Carnegie Mellon School of Music Preparatory School Chamber Music, Chamber Orchestra, Early Education, Group Classes, Music School, Music Theory, Orchestra, Percussion / Percussion Ensemble, Performance Class, Private Lessons, String Ensemble

5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

At the Carnegie Mellon Music Preparatory School, distinguished professional musicians and educators train talented Pittsburgh-area children.

Our goal is to give children ages 4 through 18 technical, academic and artistic proficiency in music.

Comprehensive classes in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Musicianship, Theory and Composition and Improvisation accompany private lessons in either piano, strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass), guitar and percussion.

Piano Program
Luz Manriquez, Director

Our Piano Program, designed by Professor Hanna Wu Li and directed by Luz Manriquez, combines outstanding private piano instruction with classes in Dalcroze eurhythmics, music theory, composition, improvisation and chamber music. A public, free recital is given at the end of each semester. Each year many students receive national recognition for excellence.

Private Piano Lessons:
Students may choose a 30-, 45-, or 60-minute weekly private lesson. In addition to the weekly lesson, students are encouraged to take a music class in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Musicianship or Theory, Composition, Improvisation, or Chamber Music for the more advanced student. These classes help to develop listening skills, rhythmic and tonal dictation, theoretical knowledge, and structural and compositional techniques. One music class may be taken each semester at no additional cost. All classes are taught on Saturdays on the Carnegie Mellon campus. Private lessons are taught on Saturdays on campus, although some teachers may teach throughout the week on campus. An interview with Professor Luz Manriquez is required for admittance into the Piano Program. Call the Music Preparatory Office to schedule an appointment 412.268.3667.

Beginning Piano Program for Children:
Carla LaRocca, Director
Beginning Piano for Children is designed to provide beginning students (ages 5-7) with comprehensive instruction, a natural approach to the keyboard, fluency in reading and a precise attention to musical detail. Students have a 45-minute group lesson, a 30-minute private lesson and a 45-minute Dalcroze Eurhythmics class each week. The group class concentrates on note reading, counting, rhythm, fingering, hand position, ear training, sight reading, solo performance, and duet playing. The private lesson is devoted to individual coaching and development.

Beginning Piano for Children is a 4 consecutive semester commitment. Students that start the Beginning Piano Group Class in the Fall semester commit to a 4 semester program running Fall, Spring, Summer then graduating at the end of the next Fall. Students that start the Beginning Piano Group Class in the Spring semester commit to a 4 semester program running Spring, Summer, Fall then graduating at the end of the next Spring.

String Program

The Carnegie Mellon String Preparatory School offers a comprehensive program for students ages 6-18 years of age. Students may enroll in private lessons for violin, viola, cello, and double bass. We offer a full curriculum of classes including Group Classes, Eurhythmics, Music Theory, Composition and Chamber Music. Each year is comprised of three semesters, Fall, Spring & Summer, with recitals ending the Fall and Spring semesters.

In the summer, string students are encouraged to attend the Carnegie Mellon Summer String Workshop. The Summer String Workshop, sponsored by the CMU String Preparatory School, is a 5-day program which focuses on bringing string students from the greater Pittsburgh area together for an inspiring week of solo and ensemble playing.

Private String Instruction:
Students sign up for a weekly private lesson. Lesson duration is based upon student’s level of experience. Private lessons are taught on Saturdays or weekdays.

In addition to a weekly lesson, students are encouraged to take music classes offered at the Carnegie Mellon campus on Saturdays: Group Classes for violin, viola, or cello, Eurhythmics, Musicianship, Theory, Composition, or Chamber Music. These classes help to develop ensemble playing, listening skills, rhythmic and tonal dictation, theoretical knowledge and structural and compositional techniques.

Group classes are fundamental to developing student’s proficiency at ensemble playing and note reading, rhythm, counting, and sight reading. We highly recommended elementary level students enroll in the weekly class. Group classes are based upon student enrollment.

