News & Updates

CYM Welcomes New Sewickley Neighbor – Studio419!

On April 4th, Thursday evening, there was a buzzing of excitement near the Center for Young Musicians Sewickley location.  Ranging from little kids in jeans to men in suits, all were welcomed by Studio419 for its grand opening, “Spill the Tea Party.”  Formally known as Barberry Handmade, the space has been transformed into a gallery outbranch of Sweetwater Center for the Arts, through a partnership with Barberry Handmade owner Kirsten Recker.

For over 35 years, Sweetwater has offered a multitude of art classes, workshops, and lectures for all ages, as well as displaying the artwork in exhibitions throughout the greater Pittsburgh area.  While these programs have thrived, executive director Thomas Walter recognized their classes were missing a key demographic- teens and young adults.

As teens develop, their voices strengthen, as well as their quest for individualism and greater autonomy; art and music become integral as a means for expressive and creative power.  Studio419 provides a platform for teens to transform and curate the space with only partial adult guidance, connecting them to their surrounding community in an impactful and empowering way.  The opening night was a brilliant display of what the space is and could be, featuring a slew of incredible paintings, sculptures, and other mediums that came from a very successful call for submissions.  Most notably, there were several large-scale interactive art pieces, which really drove home how art knows no boundaries- through collaboration, inclusivity, and whimsicality, it encourages all to tap into their creative side.

The Center for Young Musicians welcomes its new Sewickley neighbors with open arms. Why? Too often, there is a divide between visual art and aural art (music).  It is tempting to think of them as separate worlds rather than outgrowths of many of the same values.  As musicians hone their skills in the practice rooms, artists practice their fundamentals in the studio.  We take classes, lessons, and receive feedback so that we may best be able to express ourselves with clarity and vigor.  As the art world progresses, it is becoming more and more common to see musicians in museums, artists creating sound worlds, and many more examples of artistic innovation that break down the barriers between art and music.

So, next time you’re in Sewickley, say hello to our new neighbors! Bring your young musician to meet with an artist!  Let’s create a world where the next generation sees artistic opportunity around every corner.

Confidence Workshop a Big Success!

Ms. Grace and CYM students enjoyed exploring what it takes to gain confidence in performance! Strategies were discussed for the weeks that  lead up to a performance. Preparation is the key! Practical strategies for the day of a performance were also presented. The audience enjoyed works by Brahms, Gillock, and Faber. Good work, students, for taking the time to improve your preparation and presentation!

 

CYM Feature Camp: Violin Book 2 Ensemble Camp

The most social thing we can do as musicians is to play in an ensemble. Private lessons are fantastic for one-on-one learning. But joining in with others makes everything come alive with new sounds and a new energy! 

The Violin Book 2 Ensemble camp is all about musicians coming together to create something new. Use your Book 2 pieces as you explore what it takes to perform with an ensemble of fellow violinists. Improve your reading skills by sight-reading music together, and play tunes in two and three parts! Gain confidence in your repertoire as you perform for each other in a fun, relaxed environment. The more you play with others, the easier it becomes. Not only will you improve as a soloist, but you will improve every musicianship skill as you blend your sound with others. Who knows- some of the things you play this summer could be featured next fall in the Ensemble Recital! 

Grab a friend and make some music in July! July 8 – 12, 11:00am – 12:00pm, Sewickley, COST $125 

Register online for the Sewickley location
Use Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27 to save 25% on tuition! 

CYM Feature Camp: Violin Book 1 Fun

A Latin proverb states that “repetition is the mother of study”. 

Musicians at every level of learning use repetition to gain insights, to secure, to memorize. Repetition brings a familiarity to the notes that makes the performer more emotionally engaged with the music. 

Mr. Chris has some great ideas about how Book 1 pieces can be reviewed, solidified, and even played in new ways! Try out new ideas and have fun playing with other musicians, with expert guidance and instruction from Mr. Chris. Take the concepts in your music and explore them through Twinkle games, rhythm games, trivia games, and more! Supplement your Book 1 repertoire by learning new songs by ear. Experience playing in rounds with fellow violinists, building your listening and ensemble skills. Expand on what you know- to give you a jump start on lessons in the fall. See you in Sewickley this July! 

Open to any students currently in Book 1, July 8 – 12, 2019, 10:00am – 11:00am, cost $125 

Register online for the Sewickley location
Use Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27 to save 25% on tuition! 

