Workshops & Activities

Second Annual “Achievement Day” is Coming

February 21, 2020

CYM’s second annual Achievement Day has been postponed and will be scheduled at a later date.

What is Achievement Day? It is an opportunity for your student to perform for other students and faculty, and receive immediate feedback from faculty panelists.

This is a perfect event for teacher and student to set a few  specific performance goals. Setting a goal helps students work more intentionally in their practice time. It lifts them up to strive for better technique and better musicality. Practicing performing is crucial for all students so that they gain poise and control when playing for others. Receiving feedback that can be applied immediately can bring about turning points in a student’s studies.

Talk to your child’s teacher to see if Achievement Day would be a good choice at this time. And if not, all are still invited to attend – there will be a variety of performances, and being in the audience is always beneficial to our own growth as musicians.

If you’re interested in performing for Achievement Day, be sure to click here to go to the Workshops and Activities page to register.

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Holiday Recital is Gearing Up

December 2, 2019

We are getting in a festive mood at CYM as we begin putting together the Holiday Concert, featuring YOUR students! Mr. Erich is busy making preparations for this yearly recital for CYM students.

If you were a part of the festivities last year you already know what an exciting event it was. You really don’t want to miss this opportunity for performing. Some of the music will be holiday-themed, and much of the performances will be of the “standard repertoire” variety!

Here are all the details from Mr. Erich:

Hello CYM families,

We are so excited for our holiday concert which is right around the corner!
The concert will be on Saturday, December 14th at 7:00 PM at the First Unitarian Church in Shadyside located at 605 Morewood Avenue. 
Any student interested in playing can register either at this link:  or by e-mailing Erich at
Performers should be dressed nicely, like for school pictures. Black and white is good too. Holiday sweaters and dresses also are great attire for this event!
Please plan to arrive around 6:30 for tuning and set-up. Once you enter the church make your way downstairs to find our performance space.
See you on the 14th!
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Reminder: Antonio Hart Workshop

November 20, 2019

If you have not signed up yet for the Antonio Hart workshop, there is still time to do so before it rolls around on December 7th. Take advantage of this jazz workshop led by a jazz great of our time, Antonio Hart.

Workshops like this one often become an important touchpoint, if not turning point, in a music career. Ask professional musicians about master classes they have attended and the impact they have had on their musical journey, and I think you will find most carry those experiences with them to this day. Some will tell you how the encounters even changed the trajectory of their career, or opened up a world of music previously unknown to them!

This may be that moment for your student. Even if jazz is not the preferred genre at this time, you never know what musical aspects will be brought to light and experienced in a new way. Or if hearing jazz played exceedingly well might open up a new avenue of expression. There really is so much good music out there…. and we need to bring it to our students when the opportunity arises.

So take the opportunity. Make it a turning point for someone, and represent CYM with pride!

Read up on Antonio Hart here, and register for the workshop here.

See you December 7th!

11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Afro American Music Institute

7131 Hamilton Avenue, Pittsburgh

This event has been selected for our CYM families to be enjoyed as a benefit of the workshop and activities fee. Register today to provide a memorable experience in your student’s musical journey!

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Who is Antonio Hart? A Look at His Life and Work

November 13, 2019

On Saturday, December 7th, we at CYM have the opportunity to attend a workshop led by a jazz great, Antonio Hart. If you missed our previous post with details of this event for CYM families in coordination with Kente Arts Alliance, check that out here.

For now, you may be wondering just who Antonio Hart is!

When Hart was growing up, music was the one thing that made school interesting for him. He practiced diligently and auditioned for the Baltimore School for the Performing Arts so that he could deepen his music learning and expand his performing abilities. This is where he first started playing jazz. He was interested in the genre because of the people he saw playing it and the fact that he could improvise.

Hart went on to study music at Berklee College of Boston, which is where he really began to focus on jazz. He listened to music, he practiced, and studied as much as he could. He wanted also to have a balance between academia and music, so he became a Music Education major. The courses he took during that time became an inspiration to Hart.

Soon he was developing friendships, and started touring with Roy Hargrove, promoting Hargrove’s first three albums. Ready to study with true masters of jazz, Antonio began work on a masters degree at Queens College in New York. He had the opportunity to study with greats like Jimmy Heath and Donald Byrd.

In 1997, Hart earned a Grammy nomination for his release, Here I Stand. In all, he has been a guest artist on over 100 recordings, and has recorded eight CDs as a leader. The latest is titled Blessings and is produced by JLP (Jazz Legacy Productions).

Mr. Hart balances his time on the road and in the recording studio with his full-time professorship at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, NY. His bands are the Dave Holland Big Band and the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band.

Take a listen to a few tracks from Blessings here. And we will see you December 7th for what is sure to be an amazingly informative and inspiring workshop!

This event has been selected for our CYM families to be enjoyed as a benefit of the workshop and activities fee. Register today to provide a memorable experience in your student’s musical journey! 

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Antonio Hart, Jazz Great, to Hold Workshop

November 8, 2019

FREE Antonio Hart Workshop through the Kente Arts Alliance!

Sat, Dec 7, 2019 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST

Antonio Hart is a jazz artist, composer, and performer. You can catch him December 7th at 8:00pm at the New Hazlett Theater in concert with his sextet.

As a part of his visit to Pittsburgh, Hart will be presenting a jazz workshop, which will be free and open to students thanks to the Kente Arts Alliance. The workshop will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Afro American Music Institute, 7131 Hamilton Avenue, Pittsburgh.

Any CYM students or faculty interested in broadening their understanding of jazz styles and performance should come to this free workshop. This will be an inspirational time and an opportunity to make a connection with not only this wonderful genre of music, but also with an artist who truly endeavors to impact and motivate young students.

