News & Updates

Happy Birthday J.S. Bach featuring Google A.I.

Born March 21, 1685, Johann Sebastian Bach is the “Bang” of the musical universe’ s “big bang” beginning.  Much of the structure of the music we listen to today traces back to elements found in his massive body of work.

So it’s super cool that a group of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning specialists at Google studied his harmonic output to program this Google Doodle that greets visitors today on Google’s homepage.

Google

Take a look and try your hand at sketching some melodies and sit back to listen to the machine’s harmonization based on having analyzed hundreds of Bach’s works.

We’re so excited that the beauty and structure of the universe reflected in Bach’s works is nurturing a whole new generation of intelligence on the planet.  Machine learning and artificial intelligence – meet the master of structure, still teaching us these many centuries later.

Happy Birthday, JSB!

Guitar Hum and Strum – Featured CYM Camp

 

Guitar HUM & STRUM

I recently watched an episode of American Idol where a young man played guitar and sang. Not so unusual in and of itself, but it was the fact that he taught himself how to play, beginning at the age of 20! It is truly rare to find someone who has taught themselves how to play any instrument. Especially to that degree of beauty. I was moved! It was like watching August Rush (which you should watch if you haven’t!). 

This summer there will be lots of opportunities to learn more about playing the guitar. Here is your chance to try something new, and gain literacy skills! Guided by our expert faculty, you can connect with your inner guitarist! You’ll learn songs to sing, and chords to strum…hence the title HUM & STRUM!  

Music is really so accessible. You can make music pretty much anywhere- and in this camp you’ll be singing, moving to music, and learning chords to strum. It only takes a few chords to sing many different songs! If you already are studying another instrument, your time in this camp will strengthen your reading, and your understanding of harmonies. You’ll be that much more ready for lessons in the fall. 

We would rather you not wait until you are 20 to begin, so children ages 5-9 are invited to this camp! Together with their parents they will get a great start on guitar playing. If desired, those students will be a step ahead on private guitar lessons in the fall, where they can take their new skills to the next level and work on more advanced techniques!  

Instruments will be provided – come ready to sing and make music! 

See you this summer for Hum & Strum in Wexford, June 17-21, 2:00-4:30, cost $250.   Use the coupon code Earlybird19 to save 25% on the tuition.

Register online for the Wexford Location 

Start planning for Summer Camps at CYM!

The groundhog did not see his shadow, so maybe an early spring is headed towards Pittsburgh?  Either way, the time to start planning for warm weather and summer fun is NOW!  The Center for Young Musicians has a wonderful line-up of summer programs for all ages, instruments, and levels, to keep students inspired and motivated through the summer months.

Summer Camps and Series

We have week-long camps and weekly series for students of all ages.  If you don’t see something that you are interested in, please have a look at our Custom Section below.

Here is a complete list of all of our offerings:

Guitar Chamber Music with Mark Marston
Who: Guitar students of all ages
What: In this series, guitar students of all ages can develop their reading and musicianship while playing a variety of music, such as classics by masters like Mozart, as well as jazz and popular music arranged for guitar ensemble. Music theory and improvisation skills will also be covered. Classical and steel string players are welcome.
When:  7:30-8:30 Mondays, June 10,17, 24 and July 8, 15 and 22
Where: CYM Wexford

To Register:  Register online for the Wexford Location
Cost: $150  Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27

 

CYM Summer Choir with Amy Rucker
Who: All CYM students and children in the community ages 8-12
What: Come lend your voice to the Center for Young Musicians CHOIR!! Be a part of what is sure to become a summer tradition!
Learn to sing, or improve your singing, in this choir under the direction of CYM faculty Amy Rucker, who most recently was a director for the Columbus International Children’s Choir. Have fun singing in rounds, trying new music,
and even playing games that help us become better singers!
Gain confidence with your musicality through fun improvisation!
We will prepare music for an end-of-summer Choral Soirée, where you can show off your skills to your parents, family, and friends!
When: 5:45-6:45 Tuesdays, June 4-July 30
Where: CYM Sewickley

To Register: Register online for the Sewickley location
Cost: $90  Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27

 

