News & Updates

CYM Graduate Feature: Joshua Faber

Continuing with our senior spotlight, we are delighted today to feature Joshua Faber.

Joshua began his studies at the Center for Young Musicians when he was just five years old. He began with an early childhood music class taught by Ms. Kara. When he moved into private piano lessons, he studied with Ms. Sonia, and eventually with his current teacher, Ms. Simmi. He recalls enjoying taking theory and guitar, but piano was always his main instrument at CYM. Joshua really enjoyed the group piano class with Ms. Simmi that he attended with his friends in the piano department. A highlight for Joshua this last past year of study was having the option of choosing some of his own music to work on. Some of his favorites include selections from video game music, such as Death By Glamour from Undertale.

Joshua also plays the clarinet, and was active in his high school’s concert and marching bands. During high school years he also enjoyed extra-curricular activities such as robotics and electrical engineering.

Joshua is headed to Penn State in the fall, where he is exploring the interdisciplinary Digital Media, Arts, and Technology (DIGIT) major.

Asked who he would like to thank at CYM, Joshua didn’t miss a beat as he offered sincere appreciation for Ms. Kara, Ms. Sonia, and Ms. Simmi for their excellent teaching over the years!

All the best, Joshua!

CYM Student Takes on Musical Theater!

Did you happen to catch Grease at the Benedum Center this month? CYM student Jayne Miner auditioned for the show and earned a spot in the Teen Ensemble for this production! Grease was presented as part of CLO’s Summer Program at the Benedum, and featured Clay Aiken.

Jayne is a student of Ms. Simmi, and has been studying at CYM for 7 years! She also plays trumpet, and is active in her school’s concert and jazz bands, as well as PYCO’s Chamber Brass Ensemble. But wait, there’s more! Since she is also a singer, she participates in her school’s chorus!

Jayne’s previous musical experience includes Annie, Jr, The Sound of Music, and CLO Academy’s production of 9 to 5. A rising 9th grader, Jayne also participates every summer in the community’s Performing Arts Camp-  a 4-week daily musical theater camp that culminates in two productions.

Congratulations, Jayne, on all your hard work and successes! We can’t wait to see what you do next!

Jayne is pictured here (front row, center) with the rest of the Teen Ensemble!

Calling all teens! Join CYM Crossover!

The Center for Young Musicians’ teen hang-out, “Off the Record,” and Studio419 join forces to create Crossover: a space for teens 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.  We are welcoming non-CYM students to these sessions as well, so invite siblings and friends!

Join us for our second session, Blues x Monochromatic Colors on Friday, June 14th by signing up through Eventbrite!  To save for the summer, sign up for the Complete 6-Session Series (10% discount).

Be sure to check out our future sessions, too!

Pop x Pop Art

Improv x Happy Accidents

Jazz x Graffiti

Video Games x Scene Perspective

Jazz Combo Workshop in Full Swing — Jump on in!

Join CYM for a Jazz Combo Workshop!   This summer camp is open to all guitar and piano teens.

Students will have fun learning about performing in a jazz combo! They will get a chance to try their hand at drums or bass guitar, as well as jam on their own instrument! Explore basic improvisation, learn some new music, and become familiar with techniques for jazz performance.

Click here to sign up for these sessions through Time Tap!

Sessions:

Friday, June 14 at 4 pm

Saturday, June 29 at 2 pm

Friday, July 12 at 4 pm

Saturday, July 27 at 2 pm

Friday, August 9 at 4 pm

Additionally, for teen students looking for a whole day of musical fun, check-out Crossover, a collaborative effort between CYM and Sewickley neighbor Studio419.  Click here for more details!

Mr. Chris, Mr. Jake Wow the Crowd in Community Concert!

Another great summer event is in the history books! Concert goers were treated to violin performances from students of Mr. Chris. Students of all ages performed a variety of selections, to the delight of all in attendance! Congratulations, students!

The second half featured Mr. Chris and Mr. Jake (cello and piano faculty) playing the Dvořák Sonatina for Violin and Piano. Hearing our faculty perform is a great motivator for all of our students.  See you at the next Community Concert! As CYM family, all of you have access to any of these events all through the year! Please take advantage of attending these free events whenever you can!

Mr. Chris

Mr. Jake

By the way, here is a glimpse of how the Sonatina looked when it was composed in 1893. Dvořák was a student at the National Conservatory at the time, and this is in his own handwriting:

 

 

CYM Graduate Feature: Matthew Matisz

It is an exciting time for CYM when we have graduating seniors. Today we put a spotlight on Matthew Matisz, student of Erich Reibe.

Our marketing department caught up with Matthew to get his perspective on growing as a musician through Center for Young Musicians.

Matthew started in CYM’s Early Childhood Music program with Victoria, in order to lay the foundation for joyful music making, music learning, and literacy. Matthew recalls stepping away to Duquesne for beginning cello lessons, and reflected on a period shortly after where he took some time to be sure he knew what instrument he really wanted to play. He started to explore his instrument options, and began listening to music for fun, honing his musical tastes.  Soon he became captivated by guitar music, and felt motivated to learn some of the rock songs he was hearing. Matthew and his family decided to come back to CYM, and he teamed up with Mr Erich for guitar lessons at CYM. The rest is history, as they say, and anyone who heard Matthew on the solo recital will attest to the diligence in his music studies over the years at CYM!

When asked if any funny moment at CYM stands out in his mind, he recalled this story: In the middle of a recital, he was following the chord progression as he played with Mr Erich. He suddenly skipped an entire line of chords of the song. Mr Erich just adjusted and improvised until Matthew got back on track and then they ended the song! No one in the audience knew what had happened, thankfully! We have all been there, Matthew!

During high school, Matthew participated in three school musicals, Mock Trial (served as Captain his junior and senior years), and fundraisers for cancer research. For his studies beyond graduation, he will be attending St Andrews in Scotland. He promises that he will do his best to learn how to play golf, in between his theology studies. When he finishes, he will have a Masters of Theology, which in the U.S. is comparable a Bachelor’s with Honors. His first purchase in Scotland will be a new guitar so that he can continue to play. We think this is a great idea!

Matthew expressed deep appreciation for his time at the Center for Young Musicians. He is thankful for the opportunity it gave him to grow as a musician and to figure out what he really wanted to study. It means a lot to him that everyone welcomed him back “with open arms”. Matthew would like to thank Mr Erich again for the lessons, and for the fun in the Friday Night groups where he could relax, hang out, and play new music. All in all, he has come to realize that what CYM gave him was a place to grow as a musician, and to use his time there -and his music – to escape from the everyday.

There’s still space for summer camps!

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.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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!

Community Concert Brought the Blues!

But the good kind of Blues! Mr. Mark delighted all with his program of blues, jazz, and more! The concert featured students of all ages and instruments, and included those students who participated in the Blues Workshop that day! Guitar faculty Mark Marston’s presentation included Blues for Classic Guitar by Charlie Byrd.

Thank you to all who participated!

 

Blues Workshop a Cool Success!

Guitar students of all ages learned the chords, the techniques, and the harmonic progressions used in rock and popular music! Students experimented with some simple improvisations and riffs over the 12 bar blues. Most of the students had no previous blues experience, but took what they did know and applied it to the blues genre with the expert help of Mr Mark!

What a great way to spend a Saturday! Congrats to all!

The Center for Young Musicians