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86 Reviews
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May 23, 2012

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2 previous reviews - show all
January 13, 2012

Not only does the organization do an outstanding job of teaching the skills required to become a real musician, but brings an wonderful, warm, safe, nurturing environment in which the kids can grow. T... more

May 23, 2012

MYA nurtured my child's musical ability in a warm, wonderful yet demanding environment. They were a key factor in fostering his love for music and preparing him for a college major in clarinet performance.

More feedback...

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

January 13, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

Not only does the organization do an outstanding job of teaching the skills required to become a real musician, but brings an wonderful, warm, safe, nurturing environment in which the kids can grow. This organization helped my son focus his love of music and gain the skills he needed to get admitted to the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance, where he studies now. His experience and the friends he made during 5 years at MYA will be with him forever.

More feedback...

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

January 9, 2011

My son has spent the last 5 years at MYA progressing up through their orchestras to become a principal in their top symphony. The musical guidance and nurturing he has had have been second to none. MYA has attracted a number of the premier chamber and orchestral musicians and educators in the area to bring an experience to kids from 5 though high school that is second to none. Their are principal players of the Chicago Symphony, professors from top university music programs, and the list goes on.
However, for a parent, the non-musical experience has also been a true joy to watch. Here are kids in a really non-competitive environment being groomed to be all that they can be with new friends and experiences from a far larger and more diverse group than they would have otherwise experienced.
The problem is MYA is bursting at the seams. Over 600 families converge there every weekend during the school year and at times you can't walk down the hall. They are desperately trying to reach out to underserved schools in underprivileged areas where kids get almost no exposure to music in any formal and constructive way.
They are trying to acquire land to expand and build their own performance hall. This will allow them to both expand services to underprivileged kids and to save and generate more funds by not renting halls for the kids to have chances to perform.

The Great!

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

watching the growth in my own son, both as a musician and as a person. Musically, it has taught him much more than how to better play the notes on the page. He has begun to appreciate what it means to be a member of an orchestra; to be a principal player and lead a section, organizing who plays each part and why; to be a member of a quintet, to breath together, to communicate with their eyes, to think together.

Ways to make it better...

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

not do anything that would change where their hearts are. I would want to do something to help them find a more steady and reliable income stream to ensure that the work goes on and expands as its a jewel for the kids.

May 23, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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May 23, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

MYA has a 20 year history of helping young musicians mature as musicians, and importantly, as children moving into young adulthood. We have a very nurturing environment which allows our students to flourish. Strong friendships and a true sense of accomplishment are recurring comments which come back to us. I happily serve as MYA's president.

More feedback...

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

May 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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May 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

MYA made a real difference in the life of our daughter. During her time in MYA, she grew as a musician and matured as a person. Everything MYA does, it does as well as or better than anybody else.

More feedback...

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

January 31, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
January 31, 2011

My son has had the privilege of participating in the music programs at MYA for 5 years. Through the years, he has risen through three levels of orchestras into the Symphony Orchestra, and he participates in the outstanding Intensive Chamber Music Program. He has played in the Honors Wind Symphony, and has had the opportunity to perform in the Walgreen's Concerto Competition, and the Discover Chamber Music Competition. Although he's only in the ninth grade, he has already performed in every major music venue in the Chicago area: Symphony Center, Lyric Opera House, Harris Theater, Ravinia's Bennett-Gordon Hall, Northwestern's Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, and Waukegan's Genesee Theater. These have all been incredible experiences for him. The range of opportunities that MYA offers students of every age and level in classical, jazz, choral and chamber music is phenomenal. But that's not what makes MYA so special.
What makes MYA truly special lies within: it is the amazing ensemble directors, faculty and staff that have created the warm and nurturing environment at MYA, where each student is encouraged to strive to be the best musician and citizen that they can be. The caliber of the faculty is second to none, but it is their passion for music and their unending dedication to the growth and success of their students that stands out. They inspire students to work hard. They promote camaraderie over competitiveness. Students of all ages, from all edges of the Chicago-land area come together each week to make music, but in the process, they gain so much more. Work ethic, teamwork, discipline, confidence, self-esteem, community and life-long friendships are what I see being developed each week. Many students from MYA go on to attend the best music conservatories in the country. Some students continue on to top universities and colleges in order to pursue other professions. The tools students gain at MYA will help them be successful in anything they choose to do in life. But what will they remember about MYA for the rest of their lives? The warm fire, the homemade goodies, the unending support of their directors and coaches, the sense of community, and the incredible joy, and excitement of having made beautiful music together.

The Great!

