What, Who & Why

What is Foundations?

The Foundations program is a comprehensive curriculum intended to lead a beginning musician through the foundations of musicianship on which to build their instrumental or vocal education. This program was developed by CYM founders and faculty to create an excellent musical foundation and a healthy curiosity for varied musical styles and genres, as well as a developed sense of musical skill through literacy.

Your commitment:
This program meets weekly for eleven months of the year with breaks at holidays, and comprises:

  • A weekly 50-minute group class experience uses American and World folk music to explore harmony and melody and introduce musical foundations and concepts.
  • A weekly OPTIONAL 30, 45, or 60 minute private lesson on the student’s chosen instrument€” piano, violin, viola, cello, guitar or voice.

Who teaches my child’s group class and private lesson?

CYM’s highly trained faculty teaches the Foundations group classes as well as the student’s private lesson. You may read more about our faculty here.

Why group class? Why take a private lesson?

A group and private lesson work in tandem so that music literacy and comprehension are given due diligence in the fun, motivating atmosphere of a peer group, giving the student freedom to move at their own pace in learning the technique of their chosen instrument in a focused one-on-one teaching session. This provides a varied and well-rounded approach to learning that can be tailored to each student’s unique needs.

Group Class: The purpose of the Foundations group class is to teach basic tonal and rhythmic production, critical thinking and listening skills. Students develop music literacy skills by reading and writing music organized in sequential lesson plans.

Private Lesson: Students may also choose to study an instrument in a private lesson. The purpose of a private lesson is to discover a students’ unique “voice” through instrumental expression. Combining the technical skills needed to play an instrument or sing while developing a student’s musicality through performance is a challenging and exciting journey. Focused time spent with CYM instructors is necessary to achieving this goal.

A lesson is optional for students in the Foundations Program, yet is a beneficial component of their musical growth and development, and a natural next step in musicianship. Together with their teacher, parents and students have the flexibility to choose from a range of curriculum and literature to suit their learning style and educational goals.

When & How?

When do we register for this program?

  • CYM allows open enrollment year round.
  • Entry into group classes is highly encouraged at the start of each school year in September, or mid-year in January; however, integration at different points during the year can be achieved successfully. Parents work with our admissions staff to find the right fit for the student.
  • Entry into a private lesson is encouraged year-round. This may mean that a student would join CYM’s Solo Studies Program until reaching an appropriate entry point into group class. Parents work with our admissions staff to find the right fit for the student.

How do we register for this program?

  • If you are just joining CYM, we recommend that you take a Solo Studies trial in order to help our instructors place you in a Foundations class, most likely the following fall.
    • Current class availability by can be found by entering your information into our registration form.
    • After submitting a completed online registration, a member of our Admissions team will contact you to confirm your child’s schedule and supply welcome materials and an enrollment E-form.

The Classical Program, with the group class in conjunction with a private lesson, is the ideal foundation for a thorough and balanced education for CYM’s instrumental and vocal students in CYM’s. However, the Solo Studies Program, with a weekly private lesson, is also available for students who desire an individualized structure

Click here for more information about the Solo Studies program.

How do I know the Foundations Program is right for my child?

  • The Foundations Program offers students the opportunity to be more independent at an earlier age in developing instrumental skills and theoretical understanding.
  • Your child is between the ages of 5-17 and you want to have the benefit of joining a lively and fun music class, with the option of adding a private instrument lesson if your child shows interest.


Instrument Rental Available

Get one month free on any new instrument rental when signing up or renewing any annual program.

Learn More About Our Instrument Rental Program

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Or maybe you still have a few questions.

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The Center for Young Musicians