Music Discovery Camp with Rochelle Agnew and Erich Riebe
Who: Children ages 3-6
What: Music Discovery Camp is a morning of music, art and play for ages 3 – 6, held 9:30 – 12:00 noon each camp day! Have fun making music and new friends at the Center for Young Musicians.  Learn and explore music making with CYM’s trained faculty.  Based on our Early Childhood Music programs, Music Discovery camp fosters musical understanding using the same process as learning a language.  Activities include time for the children to make their own instruments, and listen to older children perform.  In the Sing, Move, Play session, the students get time to explore, touch and play rhythm instruments used in class  All activities appeal to a child’s natural desire to play, move, explore and interact through activity and song.

When and Where: Wexford, 9:30-12,  June 24-June 28,  and July 15-19
To Register:  Register online for the Wexford Location

When and Where: Sewickley, 9:30-12, June 17-June 21
To Register: Register online for the Sewickley location

When and Where: Shadyside, 9:30-12 July 22-July 26
To Register: Register online for the Shadyside location

Cost: $250  Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27

 

Guitar Hum & Strum with Mark Marston
Who: Students ages 5-9
What: This is a music and movement camp using the guitar as a tool to help learn music literacy. Learn basic chords that you can sing with right away.  A fun jump start on guitar basics, this camp is also a great first step for students who are thinking of taking guitar in the fall! Parents can learn alongside their students, and instruments are provided!

When and Where: Wexford, 2:00-4:30, June 17-21
To register: Register online for the Wexford Location

Cost: $250 Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27

 

Music Exploration Camp with Erich Riebe
Who: Children ages 7-11
What: Does your 7-11 year old want to try their hand at guitar or keyboard? These camps are a great way to get started!
Topics covered will include basic harmony on the guitar or piano keyboard and songs from the American and European folk tradition.
The camp will include group instruction and culminates in a performance on the last day. No prior experience is necessary.

When and Where: Wexford, 9:30-12, June 24-June 28
To Register:  Register online for the Wexford Location

When and Where: Shadyside, 9:30-12, July 29-August 2
To Register:  Register online for the Shadyside Location

Cost: $250 Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27

 

Violin Book 1 Group Fun with Chris Sforza
Who: All students currently in Suzuki Violin Book 1
What: Open to students currently in Suzuki Violin Book I this week-long camp is about making music, playing games, and having fun!
We will work on our Book I pieces while playing as a group as well as try out new ideas and musical games.
This class is perfect for strengthening and reviewing Book I material and concepts.
When:  10-11 am, July 8-July 12
Where: CYM Sewickley

To Register: Register online for the Sewickley location
Cost: $125  Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27

 

Violin Book 2 Ensemble with Chris Sforza
Who: All students currently in Suzuki Violin Book 2
What: Open to students currently in Suzuki Violin Book II this week-long camp is about making and learning new music in a chamber ensemble style.
Activities include learning and practicing harmonies for previously learned Suzuki material, sight-reading, playing in multiple violin parts, and working as a small ensemble.
Selections from Suzuki Book 2 will also be reviewed.
When: CYM Sewickley, 11-12 noon, July 8-July 12

To Register: Register online for the Sewickley location
Cost: $125  Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27

 

Teen Strings with Chris Sforza
Who: All string students between ages 11-17
What: Open to all string students between ages 11 and 17 this week-long camp is about making music in a chamber-group style. Material will be pre-selected and given to students in advance.
Rehearsal and practice techniques will be discussed as well as the roles that players have within an ensemble. Musical selections are subject to enrollment.
When: CYM Sewickley, 12-1 pm, July 8-July 12

To Register: Register online for the Sewickley location
Cost: $125  Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27

 

The Cycle of Seasons: Summer with Amy Rucker
Who: Children ages 3.5-5
What: Summer fun exploring nature! Fish, frogs, kingfishers, and more! Find habitats like the meadow and meet new animal friends.
Listen to the sounds of weather, nature, and insects! Create percussion ensembles, and do some composing! Make sound games to take home!
When: CYM Wexford, 1-3:30 pm, July 8-July 12

To Register:  Register online for the Wexford Location
Cost: $250 Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27

