Young Music Scholars

Students who play an instrument or sing in an ensemble learn discipline, focus, hard work, teamwork, and other life skills through the pursuit of musical excellence in ensemble experiences. And, students who actually participate in music making at the high level which we provide at MYAC, become the next generation of professional musicians and dedicated amateurs who support and continue the tradition of classical and jazz music.

Students who audition for MYAC’s programs have had the benefit of supportive parents, a teacher or another person who has provided them with private lessons, an instrument, transportation to MYAC, and encouragement in their love and pursuit of making music. Not all students are that lucky.

In 2010-2011, MYAC started a Young Music Scholars (YMS) & Young Music Scholars Mentors Program.

The YMS program presents creative and cultural opportunities for students attending schools near the MYAC Center, offering scholarships so that these students can play in an orchestra and participate in instrument classes as well. The teachers of these schools choose the students who they feel deserve this opportunity. A small fee of $ 100 is required of each student.

Every other week during the school year, YMS students receive private instruction from an instrument-specific professional teacher. Additionally, every week they receive practice help from a third or fourth year high school student, or mentor, who plays in the most advanced MYAC Orchestra.

With this approach, instruction can be individual and reinforced by the practical help of a more advanced peer.

We try to match the student and the mentor so that there is a good personal and musical relationship. Scholarship recipients not only receive professional instruction but also have the opportunity to observe and learn from a music student like themselves, who is more advanced. By observing master teachers, the mentors gain valuable teaching experience and can learn helpful life-lessons Twice a year the YMS students give a solo recital to demonstrate the progress they have made with the classes. They also learn to play with a pianist who accompanies them in the recital.

In addition to essential individualized instruction, YMS students belong to the MYAC family by playing in one of the six levels of orchestras that meet on Saturdays and by attending theory classes that supplement these rehearsals. To showcase the orchestras’ hard work, three major concerts are held during the year at Pick Staiger Hall on the Northwestern University campus (or other available concert venues).

Auditions are held annually and students are encouraged and expected to advance to the next level orchestra in a reasonable time frame.

The Young Music Scholars Program requires a significant amount of effort and serious time commitment from the students and their families, but our results show it is well worth it.

Teachers: To Nominate a Student to become a Young Music Scholar, please email: Karen Dennis

General Description of the Program in Spanish (Descripción General del Programa) – Link to PDF

YMS Mentor Application Form