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The impact of Children's Chorus of Maryland on our children & the community

Click on a topic to view testimonials.

Find out what parents say...

  • A Parent talks about why she chose CCM for her daughter

    A parent discusses why CCM's music education program gives her daughter a superior music education compared to other programs in the area. (2:17)

  • "[My daughter] has been exposed to a lot of music that she wouldn’t have been. She’s been exposed to a lot of different people and experiences, [including concert tours to Europe, Hawaii and Disneyworld]. The kids have fun, but they know what’s expected of them. All of the teachers are very good. They’re very personable, they’re very caring, they’re hands-on, they’re compassionate, they’re loving. It’s like a little family."
  • "I would like to thank you for letting me [attend] my daughter's audition. It was an extremely pleasant atmosphere of outstanding professionalism combined to a genuine, natural kindness. Let me express my admiration for your dedicated staff that I had the pleasure to observe at the open house: it was astonishing to watch your staff teaching complex concepts to such young children and keeping them so interested!"
  • "The music instruction is top-notch, it is as good as it gets, if not better. [The children] are taught to read, they are taught theory – their voice becomes their instrument, literally. CCM is very committed to the health of the voice, and as a parent I appreciate that. I don’t think you can get this kind of commitment with children unless they want to do it. This isn’t about mom and dad making me."
  • "My daughter was painfully shy before joining CCM. Now she's really developing a lot of confidence and poise. I love what CCM has done for her."
  • "I am so 150 percent persuaded that this is life-affirming, life-altering for [my children]. I’ve tried [my son] in every sport once. Nothing has been really a fit until this. He has been transformed from this experience. [They] are so nourished by this, not just musically.... I could never have been prepared for how it was going to impact our family. It’s just so enriching. You’re seeing your kids joyful. They’re just glowing – you don’t see that at soccer or the chess club."
  • "My son does not particularly like sports, so he doesn't fit in with many of the boys at school. I wanted him to find a group where he fits in. He LOVES CCM!"
  • "Our son loves CCM. We love it, too, because it's more than getting together every week to sing, and performing so many times a year. Your musicianship classes aren't an afterthought—they are the bedrock of your program. Twice a week, our son receives advanced music instruction from very skilled teachers; that's just not what the other organizations offer. And he enjoys ALL of it! Thank you CCM for creating a rich, respectful, and fun environment for musical children to find each other and develop their musicality."
  • Children's Chorus of Maryland's music education program is worth every penny

    A parent talks about the quality of the educators and why the Children's Chorus of Maryland music education program is worth every penny. (0:36)

