Friday, May 25, 2012

Josephine Reiter Graduates Suzuki Book One

Josephine at May's Spring Solo Recital
Congratulations to Josephine Reiter as she celebrates her graduation from Suzuki Violin Book One! Josephine will perform her Graduation Recital on Wednesday, June 13th in the Steinway performance space at CYM Sewickley at 4:00pm. Family and friends are invited to attend! Bravo, Josephine!

Adam Ward Graduates Suzuki Violin Book One

Adam Ward with his mother, Elsie Spry
Congratulations are in order for Adam Ward, as he graduates from Suzuki Violin Book One. Adam performed his Graduation recital last evening at CYM Sewickley for classmates, friends, and family. Bravo Adam!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Makeup Week is June 25– June 30

art by Chaldea
We encourage all CYM students to take advantage of 
Makeup Week, June 25– June 30, to make up missed group classes and individual lessons.  

June 25th is the make up day for Memorial Day, so all classes will happen as scheduled. 
June 27th is the make up day for July 4th, so all classes will happen as scheduled.
For the rest of the week, Group makeup times will be offered at regularly scheduled class times- please CALL to schedule your time.  If you missed a group class and were unable to make it up during the school year, now is the time!    
Individual makeup lessons will be scheduled as needed.   No lessons will happen unless you schedule them. 

Please contact us at by June 18th to schedule your group class or individual lesson time during Makeup Week.

Remember, no lessons will happen unless we hear from you, so please contact us soon!  

Don't know how to schedule a make up? Here's How:

1.    Cancel 24 hours prior to your scheduled class or lesson:
o  Call          724-935-0505
o  Email  or
o  Web         Fill out an online rescheduling  
                 request at
o  Tell your teacher about your request so they may relay the message to an Administrator for follow up. NOTE: While you and your teacher may decide upon a makeup time only an Administrator may enter your make-up into the schedule and confirm your make-up with you. Your make-up lesson is not official until you receive confirmation from an Administrator.

2.    An Administrator will reply to your request in a timely manner with options for rescheduling and will call to confirm with you a final make-up time.

ü During the year you are permitted to reschedule:
·       6 Technique Lessons and 9 Group Classes
·       Last minute (emergency) cancellations will be limited to 2 of the 6 allotted

ü You may make-up a lesson as soon as one is available in your teacher’s schedule.  Lessons may be rescheduled at any time during the school year.  Once a lesson has been rescheduled, make every effort to attend the new lesson time.  If you miss a make-up lesson, it cannot be rescheduled.

Summertime Music at CYM Sewickley

Hey there, Sewickley families! If you're walking down Beaver St. this weekend, you may see these posted around the neighborhood! If you know a little one who would like to try out our ECM classes, invite them to one of our new Pop-up mini-classes. These classes provide a great sneak-peak into our upcoming Music Discovery Camp and Fall Toddlers and Twinklers!

Don't forget to have your own Twinkler sign up for Music Discovery Camp!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Parents as Partners Online series is still going!

Parents as Partners Online series is still going!

If you didn’t get around to viewing the many amazing lectures available through the Suzuki Association of the Americas Parents as Partners Online program, don’t feel badly. You didn’t miss it yet! This informative program runs until June 30. If you signed up in January, you can still view the talks and presentations online, anytime you like. 

Rev up stalled practice sessions with James Hutchins in “7 Guarantees for More Progress During Practice.” Consider the concept of power in a new light with Ed Sprunger, who shares more of his insights into children and learning. For a lovely reminder of why you chose music education for your child, enjoy Beth Cantrell’s talk, “Nurturing the Individual: Rivers, Trails and Time.”

There are many more topics to choose from, and most videos are around 15 minutes long.  Don’t miss this opportunity for education, inspiration and connection with Suzuki method teachers and parents!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dispatch from the far side of a 200 day practice challenge.

Ben Capozzi recieves his 200 day practice challenge trophy from his teacher, Ms. Sonia

Dispatch from the far side of a 200 day practice challenge.

By Kim Capozzi

I never thought we were practice challenge people. When other children were handed those shiny trophies at recitals, I always looked at the parents and thought THEY deserved the trophy. It was all I could do to get us to the piano most days; I didn’t need the pressure of every single day.

But my son Ben, 8, who is in his 3rd year of piano study at CYM, had his own ideas. He wanted a trophy for a 200 Day Practice Challenge. Once he decided he was going for it, that meant of course that we were going for it.

We are now on the other side of those 200 days straight of practice and the shiny trophy sits on a cleared off shelf in Ben’s room.  The practice challenge was even harder than I thought it would be. But not for the reasons I would have guessed.

It turns out making time for music every single day wasn’t so hard. We were pretty close to doing that anyway. The trouble came when we reached a rough patch, like when a new piece became frustrating, or Ben was tired, or one of us was having a bad day. I realized I no longer had my escape hatch – ending practice when things are getting ugly.

