Young Music Scholars

Students who play an instrument or sing in an ensemble learn discipline, focus, hard work, teamwork, and valuable life skills through the pursuit of musical excellence. Furthermore, students who participate in music making at the high level provided at MYAC, become the next generation of professionals and dedicated musicians who support and continue the traditions of classical and jazz music.

Ordinarily, students who audition for MYAC’s programs have the benefit of supportive parents or a teacher providing them with private lessons, an instrument, transportation to MYAC, and encouragement in their love and pursuit of making music. However, not all students are this fortunate. That’s why in 2010, MYAC started the Young Music Scholars and Young Music Scholars Mentors Program, also know as YMS.

The YMS program presents creative and cultural opportunities for students attending schools near the MYAC Center, offering scholarships to play in our orchestras and participate in instrumental lessons as well. Teachers from area 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 master teacher. Additionally, they also receive practice coaching from a third or fourth year high school student, or mentor, who plays in the most advanced MYAC orchestras. With this approach, instruction can be tailored to the individual student and reinforced by a more advanced peer.

We make every attempt to match YMS students with an appropriate student mentor to help form a good personal and musical relationship. Scholarship recipients not only receive professional instruction from a master instructor, but also have the opportunity to observe and learn from an advanced student mentor peer.

By observing master teachers, the student mentors who volunteer in the program gain valuable teaching experience and learn life long skills. Twice per year, the YMS students perform a solo recital to demonstrate progress they have made in the program. These recitals also help them learn to play alongside a piano accompanist.

YMS students are welcomed into the MYAC family as a member of one of our six orchestras that meet to rehearse on Saturdays, and by attend music theory classes to supplement these rehearsals. Three major concerts showcase our orchestras’ hard work and are held during the year at Pick Staiger Hall at Northwestern University campus and 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 over the years have shown 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

Thank you to the following sponsors for supporting MYAC's Young Music Scholars program...