  • "I think from the beginning we’ve been so impressed with the way the program is set up in terms of the educational component. When music is put in front of [students], they know how to read the music, they know how to sing the music and they know how to put it all together so beautifully. It’s really amazing. All these kids have kind of grown up together. It’s a great way to build relationships outside their normal cliques and really stretch themselves.”
  • "My daughter sings all the time – I was worried that she would hurt her voice without proper training. Now SHE coaches ME on proper technique! She's 7 years old!"
  • "…my heartfelt appreciation for your hard work preparing the kids for the [Annual] Concert. I am a musician, but limited to instrumental repertoire and had no idea how much beautiful (stunningly so) choral music there is in the world. Spectacular selections, wonderful accompaniment, and the children, well, there are no words. I cried on and off through the entire program. In fact, I started crying during rehearsal while I was setting up…. It was such a joy and honor to see [my children] in such a rich, artistic environment."
  • "I sang in the choir when I was in school, but I did not learn to read music, and I've always regretted that. I want to do more for my children."
  • "I've got a tin ear, and my music teacher told me to move my mouth but don't sing. That hurt! If I can help my son avoid that pain, that's very important to me. At CCM, they actually TEACH kids how to sing right."
  • "My son has grown in areas beyond singing; he has greater poise and self-confidence. The classes and rehearsals neither patronize nor condescend, but still manage to be fun and engaging—ask my son or any of his classmates!"
  • "The curriculum is challenging for the children, yet they clearly thrive in it. CCM does more than teach the minimum required to get children to sing beautifully on stage; they receive an exceptional music education."
  • "We couldn't afford private schools, but we wanted one thing in [our children's] lives that would provide aspects of a good private school: respect, discipline, high standards, close friendships that last a lifetime, even good networking with like-minded people. CCM is one tenth the cost of a full time private school, but it sure provides all of that and more. We definitely got our money's worth!"
  • "My son was already spending a lot of time on the computer, and call me old-fashioned but I wanted to balance that with REAL people, real social situations, you know, like real life! I'm so glad we joined CCM because he has real friends now. CCM teaches us that a good chorus is like a team, and it's so true. But without the horrible 'little league' syndrome you hear so much about. So he's learning great teamwork, too. I like that."
  • "We were in [another children's chorus] but my daughter wasn't really learning much. Since we switched, her learning is incredible, but even more important, her enjoyment and understanding is tremendous."
  • "…it just seems that our son has a lot of music talent. We wanted to get him good training so that he does not get frustrated, or lose his love of music. Plus he just really loves being with other musical kids."
  • "Our school reduced the music program AGAIN, which I totally disagreed with! I wanted better than that for my son."
  • "We feel so blessed by CCM. We feel that it’s something that has happened to us, it’s so positive in our children’s lives. They feel esteemed. Clearly, they’re being stretched every time they go into that classroom. They know it’s OK to try and fail. They learn, ‘You fall down, you step up.’ We really feel like CCM is an indispensable part of our personal community, and also the Baltimore community. It’s just one of these little gems, one of Baltimore’s great little secrets."
  • "Our older children were in [other groups], but the lack of good discipline really bothered us. CCM is so well run, and the children behave so well, it's a real joy to participate. Our two youngest are in CCM now. Plus it's a community of 'like-minded' families, so they're making really good friends. It's just really wonderful."
  • "We knew a family that was in CCM, and the seriousness of the program, along with the obvious joy and learning their kids were experiencing, convinced us to try it. We've never regretted it."
  • "I am so pleased that we found CCM! My daughter LOVES coming to class and NEVER wants to miss it. She loves the other kids and feels welcomed by them. Thank you for making this such a good experience for us."
  • "I've looked around at many different choirs in this whole region and I've never found any other that actually offers an education program with the singing. And to be honest, the main reason why we come this far is because the kids love it. They want to come; they're excited to come. They skip down the hallways…"
  • "If only I were able to go to CCM when I was a child! My son loves the singing, the games, and the performances. He has grown so much musically since he joined CCM. The tone of his voice is developing beautifully and even his general ability to focus on activities has improved."
  • "[My daughter] couldn't read very well, she couldn't do math, she couldn't do a lot of things, because of her learning disabilities. By taking Children's Chorus of Maryland classes, and singing with the chorus, not only did she develop the ability to read and write and everything else, but it was amazing! Starting the year with not being able to read road signs - we said: read this: s-t-o-p, 'stop', she wouldn't be able to do that. By the end of the year, she was picking up books and reading books, cover to cover."
  • "The difference with Children's Chorus of Maryland is the training is much more intensive and focused. I think it requires a lot of discipline on the part of the children, but it also fosters that discipline."
  • "I wanted my daughter to go to college one day, and I thought our finances might make that difficult. The progress reports and transcripts that CCM provides has helped her in her applications, acceptances, and scholarships. Just from doing something she loved!"
  • "In today's family life, more and more children's activities make their bid for the time, energy and financial resources of families. …CCM is among the most worthwhile, important activities for our family to be involved in at this time."
  • "[CCM is] an outstanding combination of fine music making, genuine scholarship, ear training, theory, sight singing, and just plain fun. A rare opportunity for singers to gain the skills that make them truly literate musicians."