 

Camping at the Seashore with Amy Rucker
Who: Children ages 5-6
What: Creative play will take us to the magical seashore each day where there will be singing and dancing, movement activities, and playing instruments!
This camp will include many fun activities, such as making instruments to take home, listening to the sounds of the seashore and to the viola, harp and flute.
There will be simple nature crafts and art activities and family time with siblings to end each day.
When: CYM Sewickley, 1-3:30 pm, July 15- July 19

To Register: Register online for the Sewickley location
Cost: $250  Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27

 

Introduction to the Keyboard with Amy Rucker
Who: Children ages 6-8
What: A perfect introduction to our year-long Music Makers at the Keyboard, the intro class will get your child playing the piano right away!
We will explore the basics, through fun singing, dancing and drumming activities.
Then we will take those songs to the keyboard and get started playing, singing, and improvising!
When: Lauri Ann West Community Center, 1-3:30 pm, July 29-August 2
Where: CYM Fox Chapel

To Register: Register online for the Fox Chapel Location
Cost: $250  Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27

 

Custom Offerings

We have several chamber music sessions built onto the schedule, and we would be happy to build a custom session for your needs.  (We cater to pianists, string players and guitarists).  We can build Jazz Combos for you as well.   To discuss a custom group, please send an email to admissions@youngmusicians.org

 

 

Mr. Erich’s Community Concert

Our first Community Concert of 2019 with Mr Erich was a grand success! CYM guitarists and violinists took the stage in our beautiful Sewickley location to the delight of audience members! Thank you to all who played, and to our teachers Mr Erich and Mr Chris, and for our attentive audience!

Couldn’t make this Community Concert? Ms. Grace’s Community Concert is coming up on March 30th! See you there!

Ms. Grace’s Community Concert

March 30th at 4:00 pm at CYM Sewickley

Ms Grace and her CYM piano students will present a Community Concert at our Sewickley location! Hear the beautiful sounds of our concert grand Steinway and Sons piano as music of Bach, Debussy and Respighi fills the air! Support our young pianists as they perform a variety of repertoire, and celebrate with refreshments after!

If you’d like to inquire about performing, or have any questions, please email Ms Grace.

 

See you at Ms. Grace’s CYM Community Concert at 4:00 PM on March 30th at CYM Sewickley.

Register at Eventbrite

Cello Department Group

March 30 @ 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

CYM cellists, this is for you! Private lessons always go by so quickly, and it is tough to find time to spend on the myriad components of music study! That’s why we have our department groups! We can focus on performances, composers, repertoire, performance etiquette, audience etiquette and more! Talk with your teacher about signing up for the next Cello Department Group.

 

Confidence Workshop

April 13th, 4 PM

Join Ms. Grace in CYM Wexford for her Confidence Workshop! This workshop will address how students can increase their confidence in performing. We will discuss strategies for the weeks leading up to the performance as well as the recital day itself. Open to students age 10 and up, all instruments welcome. Please plan on bringing your instrument and a piece to play!

Questions: email Ms Grace

Register at Eventbrite

Piano Department Group

Calling all CYM pianists! Our Piano Department Groups are open to all ages and levels! Perform with and for other pianists to gain confidence in a friendly environment! Try out a piece, test your memory, or play something you’re working on for a recital or contest!  Pieces do not have to be performance-ready. Faculty will be on hand to offer feedback, and to address other music–related issues with the group! Talk with your teacher to sign up!

Next Piano Department Group: April 27th in Sewickley

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 

CYM Guitar Students Wow Pittsburgh Radio Station!

Last week, Mr. Erich and several of his students joined host of the Saturday Light Brigade, Larry Berger, for a special presentation on WCRT 88.3.  Guitarists Ezra White (6), Libby and Josh Laman (7 and 9), and Isla and William Wiegand-Hammond (9 and 10), presented a variety of music, including Suzuki song favorites, original compositions, A-ha, and David Bowie.

Not only did these young pros give entertaining performances, they were interviewed, answering questions pertaining to the joy, challenges, and fun of playing the guitar.

Didn’t catch the live broadcast? You can catch the recording here!

The Center for Young Musicians