Ms Grace’s Community Concert Fills the Day with Beauty!

I remember as I was growing up I would love to hear my teachers play their instruments. As a high school student I was mesmerized hearing the Dayton Philharmonic perform, knowing that my band director was principal trumpet! Seeing and hearing your teacher in action is so valuable. It gives families valuable insights into the artistry of their teacher. For the student, the moment can provide a lifetime of motivation as they think Wow, that could be me one day! And it really can! Our students just need to know what to aim for. And to see the joy it brings to our teachers to be able to share confidently their musical accomplishments with others.

Ms Grace has done just that in her recent CYM Community Concert! Congratulations to Ms. Grace and her student performers!

CYM Pianist Prepares for Competition

CYM pianist, Abby Bojalad (center, student of Ms. Simmi), is busy preparing for the Streator-Smith Competition, hosted by the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers’ Association on April 6, 2019. This competition is open to piano, voice & string students in grades 7-12; piano contestants must perform two memorized pieces from different style periods.

This competition was started in 1992 in honor of two past PMTA members, Lois Streator and Lois Smith who were both incredibly active in the local PMTA chapter and also as organists, pianists and accompanists around the Pittsburgh community.

Help cheer Abby on in her preparation for this event! 

3….2…..1…..Saturday Light Brigade!

Ms. Simmi and her students took to the airwaves for an awesome SLB show this weekend! Just what is the Saturday Light Brigade, you ask?

SLB is a public radio program featuring acoustic music and family programming including participatory puzzles and games as well as on-air telephone calls from children and adults. Broadcast since 1978, it is one of the longest-running public radio programs in the United States. 

 

Piano students from the Center for Young Musicians demonstrated their public speaking and performance confidence in a segment devoted entirely to them! As always, the host (Mr. Larry Berger) made the students feel very comfortable and at ease playing on air and chatting about themselves.

Listeners enjoyed beautiful classical pieces as well as some Disney favorites! Participating in SLB gives our musicians an inside look at the broadcasting environment, including everything it takes to produce a show. A huge thank you to Ms Simmi for organizing this event and for giving our musicians yet another performing arts arena that they can feel confident in.  This is one of the many ways the Center for Young Musicians aims to develop well-rounded artists!

Talk with your teacher to find out about future SLB Saturdays!

CYM Summer Camp Feature: Summer Choir

Singing in a choir is something everyone should do at some point! Usually, once a person has had a great choir experience, they tend to seek out opportunities for choral experiences throughout their lives! And thankfully, study after study shows the benefits of singing, and singing in a group in particular!  

This choir is open to all CYM students, ages 8 – 12, no matter what instrument they study! But here’s good news- your child can bring a friend! We would love to have kids from the community join in with us- no previous choral or instrumental study necessary.  

If your student is currently studying music, this a chance to refine music literacy skills with a new instrument! The voice! Learn the foundations of good choral singing, including breath support, posture, blending, facial expression, and more! If your child has ever thought about auditioning for a musical, this choir will help them prepare for that! Music choices will depend on the choir we form, but will include Broadway, folk, classical, and may incorporate percussion instruments for accompaniment! We will work on sight-singing, improvisation, and theory skills.  

On the last day, we will finish with a choral concert for family and friends! 

The choir meets once a week through the summer. It’s OK if you can’t make all the rehearsals! 

Ages 8 – 12, 5:45-6:45 Tuesdays, June 4-July 30 at Sewickley, cost: $90 

 Register online for the Sewickley location 

Use  Coupon Code Earlybird19 by May 27 to save 25% on tuition! 

Mark your calendars – Spring Break and Solo Recital coming up!

Two all-school events on the horizon:

Our Spring Break is April 14 through April 21.  Be sure to mark your calendars -there will be no lessons or classes during this week.  Our administrative team is still available in the event that you need anything.  Please consider planning something special that week for your music student to show our appreciation of their diligence and hard work in developing skills that will serve them well throughout their lives…. persistence, dedication, breaking large tasks into small steps, and stepping up to perform.

Speaking of performing, the Spring Solo Recital will be held on Saturday, May 4th at the First Unitarian Church in Shadyside.   We will have 4 separate recitals that day, so keep an eye out for your designated time.

We love seeing all of our students perform at the recital.  It’s always a heart-warming display of ability and artistry.  Be sure to tell your extended family and friends so that they can enjoy our young musicians, too!

 

 

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 

The Center for Young Musicians