CYM Trios: Ensembles in Action!

Six CYM students performed this week at St. James Church, for a pre-concert presentation. CYM’s piano trios from Wexford and Sewickley performed 6 pieces beautifully for a very appreciative and welcoming audience! Trios are traditionally comprised of piano, violin, and cello.
Pictured (from left to right): Ms. Leah, Clara Yuo, Alexa Bronkaj, Yazan Alissa, Alena Gurevich, Abby Bojalad, Elliott Drake, Ms. Simmi.
Thank you students, for sharing your gifts with the community! And thank you, Ms. Leah and Ms. Simmi, for your leadership and mentoring of these fine young musicians.
And a heads up to our CYM family: these trios will be performing again – this time on the Saturday Light Brigade radio show on June 1st, so tune in!

CYM Violinists Entertain at Heinz Hall!

CYM students performed for symphony-goers yesterday at Heinz Hall! Violin music filled the air in a pre-concert offering as patrons gathered to hear the PSO which was featuring violinist, Vilde Frang.

Heinz Hall hosts an eclectic mix of pre-concert performances that enhance the concert-going experience, and showcase community musicians in the elegant spotlight of the Grand Lobby.

Thank you teachers and students for beautifully representing the Center for Young Musicians in this pre-concert presentation!

Trio Prepares for Concert!

Over the weekend, CYM students, Clara Yuo (piano), Alexa Bronkaj (violin) and Yazan Alissa (cello), rehearsed their piano trio music for their upcoming concert at St. James Church in Sewickley on Tuesday, May 14 at 7pm. Sharing the program with them will be another piano trio, made up of Abby Bojalad (piano), Alena Gurevich (violin) and Elliott Drake (cello).

Come support our young musicians -hope to see you tomorrow!

 

 

Solo Recitals a Big Hit, Right Out of the Gate!

From the very first note at 9:30 AM, to the last chord of the 3:30 recital, our solo recitals were a huge success! What a wonderful community we have here at CYM. The atmosphere was one of joyful music making which brought delight to all in attendance. Parents, we thank you for all you do to give your child a great music education. Moments like these on Saturday make the carpooling, the practice hours, the instrument rentals, and the instrument repairs very much worth it, as your child takes center stage and shares their work with us all!

 

Students, a big thank you for your preparation. Setting the goal of performing was the first step, but every hour you gave over to practice leading up to the recital is what made your time on that stage so enjoyable for everyone. Keep listening to your fine teachers!

Piano faculty, thank you for your part in making our soloists shine! Thank you for the extra hours you put into learning new music and playing (and following) so beautifully, and for fostering a positive environment between soloist and accompanist. You set a great example as we help our students learn more about playing with an accompanist, an aspect of solo playing that is still new to many.

And unlike the Kentucky Derby, there was no jockeying for the lime light. We had students winning trophies, framed certificates, and ribbons for their hard work in their practice commitment, as well as participating in community service and outreach events! More on these winners to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also congratulated our two graduating seniors, Matthew Matisz and Joshua Faber. Watch for a feature on these two young men in the next few days.

Coming soon: pictures from all four recitals!

A big thank you to Jake Niehl for taking some great shots, to Karen Schnatterly for all of the administrative tasks and great announcing, to Leah Givelber for coordinating the event and for FOUR programs, to Victoria for the wonderful receptions, and to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsburgh for the use of their lovely sanctuary and Steinway grand!

Congratulations to all!

CYM Solo Recitals: A Parent’s Guide 

This Saturday may be your very first recital with your child, or it may be your twelfth! Either way, it is a big day. A recital is a time to celebrate, and to share musical progress with family and the CYM community. A recital gives students something to work for. It is important to take a piece of music all the way to the polished, performance-ready stage. It also helps teachers gauge a student’s progress in a tangible way. Gatherings such as this also serve to motivate. Seeing an older student play an advanced piece can help younger students have something to work toward. And the trophies, ribbons, and certificates can also be a motivating factor, giving each student a picture in their mind of where they could be this time next year! Encourage your child to enjoy the day, and to dream of tomorrow.

Big days can bring some pressures, so here are some thoughts as you get ready for Saturday:

Preparation

The best way to get ready is to practice! Well, that may seem obvious. But practice performing. In other words, have a few mock recitals in your home so that your child can get used to the feeling of playing for others. In addition, you might talk to your child about the music- ask what their favorite part is, and who the composer is. Older students should be able to tell you what key the piece is written in, as well.