Suzuki parents are taught early on that practice should be a positive encounter, and it’s much better to step away from practice than to damage your relationship with your child by losing your patience or saying something you regret. It’s not supposed happen very often.  Apparently I’d been relying on the step away quite a bit. Because when we hit those moments of resistance or tension, I struggled to get around them.

A typical scene a few months into our practice challenge:

Ben: “Mom, did I do enough practice? Does it count?” We’d only been practicing for five minutes.

Mom: “Not quite. I’d like to hear you repeat the B section a few more times.”

 Ben: “I’m too tired! I tried my best, I can’t do anymore!”

 Mom: “I have a few more assignments I’d like to do.”   I begin to lose patience.

Ben:  Groans. “Fine!” He races through a piece. “Now am I done?”

Mom:  I say something I regret. “Listen, I’m not going to fight with you. If you aren’t going to work with me, then I’m ending practice. And it won’t count for our calendar.”   Damage done.

“NO! NO! I want to practice! I want to practice!” And we’d practice, but often painfully as the frustration, fear of failure or whatever was bothering him never left the piano bench, and we continued to clash. Looking back on this, I’m pretty sure this is exactly NOT what our teachers would want from a practice challenge.

Fortunately, I also realized it wasn’t what I wanted for our practices, ever.  Miss Sonia, Ben’s teacher, helped me see what was going wrong.  Ben awoke early one Saturday in tears because we had forgotten to practice the night before. “If I practice now, can it count for last night?” We remembered that he had actually played the piano and guitar with a friend that night as part of their play. But I told him since it wasn’t a formal practice, we had to ask his teacher.

In our next class, Sonia said that for someone at Ben’s level, musical activities did count. I also think she picked up on the tension at home.

“A practice challenge is just a way to help the kids make a commitment to practice,” she said. “And it’s supposed to be fun.”

Oh yeah, fun. I missed fun.  I trotted out some of my old tricks, like playing games or rewarding repetitions with chocolate chips, but they weren’t getting us there. So I turned to the Suzuki Association of the Americas Parents as Partners Online seminars, which were getting started around this time. I stayed online late into the night taking notes about the benefits of review and reviving stalled practice sessions.  

 Ben and I had made a lot of progress, and our challenges were no longer those in teaching a young child. I was now supporting a growing musician.  Nonetheless, a big improvement came for us when I started sticking around in the same room while Ben practiced, instead of heading to the kitchen to cook dinner while he worked things out on his own.  His pieces had grown more complicated, and I needed to watch him.  And I think Ben needed to know I was there, even as he was growing more independent.

The whole experience reminded me that just like anything in parenting, guiding your child’s music education is something you learn as you go, and is constantly evolving.  Just when you think you’ve got it – whether it’s a toddler’s sleep schedule or how to get a young musician to perfect his Twinkles  – it changes. As parent teachers, we have to keep up with our kids.

Do I think I deserve a trophy for getting through this practice challenge? No, the trophy is all Ben’s.  But I admit I enjoy looking at it almost as much as he does.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Anthony McCann at the Spring Solo Recital performing, "Hey, Jude"

Tony is a piano student of Ms. Sonia Triathi, and a part of the American Legends Level 3 group class. Last year, in the Level 2 class, the group learned to play guitar basics. Watch as we sit down with Tony McCann, who composed a song for his mother, Lisa:

Keep up the good work, Tony, and Happy Mother's Day to all our song-worthy Moms!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

CYM Solo Recital Photos are up!

The stage is prepared for the 3:00pm violin recital to commence.
All 490 photographs from our Spring Solo Recitals are posted and available on CYM's Facebook page. Feel free to download all the pictures you would like. Access them all by clicking here.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

CYM Graduating Seniors Honored at Solo Recital

Meredith Hudock, Solo Recital 2011

Karolina Lagerquist, Solo Recital 2011

Sergei Adelman, Solo Recital 2011

The Center for Young Musicians wishes to recognize

Meredith Hudock
Karolina Lagerquist
Sergei Adelman
Evan Adelman

for their dedication to music and journey in music study through the Center for Young Musicians.

Congratulations, Seniors, and our very best wishes as you continue on your musical path!
-CYM teachers, faculty, families, and friends

"Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music!"

Spring Solo Recital, here we come!

Violin performers patiently wait for their turn to play- April 2011 Solo Recital

CYM Spring Solo Recital

Marshall Middle School
Saturday, May 5th
Cello and Guitar 11:00am
Piano 1:00pm
Violin 3:00pm
For a brush up on your concert etiquette,  check out our post here
Need directions to Marshall Middle School? Click here
Need a refresher on what to wear? CYM's Family Guide says...
 Proper attire for a performer includes dress slacks, a collared shirt and dress shoes for boys, and dress slacks or skirts with blouses, dresses and dress shoes for girls. Skirts and dresses must be worn at or below the knee. Sneakers, jeans, sleeveless or tee shirts, shirts with large logos, distracting jewelry and “flip-flop” type shoes are not acceptable for concert dress.
Family and friends are invited to attend!  See you there!