Here are some of the questions most asked about Young Musicians of Virginia (YMV). For additional information, please contact the YMV Office at 757-420-1961.
What is YMV?
Since 1991, Young Musicians of Virginia (YMV) has offered a music education and enrichment program for home-schoolers in the Tidewater / Hampton Roads area of southeastern Virginia. We meet in Virginia Beach, but we have students who come from as far north as the Peninsula and the Eastern Shore, as far south as northeastern North Carolina, and as far west as Franklin. Every year, an average of 170 students participate in the YMV program (grades K-12).
Since YMV is for homeschooled students only, how do you define “homeschooled”?
Not all students who “do school at home” are eligible for YMV. Basically, we want to make sure that you are recognized as a homeschooled student by the school district, in agreement with state regulations. During registration, you will be asked to confirm that your child is (or will be) registered as a homeschooled student with his/her school district. YMV was established to meet the needs of homeschooled students who often do not have the same access or opportunities in music education as those who attend public or private schools. This also affects the way we register students for District and State events.
We do offer summer camps that are not limited to homeschool students. See our Events tab for more information.
Is YMV expensive?
Our prices are very competitive, especially for an in-person program. The more classes you take, the better value you receive, since the registration fees are the same no matter how many classes you take. We don’t want cost to be prohibitive for any family, so we have many ways to offset expenses. There is a registration cap for large families, a multi-music class discount, and opportunities for class fee discounts through volunteer work.
What extra-curricular/social opportunities does YMV offer?
YMV students in middle and high school have opportunity to gain leadership experience and serve their peers through Student Leadership Council (SLC) and other experiences such as editing the annual yearbook. SLC officers are elected by their peers, and include one elected representative for middle school grades and an elected representative for each 9-12 high school grade. Other elected positions include president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and historian. These leaders set up monthly social events for the enrichment year so students can get to know each other outside the classroom and help bring a fresh perspective and guidance to YMV’s future. Past activities have included spirit days, family game night, movie night, and a winter formal dance.
When and how long are private lessons?
Private lessons are 30 minutes once a week. Private lessons are scheduled through the office so that we can find what fits your schedule and to ensure teacher availability.
What if there are gaps between classes in my schedule?
Students ages 11 and older will be registered for study hall periods if there are gaps that need to be filled. Parents have the option of picking up their children promptly after one class and returning them for a later class; this will be finalized when you register. We have two monitored study halls as space allows: a fellowship study hall (a casual environment) and a quiet study hall (for quiet study only). Students under age 11 must be with their parents at all times if they are not in class.
What is Spring Trip?
Our advanced performance groups go on a Spring Trip every year, which combines free community performances, learning experiences, and fun. The trip typically occurs during the second week in March to coincide with the local community college’s spring break. Students must be 13 years old to participate and if they are not in an advanced performing group, they may go as part of the tech crew.
What size are your classes?
We offer a variety of classes, both academic and music. While music performance groups for middle and high school levels do not have a limit imposed upon them, we keep a low teacher-to-student ratio for academic classes so students are assured of proper attention. Academic class maximums are usually between 12-15 students.
What are the qualifications for your teachers?
All our teachers are required to have a Christian testimony, to be supportive of homeschooling as an educational option, and to subscribe to our YMV Statement of Faith. They are required to hold at least an undergraduate degree in the area they are teaching (or professional experience equivalent); some hold advanced degrees. Our music instructors are professionals who either teach/have taught at other schools in the area and/or perform professionally in the community, with groups such as the Virginia Symphony, the Virginia Opera, the Tidewater Winds, and various music programs in churches. Many of our teachers have been doing this for 20, 30 or 40 years!
Can YMV students participate in State and District events?
Our music directors led the fight to allow home-school students to compete in district and regional music competitions. YMV students are eligible to try out for district bands and district choruses. Students who pass the audition go on to participate in the district event under the guidance of their music director. The ranking they receive at district levels can earn them the opportunity to audition for state competitions and our students have made a good showing at all levels over the years.
What age groups does YMV accept?
Our music program offers vocal and instrumental instruction, both group and private, for grades K through 12. We also offer academic classes, drama, and art for middle and high school students. A small number of Art and Science classes are available at the elementary level.
How do we get started?
Call to schedule an interview for you and your student(s) and we can give you a brief tour of the building. At the interview, we give you information about the registration process, and discuss how our program can fit your needs. We encourage prayer through the decision-making process.
Can I attend a concert or drama performance if I don’t go to YMV?
We offer free community concerts throughout the year. Our drama and variety show productions are ticketed performances with tickets available online. See our Events tab for a list of upcoming performances.
Is each student required to take a music class?
No; however, at least one member of the family must be enrolled in a music class. Generally, any group performing music class (band, choir, or strings), elementary music class, or private lesson will meet this requirement.
What if my child has no musical experience?
The most renowned musicians in the world were beginners once! Our program offers musical instruction at wide range of levels. EVERY child benefits from music instruction, whether he has natural talent or not. For those who discover a particular affinity, YMV provides opportunities to spark creativity, hone skills, and explore all the facets of the musical world. Even the most reluctant student has been known to have fun in our music classes, looking forward with excitement to the group learning and friendships, once they have given it a try.
Do you rent instruments?
In general, we recommend that you rent (not purchase) an instrument from a music supplier; especially if your student is a beginner. YMV does maintain a limited selection of instruments for rent. Local music suppliers are a good source for rental instruments; if you want to consider mail order, Shar Music (sharmusic.com) has stringed instruments for rent and excellent customer service.
Is YMV only for Christians?
No. While we are Christian in principle and philosophy and our faculty and staff must have a Christian testimony, we are open to homeschooling students of any faith. In fact, we have students who claim a religious faith other than Christian or have not expressed a religious affiliation. Please note that a student elected to the Student Leadership Council must subscribe to the YMV Statement of Faith.
How much does YMV cost?
There are generally four fees associated with attending YMV:
• An individual student registration fee
• An annual family fee
• A monthly course fee per class
• An annual usage fee per class
Parents should also plan for possible textbook/music book purchases, instrument rental and supplies, and formal wear/Spring Trip expenses for Advanced students. Details are available during the interview process for these fees.
When and where does YMV meet?
We meet at New Song Fellowship (865 Woodstock Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23464) on Tuesdays and Fridays, September through May. Most classes meet on both Tuesdays and Fridays, but a few meet only once a week.