The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has established an ongoing collaboration with Music for Youth in Cincinnati (MYCincinnati), an instrumental classical music program for children ages 7-13 located in East Price Hill. Based on the hugely successful Venezuelan model – El Sistema – MYCincinnati immerses children two hours per day, five days per week in classical music instruction and group music-making with the goal of engaging young minds, improving individual lives and having a cumulative impact on the entire neighborhood.
Recognizing that MYCincinnati primarily offers group instruction and performances, the CCO saw the opportunity to enhance this program by providing individual instruction, giving students the chance to interact one-on-one with a working professional musician as teacher and mentor. Several CCO members now visit MYCincinnati twice weekly for several hours.
In addition, the CCO has performed on several occasions side-by-side with MYCincinnati students. The combined ensembles performed several pieces onstage during our 2012-13 season finale, and members of the CCO string section have played alongside MYCincinnati students for several small ensemble events, providing a forum for putting their training into action, and opening up a new world of experiences and possibilities to these children.
Nat Chaitkin, cello teacher, has this to say about the program:
“I have worked one on one with several young cellists at MYCincinnati, and the experience has been wonderful. MYCincinnati’s program gives these children great group instruction, but none of them have had private lessons before. We are able to work on technique, sound and other crucial issues in much more detail than the group setting allows, and the results are amazing. All of the children have improved greatly as cellists, have learned to play simple solos and duets (often their first time having a line of music all to themselves!), and perhaps most importantly, they have learned to better express their own ideas about the music they play. I look forward to each visit as a chance not only to help these children improve as cellists, but to get to know them better — they are remarkable young people and inspiring to spend time with!”
To learn more about the program and its impact on the Cincinnati arts community, please view the video on this page.