A dress rehearsal at home can also help get the performer past that uncomfortable feeling of playing in new clothes or shoes! Students should be a little dressed up for a recital, but if that means new shoes or suit and tie, or a dress, they should practice playing in those clothes. It will feel just a little different! You may change your mind about those clothes after trying them out in a performance. (That tutu just doesn’t look as good on the piano bench as it did in the dance recital!) Talk to your teacher if you have questions about what your student should wear.

Performing

Our recitals are held at the First Unitarian Church in Shadyside (605 Morewood Avenue), in their beautiful sanctuary. Students should arrive at least 20 minutes early. The students will sit in a designated spot up front on the left side. Teachers will be on hand to direct each student, telling them when to stand, when to walk up, etc. This helps to ensure that the recital moves along swiftly, with few pauses. Pictures will be taken all day by CYM staff, so that you can enjoy the moment with your child.

The Audience

All our students have worked hard to get to this day. The audience’s role is to be quiet, respectful listeners, and, of course, exuberant applauders! During the performance, keep distractions to a minimum by putting your phone on silent mode, and not moving around while students are playing. Feel free to carry an overly vocal baby out if necessary- come back in when you can. Don’t forget to smile while students are playing – it actually does help them feel at ease!

The Reception

Time to celebrate! When the recital is over, we will have a small reception just across the hall from the sanctuary! Grab some coffee and sweets and go out in the courtyard as the weather allows. Take selfies with the teachers and meet other families!

All of us at the Center for Young Musicians are thankful that you have entrusted your child’s musical journey to us. We are honored to help bring the love and joy of music to your student and to your family! Congratulations on all the successes so far. Let’s mark another one this Saturday.

Achievement Day Recap

Really meaningful progress in practice time comes from setting goals. Sharing those goals with others and receiving positive reinforcement makes it not only more enjoyable, but also makes that growth more effective and more deeply rooted in habit!

Our most recent Achievement Day was a grand success as students learned to set and achieve goals in their practice or performance! Several students participated in this wonderful opportunity for students and their teachers. To prepare, teachers helped their students set an achievable goal in one of their pieces. The student then played that goal – or the whole piece – and received immediate feedback from CYM instructors! 

Talk with your teacher today about setting a goal… for the next event at CYM!!

 

 

 

CYM Violinist Performs Suzuki Book 1 Recital

On April 7th, student Valerie Wolfe performed for an engaged audience at our Sewickley location. She presented a recital of Suzuki Violin Book 1! What an accomplishment! Congratulations to Valerie for her dedication and hard work, and to her teacher, Chris Sforza.

Confidence Workshop a Big Success!

Ms. Grace and CYM students enjoyed exploring what it takes to gain confidence in performance! Strategies were discussed for the weeks that  lead up to a performance. Preparation is the key! Practical strategies for the day of a performance were also presented. The audience enjoyed works by Brahms, Gillock, and Faber. Good work, students, for taking the time to improve your preparation and presentation!

 

Ms Grace’s Community Concert Fills the Day with Beauty!

I remember as I was growing up I would love to hear my teachers play their instruments. As a high school student I was mesmerized hearing the Dayton Philharmonic perform, knowing that my band director was principal trumpet! Seeing and hearing your teacher in action is so valuable. It gives families valuable insights into the artistry of their teacher. For the student, the moment can provide a lifetime of motivation as they think Wow, that could be me one day! And it really can! Our students just need to know what to aim for. And to see the joy it brings to our teachers to be able to share confidently their musical accomplishments with others.

Ms Grace has done just that in her recent CYM Community Concert! Congratulations to Ms. Grace and her student performers!

3….2…..1…..Saturday Light Brigade!

Ms. Simmi and her students took to the airwaves for an awesome SLB show this weekend! Just what is the Saturday Light Brigade, you ask?

SLB is a public radio program featuring acoustic music and family programming including participatory puzzles and games as well as on-air telephone calls from children and adults. Broadcast since 1978, it is one of the longest-running public radio programs in the United States. 

 

Piano students from the Center for Young Musicians demonstrated their public speaking and performance confidence in a segment devoted entirely to them! As always, the host (Mr. Larry Berger) made the students feel very comfortable and at ease playing on air and chatting about themselves.

Listeners enjoyed beautiful classical pieces as well as some Disney favorites! Participating in SLB gives our musicians an inside look at the broadcasting environment, including everything it takes to produce a show. A huge thank you to Ms Simmi for organizing this event and for giving our musicians yet another performing arts arena that they can feel confident in.  This is one of the many ways the Center for Young Musicians aims to develop well-rounded artists!

Talk with your teacher to find out about future SLB Saturdays!

The Center for Young Musicians