Young Artists Academy

Chamber ensemble program designed for young musicians that meet on Saturday afternoons during the fall and spring semesters.

Registration now closed for Fall 2021

The Young Artists Academy is back up and running! During the fall and spring semesters the Academy provides small ensemble opportunities. As an indispensable member of an ensemble, students will make new friends as they improve their sense of rhythm, musical confidence, intonation, and performance skills. Students are matched into ensembles according to their playing level and age and will be coached by local professional musicians. Academy meets weekly between the hour of 2-5 PM on Saturdays. Each student will meet with their one assigned ensemble, and chamber coach, for one hour each Saturday; specific hour slots will be assigned after ensembles are determined (at least 1 week before Academy begins). Due to space limitations the Academy will not be offering in-person theory or composition.

The Academy is open to string, woodwind, brass, and piano players ages 7-18. However, we do ask that students have a minimum of 2 years of private instruction and be able to read music before enrolling. If you have any questions about this please contact Jeni Gossard, Director of Education, before registering. If for any reason an enrolled student is not able to be placed in an appropriate ensemble before the semester begins a full refund will be issued.

Pre-formed ensembles are also welcome! Contact Jeni Gossard to get more details on how to register a pre-formed ensemble.

All rehearsals and performances will take place in-person and inside. Read below for more details. If CDC/City guidelines change the Academy will adjust accordingly.

Visit The Young Artist Academy FAQ Page

Parents/Guardians & Students must read and agree to the following:

  • Families will abide by all COVID protocols set in place by Austin Chamber Music Center (ACMC) and Armstrong Community Music School (ACMS).
    • Currently masks are required for students, parents/guardians, and instructors inside the ACMS building
    • ACMS protocols are subject to change before Academy starts and/or throughout the semester
  • Students will be respectful of fellow ensemble members, ACMC instructors, and ACMS staff inside and outside of rehearsals.
  • Students will arrive 5-10 minutes early to be ready to go at the scheduled rehearsal time.
  • Students are required to bring the following items to EVERY rehearsal:
    • assigned chamber music
    • pencil
    • instrument and accessories (rosin, shoulder rest, rock stop, extra strings, swabs, etc)
    • mask
    • a positive attitude
  • Students are required to practice for each rehearsal. Each week the instructor will focus on helping students play together as a group (phrasing, dynamics, listening, etc.) not helping students learn their individual parts. It is crucial for individual players to be prepared for each rehearsal, as well as continue to work on music individually outside of rehearsals. If students are having issues with their parts they are encouraged to take the music into their private lessons.
  • Ideally, students will commit to every Saturday rehearsal. ALL students participating in the ACMC program must commit to all rehearsals, unless there is an emergency, illness, or required school event. Up to 2 rehearsals will be excused per semester. If you will have to miss more than 2 rehearsals for the semester we ask that you not register and join us in another semester out of respect for the other students participating (see below for semester dates).
  • Students are required to perform on the semester end concert (see below for concert date).
  • Families will stay on top of communication and read all emails sent by the Director of Education thoroughly so there is no confusion.
  • If a student is unable to meet the above expectations, parents/guardians and student understand they will be removed from the chamber music program at the discretion of ACMC’s Director of Education and tuition will not be refunded.

As part of the program, students will receive

  • Weekly 60-minute in-person chamber music coaching sessions led by local professional musicians
  • A semester-end performance
  • FREE tickets (general seating) to the Saturday Synchronism Concerts during the semester enrolled (subject to change)

Benefits of chamber music as a growing musician

  • Meet and play with other young musicians that have a similar passion for music
  • Be a soloist within a small ensemble
  • Develop essential musical skills such as sense of pitch, rhythm, and tone
  • Build confidence, creativity, teamwork, communication, leadership, and critical thinking skills
  • Learn to critique others, while still being respectful of each other and other’s ideas
  • Engage the right and left sides of the brain simultaneously (basically exercising the brain!)
  • Apply chamber music skills over to solo, band or orchestra experiences… making students a well rounded overall musician

Young Artists Academy Location

Armstrong Community Music School
404 Camp Craft Road
Austin, TX 78746
(Located behind Westlake High School)

2021 Fall Semester Dates

Registration for Fall Semester now closed
Semester Dates September 11 to November 14
First day of the Semester Saturday, September 11
All 10 Academy rehearsal dates.
Academy runs between the hours of 2-5 PM
Saturdays: 9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13
Semester End Concert (Location TBA) Sunday, November 14 @ 2 PM & 4 PM

Spring 2022 semester information will be announced late fall. Please check back!

2021 Fall Semester Tuition

If you’d like to inquire about financial assistance contact Jeni Gossard BEFORE August 18 and before registering.

Fall semester tuition = $250 Tuition includes ten 1-hour ensemble coachings and semester end performance

Tuition is non-refundable for the fall semester after August 18.

Placement Auditions

Placement auditions are for chamber ensemble placement only. Once the online registration and tuition is taken care of students have secured their place in the Academy. In order to place students into the most appropriate ensemble and to select music we need to meet and hear them! Any questions regarding whether a student is ready for chamber music should contact the Director of Education BEFORE registering.

Since the Young Artists Academy has been suspended for a year due to COVID, all new AND returning students will be asked to do a placement audition for the fall semester. Auditions are required to get everyone’s most accurate playing level for ensemble pairing and music selecting!

There are TWO ways to complete a placement audition:

Option 1:  Pre-Record a Video Audition

  • Instead of an in-person audition, submit a video audition
  • Video audition material: One movement of a solo OR one etude, of the student’s choice, that showcases their current playing level musically and technically
    • We recommend consulting private lesson instructors to help with selecting audition material
  • Email your video to Jeni at
    • Video delivery formats: Google Drive or Dropbox
    • Provide: Solo title, movement, and composer OR etude book title and/or number, and composer
  • Previously recorded videos taken AFTER April 2021 will be accepted IF they meet the above audition material requirements
  • Video submission deadline: Tuesday, August 24

Option 2:  Schedule an In-Person Audition

  • In-person auditions will be scheduled individually with Jeni Gossard at the ACMC office: 7600 Burnet Road
  • Audition material: One movement of a solo OR one etude, of the student’s choice, that showcases their current playing level musically and technically
    • We recommend consulting private lesson instructors to help with selecting audition material
    • All in-person auditions will be video taped
  • To schedule an audition day/time contact Jeni at
    • Auditions will be scheduled between August 16 and August 24 (no auditions will be scheduled on Sunday, August 22)
  • All auditions must be completed by Tuesday, August 24

Stay informed of upcoming plans or ask a question

Contact Jeni Gossard, Director of Education at, or click below to fill out a contact form, to inquire about how to get involved with the Young Artists Academy and/or to get updates on upcoming youth programs!

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