News & Updates

CYM Faculty Featured as Guest Author

UniSound, a Pittsburgh organization dedicated to youth arts education and performance in Pittsburgh, recently invited our own Ms. Amy to write a guest blog.

Check it out here!

For more information about our offerings for babies, take a look at our Early Childhood Music and Movement department!

CYM Students Perform in PMTA Honors Recital

Four students have completed the second local requirement of a state festival. We are certainly enjoying watching the progress in these students! The journey began when they entered the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival in October. Read more about that phase of this journey here.

CYM piano students from Ms. Simmi’s piano studio performed this past Sunday at the local Pennsylvania Music Teacher’s Association Honors’ Recital in affiliation with the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival.

The students performed beautifully and were awarded for advancing from the local round to the statewide showcase (occurring later this month at Penn State University).

Pianists Sami Alissa, Siena Smith, Yazan Alissa. (Not pictured, Clara Yuo)

Congratulations students and Ms. Simmi!

Let’s cheer these hard working students on as they prepare for the showcase on November 23.

Stay tuned for updates!

Classic Spooky Music

You know what is often missing in front porch Halloween décor? Music. For years, I hooked up a speaker to our front window and piped out Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in d minor to the delight of our Trick or Treaters. It was the perfect finishing touch that brought all of the physical elements together.

If you are looking for spooky music, look no further than the classical genre. Here are some of our favorites:

Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Chopin, Funeral March

Dukas, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Saint-Saëns, Danse Macabre

Grieg, In the Hall of the Mountain King

Gounod, Funeral March of a Marionette

Mussorgsky, Night on Bald Mountain


Maybe keep the light on while you listen?!

Get to Know Your Faculty: “Favorite Halloween Candy” Edition

We are thinking you would like to know more about the faculty and staff at CYM. Insight into their personalities might be ascertained by revealing their favorite Halloween candy, might it not?

Who likes candy? A Good & Plenty number of teachers, I would say.

So, without further ado, here are the results, including favorite autumn-time treats:

Mr. Chris: Peanut Butter Cups (Jason’s, preferred!)   

Ms. Amy: m&m’s 

Mr. Erich: Kit Kat   

Ms. Grace: Skittles 

Ms. Leah: Candy Corn 

Ms. Lindsay: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups 

Mr. Mark: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Ms. Rochelle: Apple Cider 

Mr. Ryan: Peanut Butter Cups, “any and all”   

Ms. Simmi: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Mr. Jake: Milky Way

Mr. Rob: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Anyone else seeing a trend?

Happy Halloween! Hope you get your favorite treats!

Beo String Quartet Performing in Pittsburgh

Readers of our website and newsletter may recall an article I wrote last spring featuring the Beo String Quartet. Our own Mr. Ryan is a member of this forward-thinking, 21st century group that is becoming one of the top ensembles performing today! If you missed that first installment, check it out here.

Mr. Ryan, center stage

The quartet is making a stop in Pittsburgh on November 6th. Their tour includes concerts in Las Vegas, New York, Long Island, Louisville, Philadelphia, and Ambler. The program, called Refractions, is a Beo String Quartet original production that showcases four unique and exciting works, each with a link to light and its transformation. Each of the featured works offers a colorful variety of sounds, styles, and sentiments.

The Beo String Quartet

The pieces include “live electronics, immersive staging, and unusual playing techniques that create very pleasing sounds”, according to Mr. Ryan. Three of the four compositions on the program will be premiers.

This is a unique event you won’t want to miss, so here is what you need to know:

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019, 7pm-8:30pm
Bar Marco 2216 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Tickets available online/cash at the door:                        General Admission $20, Student $9
For more information, please visit:
For tickets, please visit:       


Follow this group on facebook and listen to their music on Soundcloud.


Ukulele Workshop Fun

The ukulele workshop was a great time, and was attended by four CYM students. Pictured below are Keely Acheson, Carson Joller, Aarnav Kannan, and Sara Singh.

What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Students strummed, learned new songs, and enjoyed playing music with others. Thank you, Mr. Mark, for leading our students with engaging workshops such as this.

Watch for future ukulele events and workshops!

Welcome New Voice Faculty, Lindsay McGinnis

We are thrilled to announce the addition of voice teacher, Lindsay McGinnis!

Lindsay studied music at The Ohio State University where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, and then at Pennsylvania State University, where she earned a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance.

Lindsay brings a broad experience of teaching and performing to this position. Having a background in musical theater as an actor as well as director and teacher, she is ready to welcome new students with a variety of goals. Her performances range from opera to oratorio to musical theater to sacred choral music!

Ms. McGinnis looks forward to building her studio here at CYM, and we are looking forward to welcoming her to our family.

Call the office if you would like more information about Lindsay’s schedule and locations.

Welcome, Lindsay!

All in Good Fun at the Annual Masquerade Recital

It’s pretty fun to dress up in a costume, but it’s even more fun to perform on a recital dressed up in costume! Who knows how it might improve a performance…adding extra flair, or flourish, or gravitas.

Well, that’s what several CYM students experienced last weekend during Mr. Chris’ Masquerade Recital! Students arrived in full costume ready to put on a show- visually as well as aurally.

At the end of the recital, all students played Twinkle as a surprise – and Mr. Chris accompanied with his own spooky piano arrangement. The only thing that could top that would be for all to enjoy lots of treats at the reception!

Congratulations to all who participated. If you missed it this time, watch for it next year, or ask your teacher to sign you up.



Annual Ensemble Recitals Coming Up

It’s that time of year when we celebrate collaborative efforts of our students. Playing with others in an ensemble can be one of the most gratifying aspects of studying an instrument.

Join us on November 9 at our Shadyside location for a delightful time featuring a wide array of music ensembles: duos, trios, quartets, quintets, and more. (Extra credit if you know the name of a nine-member ensemble!) We will be featuring guitar, piano, violin, cello, ukulele, and skilled accompaniment by our piano faculty.

Special features this year will include a faculty string ensemble, serenading us with the amazing music of composer and arranger Mr Chris; a 6-hand piano ensemble with a “surprise”; and a fun rendition of an Israeli folk song by our youngest learners.

A couple of reminders for performers: 

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your recital time, check in with Ms. Karen, and find your seat. Students will sit in their assigned seat for the entire recital. Please dress nicely, and be sure your outfit is one in which you are comfortable performing.

We invite all families to attend, even if your student is not performing. After each recital, please join the CYM staff and faculty for a reception as a thank you for being a part of our music family!

Here are some reminders for all of us as we attend events such as this one:

Ensemble Recitals, November 9, 2019, at 9:30 am and 12:00 pm

First Unitarian Church Shady Side, 605 Morewood Avenue



Fall Piano Concert Full of Artistry

Ms. Grace held a community concert this past Saturday and showcased many of her students, as well as students of Ms. Simmi.

The audience was treated to a wonderful array of musical styles. Duets were performed with terrific ensemble and flair, reminding us of the fun ahead at the Ensemble Recital!

Ms. Grace finished the concert with two Rachmaninoff Preludes, as well as delightful music from the movie Up. (If you are not familiar with this soundtrack, you should take a listen. Here is a piece called “Married Life”.)

Congratulations to all performers, their proud families, and to our fine piano faculty!

The Center for Young Musicians