Student Highlight - Allyson Dinh

 Allyson at the New Mozart Winter Student Recital on Dec. 3, 2017.

Allyson at the New Mozart Winter Student Recital on Dec. 3, 2017.

1 What is your name and how old are you?

My name is Allyson Dinh and I will turn 13 on March 16th.

2. What instrument are you currently studying, and who is your teacher?

I have been playing the cello with Teacher Cynthia since June 2015 and also study viola with Dr. Elizabeth. 

3. What pieces are you currently working on?

I am working on the first Bach Suite and I recently worked on “The Swan”  by Camille Saint-Saëns.

4. How often do you practice?

I try my best to practice everyday.  I spend between 15-60 minutes 6-7 times a week.

5. Why do you like playing the cello?

I like playing the cello because it has a warm and earthy tone, and it brings me to my happy place whenever I hear or play cello music.

6. You've been selected to join the prestigious Cambridge-Heidelberg-Montpellier Youth Symphony this summer.  What do you hope to achieve through this experience?

I am so excited to experience German culture, food, landmarks, and their general lifestyle as I stay with my host family in Heidelberg.  I also hope to understand the similarities and differences between young musicians from the UK, Germany, and France.  Most importantly, I want to experience an intensive music program and also learn from my fellow young musicians in Europe what playing music means to them.

7. Tell us about your interests or accomplishments outside of music.  

I am a Freestyle 5 figure skater at Winter Lodge, the only outdoor ice skating rink in the Bay Area. I have been skating for almost five years and I’m a member of three performing teams (Ice Crystals, Jazz, and Specialty Group) and skate 4 times a week. Sometimes I also help with my brother’s Boy Scout troop at donation drives and fundraisers.

8. What do you want to be when you grow up?  

I want to be a pediatrician when I grow up so that I can work with children and watch them grow up and progress in life.  My pediatrician has been taking care of my brother and me since the day we were born. It seems like a truly challenging and rewarding job.


Allyson is one of the three New Mozart students accepted to attend the prestigious CHMYO (Cambridge-Heidelberg-Montpellier-Youth-Orchestra) in Heidelberg, Germany this summer.  

Student Highlight - Matias Santisteban

 Matias with Teacher Valerie and Teacher Christine at the New Mozart Winter Recital 2017

Matias with Teacher Valerie and Teacher Christine at the New Mozart Winter Recital 2017

1 What is your name and how old are you?

My name is Matias Kiyoshi Santisteban and I am 7 years old.

2. How long have you been studying music and how old were you when you first started?

I have been studying piano since I was 4, so it has been 3 years now. Before that, I learned music since I was a baby with my family, and at a music program for little children when I lived in Pittsburgh since I was like one.

3. What instrument are you currently studying, and who is your teacher?

I am studying piano with Teacher Valerie. I was in Harmony Road with Teacher Christine and Teacher Lea before the private lessons.
 

4. What pieces are you currently working on?

"Ecossaise" by Johann Nepomuk Hummel, "A short story" by Heinrich Lichner, and I just started composing a new song.

5. How often do you practice?

I practice everyday... except if I am on vacation :). 

6. Why do you like studying music? 

 I like it because it's fun, I can make my own songs (the ones that I have in my head), I like to explore and discover new sounds and scales, I can play the songs I like, not only listen to them.
 

7. Tell us about your interests or accomplishments outside of music.  

I received the Peace Maker award at school. I like to learn and help others. I speak Spanish, English and a bit of Japanese. I like math, science, building my own spaceships with LEGO, houses for my toys with Magnatiles. I like sports... I like playing ping pong with my family, soccer with my friends, and I'm learning how to ski... it's a lot of fun,  I also like drawing and painting. The paintings of my class at school were selected this year to be displayed at the Mountain View City Hall Rotunda!

8. What do you want to be when you grow up?  

I want to be many things. I want to be a spaceship engineer at NASA, a software engineer, a music composer, an architect, and a teacher.


Questions to Matias' parents - Beatriz Maeireizo & Javier Santisteban:

1. What are you most proud of in regards to Matias' piano study?

We love to see Matias enjoying music so much. He practices with excitement, without even being asked to. Not only is he learning how to play the piano, but he is also composing, writing music, playing by ear the songs he hears everywhere.

2. Why do you think music education is important for children and why is it important for your family?

Although we are not professional musicians, we love music as it is the universal language of the heart. Our parents and grandparents nurtured this love for music in us since we were little, and we are passing it on.  Through music, we are happy to see that Matias has found another way to express himself and have fun.  By studying music, he is also learning some key skills that are so helpful in life such as discipline, perseverance, self-confidence, sensitivity, and even posture, just to name a few.  We believe that music helps us further develop problem solving and emotional skills.

3. There are many choices in music lessons; why did you choose New Mozart?

New Mozart is an amazing music school with teachers for every level and style. We love that New Mozart encourages children to enjoy music, and to be creative and have fun while learning. The teachers are fantastic, knowledgeable and caring. Their passion for music is contagious.  We also like the recitals, as an opportunity to see the kids' progress.  Recitals have helped Matias gain more confidence, and be more comfortable sharing in public. Most importantly, Matias loves to know that he is helping other children in need with his music (donations go to Escuela Caracol, Music in the Schools Foundation and Common Hope).