instructors at the camps include members of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, as well as highly skilled teachers from around Western New York and Pennsylvania. The camp culminated in a concert that delighted family, friends, and area arts patrons. Lochlan appreciated being able to spend time with his friends on the beautiful campus . He was pleasantly surprised at the friendliness of the staff of the institution, and feels the biggest take away from the experience was learning how to play with confidence music that he felt was beyond his range of abilities! Chautauqua Institution is home to the world-class Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Opera Company, and Chautauqua School of Music. For more information...

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CYM Guitar Students Attend Suzuki Summer Workshop

August 29, 2019

CYM students Ayan Ganesh, Ezra White, and Elijah Haberman attended the Greater Pittsburgh Suzuki Institute this summer! Each day of the one-week camp, these students attended a masterclass, a guitar group class, and guitar ensemble, as well as electives that included art, dance, musical theater, and secondary instruments! Throughout the week they all honed their skills on the guitar and had a lot of fun along the way. There were a couple of “play-ins” which involved everyone in the institute. One in particular was a “pajama play-in” where Eli performed in awesome Pikachu pajamas (see below!). There were also solo recitals midweek and a big group concert to end the week on Friday. Congratulations to all, and to Mr. Erich, their teacher!  

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CYM Student Attends Chautauqua Music Camp

August 16, 2019

Most people think of going to camp as sitting around the campfire and roasting marshmallows while friends tell spooky stories. For one CYM student, summer camp includes chamber classes, orchestra rehearsal, and performance! Photo courtesy of Lochlan McGinnis is attending the Chautauqua Orchestra Camp from Saturday August 10th through Saturday August 17th. While there, he’ll be learning and working with some of the best musicians from both Pennsylvania and New York including master string educator Donna Davis as well as conductor Edward Leonard,  Music Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh. Photo courtesy of At the end of the week, Lochlan will be performing with his peers. We can’t wait to hear about his experience there, and wish him the best of luck with his performances! Break a leg, Lochlan!

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CYM Spotlight: Manus McGinnis and Hafsah Shahzad: Journey to the Ambassador Certificate

August 1, 2019

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” ~Zig Ziglar Setting goals is one of the most important steps to success and to expanding our abilities as musicians. Without a defined goal, even the most diligent person will fall short of the accomplishments awaiting them. At CYM there are established goals, including three levels of certification, open to all students. Recently, Manus and Hafsah fulfilled a major requirement for the Ambassador level of the Young Artist Certificate Program. Each presented a recital as partial fulfillment of this second level of the Young Artist Program. As mentioned in an earlier post about the Ambassador Certificate, not only do the students perform three or four pieces of advanced literature, but they also present a brief lecture on each composer and composition. Here’s a little background on each of these students and a glimpse of their motivation in preparing for this goal. (If you...

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