The Living Magazines

Hyde Park Living .....Hyde Park, Oakley, Mt. Lookout, O'Bryonville and East Walnut Hills
Wyoming Living
Indian Hill Living
Fort Thomas Living

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hyde Park School Students Learn to Play Beautiful Music Thanks to CCM Preparatory Program

By Grace DeGregorio

When Hyde Park School re-opened, families were excited  public education within the neighborhood was again available.  Outside the standard academic fare, other learning opportunities also became a possibility. 
Suzuki students from Hyde Park School following a recital.  CCM Preparatory teacher Joyce Grabell is rear left.
“A group of parents approached the principal and the idea rose to come to CCM,” explains Joyce Chan Grabell, Director for Suzuki Strings at the University of Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music Preparatory and Community Engagement Department. She brought the Suzuki Strings program to Hyde Park School five years ago.  In that short time, the number of strings students at the school has grown to 40.

Suzuki students from Hyde Park School - celebrating music AND Halloween!
CCM Preparatory, offers a wide variety of options in Music, Dance and Theatre Arts for all ages and levels – toddlers, preschoolers, youth, teens, adults, motivated pre-professional students preparing for a future in the performing arts and arts enthusiasts of all ages. Instruction is offered at CCM and through satellite locations and partnerships across the community.  The goal is to provide excellent, enjoyable and accessible arts opportunities within a highly creative environment that educate and inspire the whole student and serve as a catalyst for transforming and empowering our communities.
According to John William Martin, Assistant Dean of the Prep Department, “We support education for all people regardless of age, ability or financial situation.”  Participants may be pre-college students wanting to enter a career path in the arts or students who never entertained, but want an opportunity, in the arts. “Last year Prep served 3,045 though all its programs, with 170 faculty and staff involved in some capacity.  We do as much as possible to offer performing arts,” John says.
“It’s a school within a school,” observes Anne Cushing-Reed, Director of Engagement, Special Programs & Partnerships.  

Performance opportunities allow students to show what they’ve learned, develop stage presence and enjoy the results of their hard study.
The music programs work closely with schools, art agencies, community organizations and other partners to provide affordable, accessible music instruction.  “In the Suzuki Strings program the minimum student age is four, Joyce says.  “We have kids in every grade level.
“We start class recruitment in August for a 30 week program that ends in April.  The program includes solo recitals and group concerts.”  The Hyde Park School students have performed not only at the school but at the Hyde Park Farmers’ Market, Oakley After Hours, Findlay Market and the Cincinnati Museum Center.  

Joyce, who earned her doctorate at CCM and has taught for 15 years, says, “All the Hyde Park School kids have private lessons, mostly held at the school, as well as group classes in violin, viola and cello.  Through Cincinnati Public Schools, after-school band programs also are offered, which are taught by a public school teacher.”

Suzuki method is popular, allowing even very young children to participate in instruction and performances.
In addition to Joyce, Suzuki Strings is taught by Christine Woodbury, Colin Lambert, Hannah Hoffman, JaeEun Lee, and Sarah Kim.   “Teachers need to be certified in Suzuki, participate frequently in professional development and work with the Suzuki Association to up-grade credentials,” says Joyce.

“The department is involved in a number of community engagement efforts,” says Anne.  For example, After School is a collaboration with City Gospel Mission’s Whiz Kids initiative and select Cincinnati Public Schools.  Anne explains, “Graduate and undergraduates go to schools providing a curriculum for after school programs.  There is active involvement in music and other areas.  It offers students the opportunity to develop skills while following themes in the activities.

Students take their music seriously, with diligent study and performance.
“We also send our college students to retirement communities at a small cost.  There are about 150 to 200 events just in that program - students get appreciative audiences in the residents!”

Cincinnati New Horizons Orchestra for adults over age 50 is hosted by the Prep Department.  Those who once played - or wish to learn for the first time - a string instrument and/or want to be part of an orchestra, are welcome. Members participate in beginning and intermediate-level small group instruction on violin, viola, cello or string bass.

Registration for summer programs is beginning.  Visit to learn about Arts Immersion for High Schoolers, Programs for Youth and Teens and Early Childhood Programs.
The CCM Prep and Community Engagement Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, Dance and Theatre and is a member of a number of professional organizations. For more information, please call 512-556-2595 or visit

No comments:

Post a Comment