Southside Studio Update

The Southside Studio is now equipped with three pianos to allow for appropriate distancing during our once-a-month in-person lesson days! Samantha will demonstrate on the digital piano while the student learns from the grand piano.

Protocol for In-Person Lessons at the Studio:

  • Masks are required
  • Hand washing is required before and after each lesson
  • The piano keys will be disinfected between students
  • Parents and siblings may not wait inside the studio, please wait outside in your car or on the porch instead
  • If your student is sick, please opt for an online lesson
  • If your student shows symptoms during an in-person lesson, the lesson ends immediately and cannot be made up
  • If Samantha is sick, lessons will be held online

Original Compositions

Congratulations to the following students who wrote their own compositions this year!

Boden Co: “Dove Garden”

Sheet Music for Dove Garden

I named my composition Dove Garden because a dove represents holiness and peace. It soothes and quiets our troubled thoughts. A dove also represents living calmly and living with purpose. I chose the garden part because a garden symbolizes a safe enclosure and an image of the soul and innocence.

Listen to Dove Garden performed by Boden Co

Lucien Yoong: “Into the Ocean”

Sheet Music for Into the Ocean, a suite of three pieces:

Crab: A Dazed Crab Scurries on the Beach
Octopus: A Mysterious Octopus Floats in the Dark Ocean
Turtles: Baby Turtles Hatch Under the Night Sky

I chose these three animals: the crab, the octopus, and the turtle because they are some of my favorite sea creatures. Firstly, I chose the crab because it is a unique and silly animal. The music of the crab was made to sound like it is scuttling around the beach, moving on all its claws and legs. Secondly, I chose the octopus because it is a mysterious and intelligent animal. The music of the octopus depicts the scene of an octopus floating in the deep ocean. Lastly, I chose the turtle because it is an exceedingly popular animal and its hatching process is very interesting. The turtle piece was created to portray the image of baby turtles hatching at night.

Listen to Octopus
Listen to Turtles
Listen to Crab

Juni Clouse: “Rocky Road”

Sheet Music for Rocky Road

My piece is about a carriage driving up a bumpy steep slope. This long gray road leads to a dark spooky castle at the top of the hill.

Elly Kirkbride: “Spring Rain”

Sheet Music for Spring Rain

Piano Passport: Diamond Award Recipients

Congratulations to the following students who achieved diamond status in this year’s incentive program! To earn diamond status, students had to collect 25 or more passport stamps. 

  • Anirudh Kumar – 36
  • Elaine Hoang – 28
  • Avesta Rahimi – 28
  • Vinson Wood – 27
  • Katy Nguyen – 27
  • Rohan Sarpangal – 27
  • Juni Clouse – 27
  • Allyson Dinh – 27
  • Toren Christensen – 26
  • Jordan Lu – 26
  • Maiya Clouse – 26
  • Maya Shimokura-Lee – 26
  • Kylen Guest – 26
  • Anthyme Nguyen – 25
  • Max Hoang – 25
  • Emelyn Wood – 25
  • Claire Pruner – 25
  • Jaden Nguyen – 25
  • Natalie Viton – 25
  • Jack Suk – 25
  • Sanaa Ramanathan – 25
  • Boden Co – 25
  • Catherine Nguyen – 25


Students who were new this year or in their first year of lessons can look forward to participating in next year’s incentive program!

2020 Music Artistry Program Participants

Congratulations to the 40+ students who participated in the Music Artistry Program in February. The students prepared two pieces to perform for evaluation and critique. 

Friday-Saturday, February 21-22, 2020 with Michelle Mielke, NCTM at the Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Bellevue:

  1. Kendan G.
  2. Jaden N.
  3. Katy N.
  4. Connor B.
  5. Riley B.
  6. Jack S.
  7. Boden C.
  8. Zainab A.
  9. Ayush B.
  10. Ashish B.
  11. Sanaa R.
  12. Elly K.
  13. Sawyer N.
  14. Elaine H.
  15. Ana T.
  16. Maiya C.
  17. Juni C.
  18. Toren C.
  19. Avesta R.
  20. Eshaal F.
  21. Allyson D.
  22. Ani K.
  23. Rohan S.
  24. Maya S.
  25. Emelyn W.
  26. Vinson W.
  27. Olivia W.
  28. Ben W.
  29. Kylen G.
  30. Nevan A.
  31. Enrique V.
  32. Natalie V.
  33. Caelen Y.
  34. Lucien Y.

Sunday, February 23 with Dr. Jensina Oliver, NCTM at Green River Community College in Auburn:

  1. Anthyme N.
  2. Autumn N.
  3. Andrew N.
  4. Aidan N.
  5. Ashley N.
  6. Alessandra P.
  7. Bana M.
  8. Cathy N.
  9. Hailey T.
  10. Jacob T.
  11. William H.
  12. James H.

