News & Updates

Collaborate, Create, Crossover – Calling ALL Teens!

It’s time for the big announcement… 

The Center for Young Musicians is partnering with Sweetwater Center for the Arts to create a brand new space for teenagers interested in the arts.  After the grand opening of Sweetwater’s specialty teen gallery Studio419,  just a couple of doors down from CYM in Sewickley, we were excited by the possibility of collaboration.

The Center for Young Musicians’ teen hang-out, “Off the Record,” and Studio419 join forces to provide teens with a space where they can relax, enjoy snacks, learn from each other, and express themselves freely. In this six-session music and art crossover summer series, teens will explore their own creativity through a variety of fun and engaging themes. Never played an instrument? No problem. Never picked up a paintbrush? Don’t sweat it! This all-levels series is a low-pressure opportunity for teens to connect with music and art in a new way.

Sign up for the first session, which explores creating comics and listening to your favorite cartoon and movie music on Saturday, June 1st, here.

 

Spend the summer with us!

Saturday, June 1: Cartoon x Cartooning

Friday, June 14: Blues x Monochromatic Colors

Saturday, June 29: Pop x Pop Art

Friday, July 12: Improv x Happy Accidents

Saturday, July 27: Jazz x Graffiti

Friday, August 9: Video Games x Scene Perspective

*For a special discounted price, sign up for the entire summer series here!*

Plus, join us at the end of the summer for a celebratory barbecue!

 

 

Blues Workshop With Mr. Mark

Join Mr. Mark on Saturday, May 18th for a workshop on playing the blues! Guitar students of all ages will learn the chords, the techniques, and the harmonic progressions used in rock and popular music! Try out some simple improvisations over the 12 bar blues. Open to classical and pick-style players. No previous blues experience necessary. The workshop will be followed by a community concert where students will have a chance to perform. Grab your shades and head to Sewickley on the 18th at 1:30!

Be sure to RSVP on Eventbrite!

Community Concert Featuring the Blues!

Come and play – or come be our audience –  as Mr. Mark presents a blues concert. This program will feature students of all ages and instruments. Students who participated in the Blues Workshop that day will have a chance to perform what they learned. Guitar faculty Mark Marston will present a short set which will include Blues for Classic Guitar by Charlie Byrd.

Add a little Blues to your Saturday! See you May 18th in Sewickley at 3:00!

For more information, please contact Mr. Mark.

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 Welcomes New Communications Manager, Jake Niehl!

The Center for Young Musicians is proud to announce that Jake Niehl has joined our team as Communications Manager! Jake came to us on a part-time basis a few months ago to work on graphic design and marketing, but recently was promoted to be the manager over all CYM communications. You have probably already noticed his amazing artwork on our website, our posters, and our social media. Here is a little background on Jake:

Jake hails from Irwin, PA. He attended Penn-Trafford High School and graduated from Robert Morris University in 2013 with a degree in Media Arts with a focus in Graphic Design. Mr. Niehl worked for three years as a camera operator/floor director for WPXI Channel 11 News, one year as the Social Media Manager/Graphic Designer for Premier Promotional Solutions, and most recently worked for My BFF Social before accepting his new position at CYM.

Jake says: “While I do not have a music degree, I’ve been involved in music since I was a child. In high school, I played the trumpet, trombone, and baritone. I was an assistant drum major of the marching band, and was in the musicals my junior and senior years (even learned how to tap dance!). I’m extremely excited to formally become a part of the CYM family and cannot wait to begin my journey here.”

Jake is pictured below with his sister, Julie. Enjoy a sampling of his artwork to date:

 

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Welcome, Jake!

Be An Early Bird and Receive 25% Off!

We have a wonderful line-up of summer programs for all ages, instruments, and levels, to keep students inspired and motivated through the summer months.  Be sure to register by May 27 to receive 25% off of your tuition.

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

 

 

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.

The Center for Young Musicians