Choral Programs

The Philosophy Behind PYC's Choral Education Program

Pittsburgh Youth Chorus utilizes many of the music education principals developed by Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály. The Kodaly Method is highly structured and sequenced, with well-defined skill and concept hierarchies in all elements of music. These sequences are closely related to child development—the way in which young children progress naturally in music. As a child develops physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually, he or she also develops musically in the acquisition of increasingly complex skills and more involved concepts.

Some of the tools used at PYC from the Kodály Method are solfége (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do), Curwin hand signs, rhythmic syllables, and a movable “do” system. Through the use of these tools PYC choristers begin with the simple, and sequentially move to the more complex, always building on the foundations laid in the beginning. Like all skills, practice makes perfect. Once a concept or skill is learned, it is practiced again and again so that it becomes second-nature. With each layer of mastered skills and concepts, the development and artistry of the student is heightened and Zoltán Kodály’s philosophy is evident.

Because PYC believes that music and singing is a gift to be enjoyed by all, we are committed to making our choral education programs accessible and inclusive to all children.  Parents of a child with special needs are encouraged to contact Edwina French prior to registration.

Neighborhood Training Choir

Our non-auditioned Neighborhood Training Choir program for children in first, second and third grade is the first stepping-stone to PYC’s choral education program.


As the entry level choir in PYC's core program, Troubadours is for children in grade 3 and above.  Placement is by audition.


Talisman is PYC's intermediate level choir with members usually in grade 5 or above.  Placement in this choir is either by audition or advancement from Troubadours.

Bel Canto Singers

PYC's Bel Canto Singers are its most advanced choristers with members typically in grade 6 and above.  Singers achieve this level only by progressing through our Troubadours and/or Talisman choirs.

Grove City College Satellite 

Our new satellite choir at Grove City College –  PYC@GCC is open by audition to girls and boys with unchanged voices beginning at age 8.

Boy's Ensemble Choir

The PYC Boy Choir Ensemble gives boys who are currently enrolled in either Talisman or Bel Canto Singers a unique opportunity to experience music specifically composed for this genre.


Choristers in the Talisman And Bel Canto Singers are required to attend our summer Choral Arts Music Program  - CAMP!  This overnight camp (typically 4-6 days/nights) helps the choristers get to know each other and prepares them for the season ahead.