Where to Start Music? In the Home!

Did you ever find yourself saying, I wonder when I’ll start talking to my child? Or, I’m thinking of letting my child hear a story- I wonder who could tell one? Or, Let’s see, they should be reading by age 5 or 6, so I’ll be sure and buy some books in a few years! Of course not! We talk, we babble, we coo, we explain, we converse all the time with our children from day one! Our nurseries are filled with books, giant letters on the walls, and the bedtime story is a common ritual. But did you know that music is acquired the same way we learn our spoken language?

music is acquired the same way we learn  our spoken language

 

So sing, dance, move to the beat, and hit those pots and pans! Surround your child with quality music. They will soak it all up like a sponge! They will begin to differentiate pitches, and will begin to associate steady beat moves- like hitting that pan- with the music they are hearing! This ear-brain connection feeds the pathways already in place for learning this amazing, fulfilling language of music!

And the beauty of it is, your child will love hearing YOUR voice, and making music with you. Come to a class made just for this at the Center for Young Musicians! We will give you lots of ideas for making music with your child. Not only that, but our developmentally appropriate curriculum will put your child on a pathway to music literacy that creates lifelong lovers of music! And to think- YOU started it!

Check us out at www.youngmusicians.org See you there!

CYM Summer Camp Feature – Intro to Keyboard

One thing we hear from adults on a regular basis is “I wish I had learned to play the piano when I was young!” The ability to play the piano not only makes you popular at parties, but also provides wonderful brain development! Here are just a few of the benefits of piano study: 

  • Prevents Hearing Loss and Memory Loss (this is very new and exciting research!) 
  • Improved counting and math skills and overall school performance 
  • Exercising new language acquisition skills  
  • Improves reading comprehension 
  • Improves bilateral coordination 
  • Promotes listening acuity and aural memory 

Is your child at the age where he or she is ready for the application of early childhood concepts to an instrument? Or maybe you have just been thinking about starting your early elementary student on the piano! This camp is the perfect starting point.  

Let your child go on a keyboard adventure this summer to set the stage for music reading and performance! For children ages 6 through 8, this camp will use songs children love to sing while they explore the keyboard, using tonal patterns to build harmonies as they sing! Using multiple keyboards will make this a fun, safe environment which will foster cooperation with others! Drumming will help with beat awareness, and dancing will help with coordination and feeling the music, and all its elements, with our whole bodies. We will celebrate music from all over the world as we sing, dance, listen, and play! This is a joyful way to get a start on the piano. Students who come to the keyboard camp will be ready in the fall to continue in a group setting, in a class called Music Makers at the Keyboard, or to begin or continue private study on the piano or any instrument! 

This camp is taught by Ms Amy, who holds a master’s degree in piano pedagogy, and is a National Teacher Trainer for the Musikgarten curriculum.  

Sign up now- spaces are limited!  

Ages: 6-8, July 29 through August 2, 1:00pm – 3:30pm  

Use the coupon code Earlybird19 to save 25% on the tuition 

Register online for the Fox Chapel Location  

Teen Strings – Featured CYM Camp

Playing music in an ensemble of any size takes copious application of many senses at once! It’s not a race mentality, with a feel of every man for himself!”, which would result in total cacophony. Rather, musicians work together to create the whole of the music. They take turns leading the melody and providing the hushed accompaniment. They must breathe together as one in order to begin together. Music created in an ensemble has motion – and the story that an ensemble can tell is a vibrant one, with many layers and textures. Come to the Teen Strings Camp and explore what it takes to play with others and tell a story. Follow a conductor’s gestures – how to come in together, when to get louder, quieter, faster, and slower, and when to bring your part out, and when to be the accompaniment! Work on these aspects of musicianship as you also try playing as an ensemble without a conductor. Learn how to create gestures and cues for others to follow, such as for entrances, fermatas, and cut-offs. Hone your listening skills as you work together to tell the story as one. This is a great opportunity to focus on playing in an ensemble for one fabulous week. Join Mr. Chris this July!  

July 8-12, 12:00 – 1:00pm, Sewickley, ages 11-17, COST $125  

Register online for the Sewickley location
Use Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27 to save 25% on tuition! 

Music Exploration Camp – Featured CYM Camp

I remember my father taking my rented clarinet back to the music store, to trade it in for a flute. “She’s mastered this one” my dad said in his usual dry wit, as he placed the clarinet case on the counter. 

Sometimes students know what instrument they want to play from a very young age. Oftentimes, though, a student might start on one instrument and then really get interested in another instrument! That is precisely why we have designed summer camps at CYM: to offer a time of instrumental exploration! 

