MIDWEST YOUNG ARTISTS

Rating: 4.94 stars   86 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 878 Lyster Rd Highwood IL 60040 USA

Mission: "To Build a Home with the Power of Music to Enrich the Lives of our Students and Community"
Results: MYA has gone from a single orchestra with 50 members and rented spaces in 1993, to an organization that now serves over 1,000 young people annually with a permanent rehearsal space in Highwood, Illinois that houses 9 orchestras, 65+ chamber ensembles, dozens of Jazz ensembles including combos and Big Bands, a wind symphony, choral ensembles, early childhood education classes, music theory & history classes, festivals, summer camps, and national concerto & chamber competitions.
Geographic areas served: 74 Communities in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana
Programs: Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Jazz Combos & Ensembles, Big Band, Chamber Ensembles, Early Childhood Music & Movement, Choral Program, Music Theory, Summer Music Programs

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

MYA is a tremendous "like family" experience all round. The cause is worthy, the team beyond compare, and every child is made to feel like a star.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was an MYA student for many years and wish I was still young enough to participate! It's the most supportive and high performance organization of its kind. Now I volunteer there a lot and I have nothing but good things to say about the staff and faculty. Top notch people + excellent music= fun!

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was a student in MYA from 7th-12th grade. The level of musicianship exhibited by the students and faculty is second to none. The quality that sets this organization from its competitors is culture. It is a perfect place for students to develop musically and personally. I got so much out of the program that after college i started volunteering for MYA to give back to the organization. Today, i serve as the president of MYA's Young Professionals Board. We work closely with the Board of Directors, faculty, and administrators. I would highly recommend MYA to anyone looking for a fulfilling volunteering opportunity where you can make as big or little of a contribution as your time allows.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

MYA not only provides the top level music educations and performance oportunities to all level music students, but also created the most friendly and warm environment for any parents / families coming to MYA. We feel so lucky being part of MYA!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Mya is blessing for kids, parents, and community.
My kids are attending orcestra and chamber music.
They are amazingly motivated by music.
Thanks mya

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a two year member of the Symphony orchestra and a 3 year member, I can honestly say that MYA is the best decision I have ever made. The combination of great teachers, great musicians, great music, and great friends makes MYA I will forever advise and anybody and everybody.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter is graduating after 10 years in MYA. She and I have grown over this time, and MYA became a material part of our lives. MYA doesn't just teach music. They teach music well. But they also teach our children character, discipline, compassion, cooperation, and a desire to excel without hurting others. Through the years I have heard parents from other music programs, who came to MYA extol its virtues. Their children became part of a team. While competitive, the young musicians are taught the larger lessons on what is takes to be a successful human. MYA's best advertisement of its success is its battalion of alumni who still cherish their time with MYA, still come back to visit and participate, and serve on its young professionals board.

As my daughter goes off to college to study music and business, I will continue to participate in and support MYA's activities because it's that important of an organization for young people.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Double its physical facilities so it could serve more young musicians.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter had already been in the program for two years when I began taking her to weekly Saturday morning practices with one of the orchestras at Midwest Young Artists. I have been actively involved for decades in public service, including government and volunteer organizations. I've also worked for decades with not-for-profits. Unequivocally, none has rivaled what I found at Midwest Young Artists.

Over the past few years, I have watched with amazement at all the good MYA produces. Young musicians readily become committed to working, practicing, and meeting individual challenges. They are part of a team, but they also recognize their individual involvement in achieving the end result. They are eager to participate, not forced to do so. When a young musician advances within his or her orchestra or to a more advanced orchestra or chamber group, he or she knows that it's not because of the politics of a parent's involvement or a monetary contribution - it's because the child or young adult earned the advancement by his or her own hard work and dedication. As the children advance into their teens, you can see the deepening of their friendships, work ethic, commitment, and, importantly, confidence. This is an earned confidence that the youth carries with himself or herself for life.

Similarly, you can observe and support each child's development through the years. There's an excitement each Fall as the youths return from summer for a reconvening of the academic year. It's like watching a championship team develop anew each season.

The parents do not tend towards cliques. New parents are welcomed and established families develop friendships. Most of work does not fall upon a small few to accomplish. Rather parents readily volunteer to help and be part of the success of the organization. Because so many are willing to help, the work for all is more enjoyable.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching the children grow through the programs; managing backstage logistics; volunteering at numerous events; serving on MYA's board of directors.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand the size of the facilities to accommodate more participants.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

Through my wife and daughter.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Our son has been in MYA's jazz program for the last two years, and it's been a fantastic experience! He has learned so much, met some great people, and even travelled overseas with the group.

I've also volunteered periodically with the organization, so have seen the great work done by all of the support staff as well. Their focus is completely on bringing musical learning and enjoyment to the participants as well as the surrounding community, and they seem to focus on doing it as efficiently as possible, so are great stewards of the dollars made available to them.

Top notch organization overall, and expect to continue contributing to them as best we can, even when our son has moved on to college.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

We have been members of MYA for the past 7 years. The quality of their high level jazz, orchestra, and chamber ensemble programming (theory, too) is well worth our weekly two hour road trip. Kudos, MYA!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Passionate, talented people make MYA what it is: a great place to advance musical skills in ways not provided through private lessons or highschool orchestras. I have great memories, and had outstanding mentors and teachers who only wanted the best for all of us. The MYA family was crucial to my development as a musician, and though I didn't pursue music as my ultimate career path, I still carry a deep appreciation for music, theory, and playing my instrument. That wouldn't be nearly as true without my experience with MYA.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Last night I watched, along with other parents, a delightful recital by children who had worked very hard all year to prepare for this evening. These children, along with countless others, have received the opportunity to learn an instrument, receive lessons, and participate in a first rate orchestra program whether or not their incredibly supportive families were able to cover the cost. The music the children are exposed to is incredible, and the character that is built in being from being a part of this community is priceless. I am forever grateful to what Midwest Young Artists gives to each young musician, their families, and the community as a whole! My son literally "grew up" under Dr. Dennis' baton, and I'm grateful for his musicianship, but even more grateful for the young man he has become.

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