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Sewickley business, school team up to promote music

By Joanne Barron
Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Two local educational facilities soon will team up to bring together minds and music, a natural collaboration, leaders of both say.

The Center for Young Musicians of Sewickley, or CYM, will bring more music knowledge to Montessori Children's Community in the fall that will involve students learning to play instruments and read and write music.

Founder and head of school Terri Modic said the Montessori community is looking forward to the new program, which will fulfill parents' requests.

CYM officials explained the new partnership to parents and students at a meeting at Montessori in June, when new teachers also were introduced.

Autumn Kunselman, CYM vice president of student affairs, said many Montessori students also are CYM students, so teaming up seemed like a “great collaboration.”

Leah Givelber, CYM vice president of academy affairs, said the principles CYM builds on go well with the Montessori philosophy.

Montessori, which has been located in Sewickley for 21 years, and enrolls more than 100 students each year, stresses an individualized, independent approach to education.

Starting in the fall, the Montessori school will be the first in the Pittsburgh area to start a middle school program — this year just for seventh-graders.

Parents and students also were introduced to new middle school teacher, Katanya Cathcart, who will train at Hershey Farm School in Cleveland.

Kunselman said the CYM program will include the seventh-graders and build as students develop motor skills and grow into reading and writing music.

“Our program is meant to be a long-term, skill-based curriculum building on learning principals month to month,” she said.

The program will begin in the lower elementary school, where students in grades one, two and three will work on music literacy, learn to read and write music, and work on rhythm and pitch.

As students get older, they will begin playing musical instruments, such as the glockenspiel and recorder, to take their music-literacy skills to a more practical level.

They then will learn the basics of harmony and melody for both voice and instruments and learn to play the guitar and keyboard.

Students in the Children's House, children ages 2 years and 7 months to 6 years old, will remain with the previous Musikgarten program.

Kunselman said partnering with Montessori is the latest new venture CYM is beginning since its expansion.

CYM, which began in the North Hills area 20 years ago, expanded to Sewickley six years ago and moved earlier this year from its facility at 434 Beaver St. to a larger space at 437 Beaver St. It also opened another music school in Shadyside last year and has expanded its summer-camp programs this year.

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or



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