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

Watching MYA students make a positive difference by enriching the lives of others through their music performances at underserved schools, nursing homes, senior centers, and community and civic events. One of the highlights for my son last year was performing Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf with the MYA chamber orchestra for children at 3 underserved schools in North Chicago and Waukegan. MYA is clearly committed to teaching students to give back to the community and to share their talents with others.

Ways to make it better...

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

MYA students are blessed to have a wonderful music facility in Fort Sheridan - one that most consider their second home, but there is definitely a need to expand. Although nearly 1,000 students currently traverse the halls and rehearsal rooms each week, it is MYA's mission to ensure that even more children have the opportunity to be enriched through music. MYA needs room to grow!

More feedback...

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

January 30, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
January 30, 2011

MYA aroused in my son a passion for music that will last a lifetime. Thanks to Director Allan Dennis’ unwavering commitment to maintaining a competitive yet nurturing atmosphere, MYA delivers a top-notch music ensemble program that fosters community outreach and camaraderie among its students. MYA has changed my son's life— no more ACDC; hello Bach and and Basie!

The Great!

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

many capacities...as a parent, a committee member, a community supporter and as a Board member.

Ways to make it better...

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

further expand the organization's physical space.

January 22, 2011

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January 22, 2011

I have had the pleasure of serving as board president for 5 years at Midwest Young Artists. Not only does MYA have tireless people that teach music, but as just as importantly, they foster an environment where young people learn about life. Support of others, teamwork, and community service are among the life lessons learned. Experience to MYA does not guarantee a life in music. It does guarantee that a child will know that through hard work, great things can happen. MYA has travelled extensively to Germany, Spain, Portugal, China and South Korea, trips which were met by students and foreigners alike with an awe of music. MYA's future is bright. I look forward to being involved on this ride.

The Great!

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

seeing my 3 children grow to enjoy music and have music as a large part of their lives. They have made and maintained great friendhips as a result of MYA

Ways to make it better...

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

Have more staff so that everyone was not so overloaded

October 18, 2012

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1 previous review
January 21, 2011

Our children have been involved in the orchestras, music theory and chamber music program for many years. Absolutely top notch in every way. The highest quality instruction in the most nurturing env... more

October 18, 2012

Our children's love of music has been nurtured in this amazing place.

More feedback...

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?

2012

January 21, 2011

Our children have been involved in the orchestras, music theory and chamber music program for many years. Absolutely top notch in every way. The highest quality instruction in the most nurturing environment. Our children never ever want to miss a rehearsal, even for a vacation. All of the faculty are highly talented musicians. The staff is completely dedicated. But what is most amazing is the way they wrap their arms around these young musicians, get them to work hard and achieve their very best, without the stressful competition you might expect. It is an amazing place.

The Great!

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

Results! Wow! Just listening at a concert. But also, I have had the opportunity to see the gift of MYA given to a foreign exchange student from China who was given a scholarship at MYA for her year in America. She had never been in an orchestra. It was wonderful to see her joy in her experience with MYA. She was given a gift that was truly priceless, and she hopes someday to share her gift with others.

Ways to make it better...

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

I don't want it to change a bit. It is perfect. Unless of course you could somehow bottle the magic that is here and offer it to all the kids everywhere who want to have music in their lives.

May 1, 2014

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1 previous review
January 20, 2011

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 involve... more

May 1, 2014

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

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

More feedback...

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

January 20, 2011

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.

The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

expand the size of the facilities to accommodate more participants.

More feedback...

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

January 20, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
January 20, 2011

Both of our daughters enjoyed MYA for 8 and 9 years, through grade school and high school. They participated in multiple orchestras, choruses and chamber groups. MYA was such an important part of their life, and the one activity that we never had to "prod" them to do -- every Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon they were ready to spend the day at MYA with friends, learning and performing great music with excellent conductors and teachers. MYA exposed them to so much, including other cultures via performance tours to Spain, Portugal, China and South Korea. The lessons learned from MYA have extended far beyond music -- the benefit of hard work; pursuing your passion; trying new things; and being with peers who share your interest and commitment.

The Great!

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

....how my children as well as those of other families have benefited form MYA. Student alumni retain a strong connection to the organization, even those in non-music pursuits. Also in seeing the effect of MYAs outreach efforts to under-served schools, given other children exposure and a better understanding/appreciation of music and performance.

Ways to make it better...

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

Continue to reach out to other communities and provide opportunities to students with an interest in music to develop that interest (e.g. access to instruments, lessons, performance opportunities), especially as public school budgets have been severely cut.

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