Thanks for your interest in the Center for Young Musicians (CYM) and for visiting our website! We’d like to tell you just a bit about how CYM came into being and share some of our school’s highlights with you. Victoria and I began CYM’s journey together in October, 1994.
I graduated from Northwestern University, and Victoria graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Notre Dame. We both shared a love of music education and children and individually recognized that, in spite of our very thorough conservatory training, we needed to learn much more about teaching music to children.
We met as aspiring music teachers in 1992 in Louisville, KY, where we studied the Suzuki method of violin pedagogy with one of Dr. Suzuki’s students, Ms. Hiroko Driver. We watched first-hand how she incorporated Dr. Suzuki’s methods of imitation, repetition and group instruction to create skillful young musicians who played effortlessly. We wished to create a school where families could receive such excellent instruction and help motivate their children to aspire to such high levels of artistry. We envisioned an organization that would develop capable young people with deeply-engrained skills to take with them in their life’s work.
We moved to my hometown of Pittsburgh in 1994 and got started on CYM at the North Hills YMCA, which is no longer standing. We had one ECM class of toddlers, and one class of four violin students. All of these wonderful families believed in our vision for their children, and the school began to grow. We purchased our Wexford site at 120 Lake Drive in 1994. We added piano teachers, cello teachers, guitar teachers, voice teachers and administrative staff over the years to manage the growing and diversifying student body.
In what has become a cornerstone of our vision for students, we added a comprehensive music literacy curriculum in order to teach children how to hear, read, sing and write music. We added American music to the curriculum so that our program would evolve from a traditional classical music program to a rich and lively laboratory for students to find their favorite styles.
Several of our graduates have gone on to study music in college. Others return to Pittsburgh on their college breaks and play with us on holiday concerts. Music remains an essential part of each CYM student’s life thanks to the concerted efforts of their families and our staff. Recently, we added Time Wave Music program to accommodate the many adults who are interested in music study. Generally, these individuals studied music at one time in their lives and wish to resume study to reap the benefits of studying music as an adult. If you are an adult who has never tried music study, we welcome you whole-heartedly.
To all of you who are new to CYM, please give us a try. Please join our community of hard-working, supportive, music-loving people! We look forward to your starting!