“Music Exploration Camp” is the perfect way to try out two instruments in a fun, engaging atmosphere! Have you ever wanted to see what it is like to play the piano or the guitar? Find out by jumping into our one week-long camp. Activities will include singing, playing percussion instruments, and listening to different styles of music. Learn basic harmonies of folk songs, and how to play those harmonies while you sing! This will give you a jump start on two new instruments, and if you decide to go deeper in the fall, you can sign up for private lessons on guitar, piano, or both! This camp will culminate in a performance on the last day, where you can try out playing your new instruments for your family!  

See you this summer for Music Exploration Camp! For students ages 7-11, it meets at 9:30 and goes until 12 noon.  

Register online for the Wexford Location (June 24 –28) 

Register online for the Shadyside location (June 29 – August 2) 

Use the coupon code Earlybird19 to save 25% on the tuition 

The Cycle of Seasons: Summer – Featured CYM Camp

Did you know that the more experiences your child has at the early childhood level, the more likely they are to stick with an instrument when they are older? 

Bring your 3.5 to 5-year-olds to this week-long camp that brings summer themes into musical play. Your child will enjoy the singing, poetry, and percussion instruments as they explore steady beat, tonal patterns, and rhythm patterns, which will become their tools for learning to read and write music in the next year or so! The imagination at this age is in a “window of growth”, as are language and story-telling! We will capitalize on all of that language development as we explore summer ideas, weaving them into in our musical experiences. And, since intentional listening is such a critical skill to develop, we will have fun making “sound games” that campers can take home! The Cycle of Seasons Summer camp will prepare your young child – not only for the next level of early childhood music study – but also by continuing to lay the foundation that paves the way for a life-long love of music! 

Summertime and music….nothing could be finer! See you and your child this summer for the Cycle of Seasons: Summer camp! 

July 8 – July 12, 1:00 – 3:30 pm, ages 3.5 – 5 

Register online for the Wexford Location 

Use the coupon code Earlybird19 to save 25% on the tuition 

CYM Welcomes New Sewickley Neighbor – Studio419!

On April 4th, Thursday evening, there was a buzzing of excitement near the Center for Young Musicians Sewickley location.  Ranging from little kids in jeans to men in suits, all were welcomed by Studio419 for its grand opening, “Spill the Tea Party.”  Formally known as Barberry Handmade, the space has been transformed into a gallery outbranch of Sweetwater Center for the Arts, through a partnership with Barberry Handmade owner Kirsten Recker.

For over 35 years, Sweetwater has offered a multitude of art classes, workshops, and lectures for all ages, as well as displaying the artwork in exhibitions throughout the greater Pittsburgh area.  While these programs have thrived, executive director Thomas Walter recognized their classes were missing a key demographic- teens and young adults.

As teens develop, their voices strengthen, as well as their quest for individualism and greater autonomy; art and music become integral as a means for expressive and creative power.  Studio419 provides a platform for teens to transform and curate the space with only partial adult guidance, connecting them to their surrounding community in an impactful and empowering way.  The opening night was a brilliant display of what the space is and could be, featuring a slew of incredible paintings, sculptures, and other mediums that came from a very successful call for submissions.  Most notably, there were several large-scale interactive art pieces, which really drove home how art knows no boundaries- through collaboration, inclusivity, and whimsicality, it encourages all to tap into their creative side.

The Center for Young Musicians welcomes its new Sewickley neighbors with open arms. Why? Too often, there is a divide between visual art and aural art (music).  It is tempting to think of them as separate worlds rather than outgrowths of many of the same values.  As musicians hone their skills in the practice rooms, artists practice their fundamentals in the studio.  We take classes, lessons, and receive feedback so that we may best be able to express ourselves with clarity and vigor.  As the art world progresses, it is becoming more and more common to see musicians in museums, artists creating sound worlds, and many more examples of artistic innovation that break down the barriers between art and music.

So, next time you’re in Sewickley, say hello to our new neighbors! Bring your young musician to meet with an artist!  Let’s create a world where the next generation sees artistic opportunity around every corner.

CYM Feature Camp: Violin Book 2 Ensemble Camp

The most social thing we can do as musicians is to play in an ensemble. Private lessons are fantastic for one-on-one learning. But joining in with others makes everything come alive with new sounds and a new energy! 

The Violin Book 2 Ensemble camp is all about musicians coming together to create something new. Use your Book 2 pieces as you explore what it takes to perform with an ensemble of fellow violinists. Improve your reading skills by sight-reading music together, and play tunes in two and three parts! Gain confidence in your repertoire as you perform for each other in a fun, relaxed environment. The more you play with others, the easier it becomes. Not only will you improve as a soloist, but you will improve every musicianship skill as you blend your sound with others. Who knows- some of the things you play this summer could be featured next fall in the Ensemble Recital! 