First Week of Performance Classes

Our Performance Classes have been so fun! Thank you all for participating and sharing your work with your fellow students. 

Tuesday afternoon with a fantastic group of boys. We heard the music of renowned composers Mozart, Moszkowski, MacDowell, and others:

Later on Tuesday with another group of musical middle and high school boys. They performed music by classical composers Clementi, Chopin, and Benda; along with singer-songwriter “piano man” Billy Joel:

Wednesday’s performance class with my oldest high school students! They played Bach, Beethoven, and Badarzewska:

Friday morning with more wonderful middle and high school girls:

I had the students comment on each others’ performances through the chat feature.

Here is a sample of some of the wonderful comments from my Friday class:

Comments for Riley’s performance:
I love the dynamics in your piece! super cheerful and uplifting! 🙂
The staccatos were very good and clear
nice dynamics!!!
So pretty! I love the story behind it!
such a graceful piece!!!
Really pretty and smooth

Comments for Allyson’s performance:
beautiful, great dynamics
Such a pretty song! Love how smooth it was!
The dynamics were really pretty and it was very smooth
it was very energetic and bouncy

I loved the staccatos! So bouncy!
very nice- amazing staccatos

Comments for Claire’s performance:
I love the strong beginning and the fast speed
beautiful! good speed!
great energy, amazing staccatos
Very smooth and majestic
very beautiful, energetic
I could feel the emotion in that piece!

Comments for Jordan’s performance: (she was only able to play one piece due to a technical issue)
one of the best pieces from you I’ve heard!I loved how fast and smooth it was! The energy was great! Super pretty!
elegant, smooth, amazing overall

I’m looking forward to more performance classes next week!


Bravo to all of the following students who have performed in public this year, including at retirement homes, at house recitals, and the farmers market!

Bravo to Ani, Emelyn, Vinson, and Jasper for performing at Madison House on January 18!

Bravo to Emelyn, Vinson, Jasper, Boden, and Rohan for performing at the House Recital hosted by the Woods on December 21!

Bravo to the 50+ students for performing in the Winter Studio Recitals at Resonance on December 14!

Bravo to Toren, Maya, and Ani for performing at Bellewood on December 7!

Bravo to Rohan, Ani, Claire, Jack, Nevan, and Avesta for performing at the House Recital hosted by the Sarpangals on December 7!

Bravo to Jack, Katy, Jaden, Riley, and Sanaa for performing at Emerald Heights in Redmond on November 23!

Bravo to Avesta and Ani for performing at Madison House on November 17!

Bravo to Nevan, Rohan, Eshaal, Manaal, Claire, Toren, Ani, Maya, Emelyn, Vinson, and Jasper for performing at Emerald Heights on October 19!

Bravo to Claire, Rohan, Nevan, Caelen, Lucien, Enrique, Natalie, Toren, Avesta, Tandisse, Sepanta, Sanaa, Kylen, and Kendan for performing at the Juanita Friday Market on June 21!

Summer 2013 Group Lesson

10 fantastic piano students attended the group lesson in July.


Building major and minor chords in “Team Music Trivia.”

Students had the task of painting one to two octaves of piano keys, making sure the black key groups were drawn evenly and accurately.

Step 1: painting white keys.

Step 2: painting black key groups of 2 and 3.

10 fantastic piano students, age 8-14.

Students showing off their successfully completed keyboards.

Our next group lesson will be Sunday, August 11 at 1:30 pm.

Spring 2013 Group Lessons

On Saturday, the middle school group (6th-8th grades) had a blast playing music trivia, note races, and humdinger!

Drawing on whiteboards for our music trivia game.

Saturday Group drawing on whiteboards for our music trivia game.

Enjoying ice cream sandwiches and drinks.

Saturday Group enjoying ice cream sandwiches and drinks.

Saturday Group

Saturday Group

Jonathan's turn in "Humdinger!"

Jonathan’s turn in “Humdinger!”

Rachel's turn in "Humdinger!"

Rachel’s turn in “Humdinger!”

Final group photo of our Saturday group lesson attendees.

Saturday Group

On Sunday, the elementary group (Kindergarten-5th grades) had a wild time playing music trivia, musical chairs, “pin the note on the music staff,” and musical spoons!

Working together to complete the piano puzzle.

Jaden and Alana working together to complete the piano puzzle.

Playing on the big floor piano.

Sunday Group playing the big floor piano.

Musical chairs!

Sunday Group having a wild time playing musical chairs!

Playing "Pin the Note on the Music Staff."

“Pin the Note on the Music Staff”

The Sunday group.

Sunday Group

Final group photo of the Sunday students.

Sunday Group

There will be more fun this summer at our group lessons in July and August!