Hart is a full-time tenured faculty member at the Aaron Copland School of Music – Queen’s College, NY. Read more about his extensive performing and teaching career here.

This event has been selected for our CYM families to be enjoyed as a benefit of the workshop and activities fee. Register today to provide a memorable experience in your student’s musical journey! 


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Pittsburgh Suzuki Workshop

October 18, 2019
First Songs on Guitar

It is that time of year again, and the Pittsburgh Suzuki Workshop is right around the corner! This 2-day workshop will be held in Pittsburgh once again and is for violin, cello, piano, flute, and guitar students.

Dates: Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17

Click here for the flier

Students will enjoy master classes, group classes, movement, ensemble, drumming and more. The workshop will culminate in a play-down concert at 5:00 pm Sunday evening, led by local teachers.

Questions? Talk with Mr. Erich at

To register:



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(POSTPONED) Try Your Hand at Electric Bass and Drumset

October 11, 2019



Have you, or someone in your family, ever wondered what it takes to learn to play an electric bass, or drums? Well, Mr. Dan is here, offering an evening workshop on just that!

Who is this workshop for? Ages 10 and up- so that means you! And prior experience is not necessary. If you already have some experience, that’s great, too- there will be something for everyone in this fun, hands-on workshop!

Activities will range from how to play a simple drum beat, or bass line, to playing through song forms like a blues or a rock riff, or syncing up on group “hits”/rhythms. The goal of this workshop is to have a basic song pulled together in an hour!

Here is a fun, low-key opportunity to work with an expert. Bring your interest, your curiosity, your love of music, and get ready to have a great time! Come as a family and build some memories!

See you October 23, 7:00-8:00 p.m., at CYM Sewickley.

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Ukelele workshop

September 27, 2019

Surf’s up! Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean you can’t pretend it’s summer! Bust out your Uke and get ready to strum! Mr. Mark’s Ukulele Workshop is here!

For guitarists or novices of any age, this workshop will offer a great start on chords, progressions, and strumming, ukulele-style.

The ukulele has become a very popular instrument in recent years. So popular, in fact, that sales of ukuleles have more than doubled between 2009 and today! (Read more about the uke’s popularity in this article from Musician Authority.)

Why not catch the wave? Be there October 26th at CYM Wexford from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cowabunga dude!

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Coming Attractions

August 30, 2019

It’s time to enroll in one of our new classes!

You’ve probably read about our Crossover series that began this summer. If not, follow this link to read up on the ways visual art and music intersect! This is a group for teens in Sewickley. If your student has interest in the visual arts, video game music, anime music, etc. they should definitely check out these sessions!

Musikgarten is here!  So glad to be offering this curriculum with expanded options this year! Music Makers at the Keyboard is brand new to CYM, but has been taught by Ms. Amy for over 10 years! This year, make this the path for your 6-9 year old to learn piano, because data over the last 15 years is showing 98% retention rate in private piano for graduates of MMK!  Read here for more information! Continue reading below for other new offerings in Musikgarten including Music Makers at Home for 4-6 year olds, and Family Music for Babies (birth to 18 months)! Call our office for more info, or email Ms. Amy at

Prelude Classes are informal classes in Sewickley held in conjunction with Night Mart! Come explore instruments with CYM faculty Mr. Ryan, and enjoy participating in dancing, singing, and ensemble activities with Ms. Amy! Click here for more details.

Cello Crew is here and ready to go for all cellists! What a great opportunity to develop ensemble skills, and learn from Mr. Ryan as well as other cellists! Read a recent blog about this new Monday class here!

More NEW groups in Musikgarten:  Family Music for Babies is a class designed for babies up to 16 months with a caregiver. To learn more about the importance of this early music learning, please visit Ms. Amy’s blog post here. Rock, bounce, sing, dance, finger plays, instruments abound in this delightful class aimed to envelop your baby in the language of music! Also check out Music Makers at Home, (Mondays, Wexford) which is a pre-piano course that puts the emphasis on all things 5-6 year olds love, including animals and their habitats. Through these familiar and intrinsically interesting themes, students become purposeful listeners as they joyfully sing and learn folk songs, hear and play patterns, learn complex dances, and play instruments! All things to guide them systematically into music literacy!

Visit our website to get enrolled – there is still time to join in on the group dynamic – a great way to learn and have fun with friends!

Oh, and spread the word!

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CYM Hosts First National Teacher Training for Musikgarten

August 8, 2019

This past weekend, teachers attended the Pittsburgh area’s first National Teacher Training for the Musikgarten curriculum. Group piano for beginners was the focus in this 17-hour workshop, held at the Center for Young Musicians in Sewickley, PA. Teachers from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Massachusetts registered for this hands-on workshop, taught by our own faculty member, Amy Rucker.

Amy has been leading national teacher training workshops for Musikgarten since 2004. She has taught in Vancouver, New Jersey, North Carolina, Dallas, and Maryland, to name a few. This was the first time a Musikgarten workshop was held in Pittsburgh, and CYM staff is hopeful it is the first of many more to come!

Having in-person trainings allows for the highly-valued opportunity of personally connecting teachers with the beautiful, purposeful, child-centered curricula of Musikgarten. We at CYM respect what Musikgarten has to offer children everywhere- and bringing teachers together to learn the art of teaching music to young children gives this unique teaching philosophy the personal dissemination it truly requires. Musikgarten is a teaching method that lives in the hands of those who bring it to their families. Learning the method, then, is best achieved in connection with others who do the same.

So we were honored to be used this summer as a Musikgarten destination, and hope to provide more levels of training in the future!

Pictured here, are the newly certified teachers in Musikgarten’s Music Makers at the Keyboard, with Mrs. Rucker, second from the left, and CYM’s Mr. Ryan and Ms. Grace on the right! Congratulations, all!

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