Grab a friend and make some music in July! July 8 – 12, 11:00am – 12:00pm, Sewickley, COST $125 

Register online for the Sewickley location
Use Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27 to save 25% on tuition! 

CYM Feature Camp: Violin Book 1 Fun

A Latin proverb states that “repetition is the mother of study”. 

Musicians at every level of learning use repetition to gain insights, to secure, to memorize. Repetition brings a familiarity to the notes that makes the performer more emotionally engaged with the music. 

Mr. Chris has some great ideas about how Book 1 pieces can be reviewed, solidified, and even played in new ways! Try out new ideas and have fun playing with other musicians, with expert guidance and instruction from Mr. Chris. Take the concepts in your music and explore them through Twinkle games, rhythm games, trivia games, and more! Supplement your Book 1 repertoire by learning new songs by ear. Experience playing in rounds with fellow violinists, building your listening and ensemble skills. Expand on what you know- to give you a jump start on lessons in the fall. See you in Sewickley this July! 

Open to any students currently in Book 1, July 8 – 12, 2019, 10:00am – 11:00am, cost $125 

Register online for the Sewickley location
Use Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27 to save 25% on tuition! 

CYM Summer Camp Feature: Summer Choir

Singing in a choir is something everyone should do at some point! Usually, once a person has had a great choir experience, they tend to seek out opportunities for choral experiences throughout their lives! And thankfully, study after study shows the benefits of singing, and singing in a group in particular!  

This choir is open to all CYM students, ages 8 – 12, no matter what instrument they study! But here’s good news- your child can bring a friend! We would love to have kids from the community join in with us- no previous choral or instrumental study necessary.  

If your student is currently studying music, this a chance to refine music literacy skills with a new instrument! The voice! Learn the foundations of good choral singing, including breath support, posture, blending, facial expression, and more! If your child has ever thought about auditioning for a musical, this choir will help them prepare for that! Music choices will depend on the choir we form, but will include Broadway, folk, classical, and may incorporate percussion instruments for accompaniment! We will work on sight-singing, improvisation, and theory skills.  

On the last day, we will finish with a choral concert for family and friends! 

The choir meets once a week through the summer. It’s OK if you can’t make all the rehearsals! 

Ages 8 – 12, 5:45-6:45 Tuesdays, June 4-July 30 at Sewickley, cost: $90 

 Register online for the Sewickley location 

Use  Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27 to save 25% on tuition! 

Summertime…and the Learnin’ is Easy

What do you think of when you think summer? Sun, beach, pool, gardens, BBQ – the list goes on and on! It is a natural time for slowing down in many ways. The schedule is easier- no carpool lines, no homework. The routine eases up a bit. The long evenings almost beg us to stay outside until the fireflies come out to entertain us! 

As a teacher, I long for the change in routine as well. I’ve also come to understand that summer is the perfect time to approach music study from a few different angles. It is the perfect time for enrichment, or for trying something new, or for focusing on a new style of music, or for composing and arranging! The list goes on and on! 

Looking back over my own piano lessons growing up, I remember that “summer lessons” meant I could ride my bike to my lesson! That may not seem like much, but for me the thought of it brings back great memories of riding in the summer breeze, feeling a bit of independence, glad to be old enough to get myself to my teacher’s house. How fun and how freeing that was! I can still picture the bag my parents got for me to hold my music while I rode my bike. (Also memorable was the time a bee flew into my shirt without me knowing it— and how, mid-lesson, it suddenly sprang to life, and escaped into the room with a buzz — much to our surprise!) 

Summer isn’t really about stopping as much as it is a change of pace. It’s about having “found” time – and the opportunities abound! What your child invests in this summer will have a huge impact on the following year of music study.  

It’s like planting a garden. Sure- it’s fun to plant a garden. It’s fun to plan, it’s fun to create, and let’s face it- it’s fun to dig in the dirt! So what you’re doing there is beneficial. You’re digging, planting, watering – and in so doing you have been nurtured yourself. It reminds me of this quote: 

“We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.” Jenny Uglow  

So, what’s it going to be? How will you make the most of the change of pace this summer? I say invest it! Make this summer a time to dig deep, to plant seeds of growth, to tend to and hone our skills, to try something new, to deepen understanding, and to reap the benefits in the fall! 

At the Center for Young Musicians, we have camps for all ages. Find one to introduce your young child to the world of music. Or a camp to round out your student’s private lessons. We have offerings for strings, guitar, piano and more! We have early childhood music camps designed with summer themes, and the ever-popular Music Discovery Camp! So as your child continues their CYM year, why not consider adding to that study with a camp? And invite a friend! 

Summer is coming — let’s dig in to the possibilities!

Visit our website for more information: www.youngmusicians.org 

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” 

~Charles Bowden 

The Center for Young Musicians