Find out what our alumni say...

Visit our Alumni Wall to learn what some of our alumni are up to since their years at CCM!

  • "CCM has really made a huge impact on my life.... I have made so many friends and have sung so many great songs. I will never forget the memories and the experiences that I have been able to be a part of through CCM."

    Molly Bishop, CCM alumna

  • "CCM provided a community of people like me. My friends understood what it was like to have three songs in your head at once, understood what it was like to spontaneously burst into song--and they'd join me! I think I took it for granted that musicians were all around me, because I miss that more than everything else. (I'll miss the actual work later, I know. Not just yet.)"

    Liana Garrett, CCM alumna

  • "Every year I've spent in CCM, I've gotten shivers from my arms to my toes and in that moment I know that I am completely and undeniably happy. Whether it happens while standing up on stage singing, bowing to applause after a song, or simply sitting around laughing with friends, I've felt this every year without fail, and I'll never forget it."

    Shae Rhinehart, CCM alumna

  • "I would be a very different person without CCM; I would not be nearly as passionate, talented, and professional.... Thank you for changing my life."

    Jenna Williams, CCM alumna

  • What makes CCM work

    CCM alumna, Dr. Alyson Shirk, talks about what makes CCM music programs effective and unique. 2011. Produced by Maureen Martin. (2:57)

  • "CCM is committed to the education that they give their children. Kids learn to understand how music works, they understand how to be musical and how to be musicians. The classes we teach are not just fun and games, although they are a lot of fun and games; they are musicianship classes that teach small, small people to be musicians."

    Suzannah Bauer Norris, CCM alumna and CCM teacher

  • "When I think of CCM, I think of the amazing friendships I have made and most importantly the music. ...I always look forward to Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings when I get to spend time with my best friends. Even though none of us go to school together, we all share a common love for music which brings us closer together.... CCM is more than just singing; it’s friendship, performing, education and great memories that will last a lifetime."

    Veronica Page, CCM intern and alumna

  • CCM In Concert, 2010

    We asked our choristers what it's like to sing and perform with CCM. Here's what they have to say. With footage from past concerts that showcase the Treble, Lyric and Concert choirs performing on stage. Produced by Maureen Martin. (1:19)

  • "The teachers are exceptional. The whole time I was working on my audition to CC for vocal music, I was talking to Ms. Mairee (CCM Artistic director), and she was helping me through, and she deserves a great amount of credit for why I was accepted. The commitment, the friendship, the experience, and the memories; it’s what truly makes CCM great."

    Moran Beidleman, CCM intern and alumna

  • This Is Our Story, 2010

    Friendships made and nurtured over the years at CCM are sure to be cherished long after the last bow as a CCM chorister. Watch this walk down memory lane by one of our 2010 graduates. With music performed by the Concert Choir. Produced by Anna Brashears. (6:03)

  • "Children's Chorus of Maryland gives children who maybe aren't talented academically, who aren't talented in sports, it gives them a way to express themselves, and to have a talent they can share.…To a prospective parent, I would say don't miss this opportunity. Don't let your kids miss this opportunity. It is an experience they will treasure forever, and not only will they make wonderful friends, but they will learn lifelong skills, and it's just something they will treasure always.…I would say that this chorus not only changed my life, but it has changed the lives of many children. Some of those have grown to be music teachers, but all of us have taken away an incredible experience."

    Amy Glover, CCM alumna, Special Education Teacher

  • "A child that isn't exposed to music isn't a full and capable child. I would say that a child [who] is exposed to music can be whole. I think that, in a way, that [through music training] children become closer to themselves."

    Jennifer Jordan, previous CCM Teacher, CCM Alumna

Visit our Alumni Wall to learn what some of our alumni are up to since their years at CCM!

Find out what the audience, musicians, and academics say...