Young Artists Orchestra:
This chamber orchestra is comprised of intermediate/advanced string students ages approximately 9-14 years old.  This ensemble meets weekly from September to May on Saturdays from 1:00-2:30pm in Margaret Morrison 119.  The conductor is Mr. Steve Ehrlich, Orchestra Director of the East Allegheny Schools.  There is a final performance at the conclusion of each semester as part of a showcase event featuring several of our performing groups and based on a unique theme.

Eligibility: Students should have prior group or ensemble experience if possible. Students should have competency with note reading, shifting into higher positions, and vibrato.  Entrance is based on audition.

Guitar Program

Our Guitar Preparatory Program offers private lessons to the beginner and more skilled student ages 6-18. Lessons focus on classical method and material to build strong music-reading skill, chord and scale theory, and improvisation.

Lessons are generally taught on Saturdays on the Carnegie Mellon campus although some lessons may be taught throughout the week based upon teacher schedule and availability.

In addition to the weekly lesson, students are encouraged to take an age appropriate music class in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Musicianship, Theory, Advanced Theory and Composition, Improvisation, or Chamber Music for the more advanced student. These classes help to develop listening skills, rhythmic and tonal dictation, theoretical knowledge, and structural and compositional techniques. All classes are taught on Saturdays on the Carnegie Mellon campus.

Percussion Program

Beginning Percussion for Children is designed to provide beginning students (ages 6-8) with comprehensive instruction in rhythm and percussion techniques by combining weekly group classes with private instruction. The combined group class and private lesson will total one hour each week. All classes are taught on Saturdays on the Carnegie Mellon campus.  Group class concentrates on counting, rhythm, percussion technique and exercises to inspire creativity, coordination and support ensemble playing. The private lesson builds the student’s individual skill and personal development. This program requires commitment to attendance and outside practice. The prescribed number of semesters a student should remain in the Beginning Percussion Program is undetermined at this time. Recommendation will be for continued private lesson instruction and ensemble playing after graduation from the program.

Elective Classes

  • Dalcroze Eurhythmics- Eurhythmics helps students experience music throughout their bodies. Based on the principles of Emile Jacques-Dalcroze, Eurhythmics integrates movement, ear training, and improvisation. Classes are grouped by age.
  • Music Theory- Divided into levels, the introductory being Music Fundamentals, followed by Music Theory I – Music Theory IV, each address concepts in ear training and solfege, sight singing, part writing, and interval recognition.
  • Mindfulness for Young Musicians- This class offers musicians the tools to become more aware in the moment and away from technology in a calming environment while learning the tools of how to focus and self regulate. This class will provide students with the skills to become more mindful and successful during instrumental practice as well as before and during performances.  Research has shown that regular mindfulness practice has the power to change the functioning of our brains. Students will learn about the parts of the brain associated with the mindfulness practice while engaging in kinesthetic activities involving breathing, listening, moving, focusing, connecting, and relaxing.
  • Improvisation- Students create music spontaneously using rhythms, melodies, and harmonies.
  • Creative Expression- Students use instruments, voices, and percussion to create their own original compositions.  Students will find joy in making music and will enjoy a creative and social outlet for their talents.  Practical application of music theory and compositional techniques from classical masterworks blends as students create their pieces in small ensembles.  Students will aslo explore the score behind the great composers and their music.
  • Group String Class- Learning to play with other strings is fundamental to a student’s proficiency. Group violin and cello classes are open to non-Preparatory School students at appropriate age and skill level. Availability of group classes depends upon student enrollment. Please contact the Music Preparatory Office for information on appropriate level for your child. Students will be placed in the appropriate Group Class by String Faculty.
  • Young Artists Orchestra- This chamber orchestra is comprised of intermediate/advanced string students ages approximately 9-14 years old.  This ensemble meets weekly from September to May on Saturdays from 1:00-2:30 pm in Margaret Morrison 119.  The conductor is Mr. Steve Erhlich, Orchestra Director of the East Allegheny Schools.  There is a final performance at the conclusion of each semester as part of a showcase event featuring several of our performing groups and based on a unique theme.
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