merit scholar student
When 7-year old Ethel arrives at CSMA for her piano lesson with Mrs. Kurtova, she can’t wait to start playing. She’s been practicing pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and Tchaikovsky and is eager to put her fingers on the piano keys. And when she does, WOW!
At only 3’11”, Ethel packs a BIG piano punch, playing compositions that would be challenging for any musician, regardless of age. “Talented, confident, enthusiastic” describe this precocious little girl, entering third grade this fall, whose diminutive size and tiny fingers belie the sound that she creates.
Ethel is also a composer. “My March in C, Op. 1, is in rondo form,” says Ethel. (For the uninitiated, rondo is a musical form in which a motif is repeated at the beginning, throughout, and at the end of the composition.) When asked what inspired her to compose the piece, Ethel says, “Well, I like to compose on the computer. I just start putting down notes and I get something I like.”
Ethel has been studying piano for two years with CSMA Distinguished Teacher Ludmila Kurtova, who describes Ethel as, “Wonderful, creative and very musical,” adding that even at such a young age, she is capable of playing, “classical, romantic and modern music.”
Ethel is one of the youngest recipients ever of a CSMA Merit Scholarship, one of 52 to be awarded for the 2011-12 school year to students who have shown outstanding commitment and progress in their studies. When asked about being nervous auditioning for the scholarship before a panel of judges, Ethel says confidently, “No, not really, because I’m used to playing in front of people.”
Ethel was one of 7 students who performed for a crowd of 200+ people at CSMA’s spring gala benefit. In fact, Ethel’s mother Anastasia says that although Ethel practices at least one hour every day of the week, Ethel really likes to perform more than she likes to practice.
As a Merit Scholar, Ethel can look forward to many more performances at which audience members will hear this little girl– with a big smile and lots of natural “pizzazz”– making wonderful music.
And what is Ethel looking forward to in the future? “I want to be a doctor who heals animals on the moon with music therapy.” But before she does that, she is going to have to wait a few years. . . or at least until her feet can reach the music pedals on the piano!