  • "It is impossible not to fall in love with an institution that has such a unique mission, such dedicated staff and, more importantly, such wonderful singers! The world needs more organizations like CCM in which high standards of music performance and music education are combined to provide children with a life-changing experience."

    Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, Litton-Lodal Music Director, The American Boychoir

  • "The Children's Chorus is a truly professional ensemble which exhibits both discipline and an artistic excellence."

    Moris Cotel, Composer

  • "The concert on Saturday was so delightful! I thought the children were magnificently trained and they really seemed to love what they were doing. Your soloists were outstanding and the accompanist played beautifully."

    Felice Homann, Managing Director, Concert Artists of Baltimore

  • "The Children's Chorus of Maryland is excellently disciplined, impressive for its authoritative interpretation of a wide repertoire of works from early periods to the present."

    Elliott W. Galkin, Musicologist; Former Director of the Peabody Institute

  • "When I find that some of my students are members of the Children's Chorus, I rejoice, for they are the leaders in my choruses and ensembles. The musical training they have received is second to none, and they sing in tune with beautiful vowels. As a music teacher, I benefit from these skills."

    Alice Mack, Head, Music Department, St. Paul's School for Girls, Choral Director

  • "It's wonderful to see kids enjoying difficult things and, in a way, doing things that are not particularly that fashionable, because this is not sports, it's not a popular medium. But...the [Children's Chorus of Maryland members] are proud of what they do, and they do it quite well indeed."

    Barry Tuckwell, Conductor, Horn Soloist, CCM Advisory Board

  • "In the past few years the Children's Chorus has sung at the White House [and]… performed before a sell-out audience at New York's Carnegie Hall…these gifted children have repeatedly given inspiring public performances, demonstrating the quality of training that has been available to them."

    Gretchen Neumann, Phoenix

  • "You all were magnificent, such a professional and talented group of young people! Your performance was truly a highlight of the event."

    Maryland Historical Society

  • "What a great concert - beautiful music, balanced with differing presentations, well run and lovely to look at. What more could you ask for?"

    An Audience member, non-affiliated

  • "This is my second attendance at a performance by this group & I definitely plan to attend again. Harmonies & program choices were A # 1!"

    A Concert Attendee, Senior Box Office

  • "There is never a raised voice or pounding in [the] classroom -- just lots of gentle, precise guidance and humor. And love. From the sequential, skill-based Kodály classes for every child in [the] choir to the sheer beauty of head-tone singing, I owe much of my musicianship and teaching style to Betty's vision. [Betty Bertaux] is the reason I direct children's choirs today."

    Carol Thomas Downing, Founder and Director, Virginia Children's Chorus and
    Founder, Peabody Children's Chorus

  • "The Kodály System is probably the world's most advanced and fruitful method of developing the general musicality of children in use today. And in Baltimore we are fortunate to have the talented and dedicated Betty Bertaux and her faculty, serious and active disciples of this concept, at its disposal in raising the level of music education in the Baltimore area."

    Isador Saslav, Violinist and Ann Heiligman Saslav, Concert Pianist

Lyric and Concert Choirs together on stage at an Annual Concert.

The impact of music education on your child

In early childhood … [music] seems to improve spatial reasoning, one aspect of general intelligence which is related to some of the skills required in mathematics. While general attainment is clearly affected by literacy and numeracy skills, motivation which depends on self-esteem, self-efficacy and aspirations is also important in the amount of effort given to studying. Engagement with music can enhance self-perceptions but only if it provides positive learning experiences which are rewarding. This means that musical experiences need to be enjoyable providing challenges which are also attainable. Teaching needs to generate an environment which is supportive and sufficiently flexible to facilitate the development of creativity and self-expression. Group music making is also beneficial to the development of social skills and can contribute to health and well-being throughout the lifespan and can therefore contribute to community cohesion providing benefits to society as a whole.
The power of music: its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people. Hallam, Susan. International Journal of Music Education, August 2010 vol. 28 no. 3 269-289.