September 2017 Students of the Month

Congratulations to the September 2017 Students of the month Suvan and Asha Agarwal. Suvan and Asha study guitar at CCM's Santa Clara location. Suvan and Asha have both been studying guitar for most of their lives and it shows each time they come to their lessons and perform on stage. Keep up the amazing work!

Asha and Suvan Students of the Month.jpeg

Asha Agarwal

Q: How old are you?  
A: 12 years old
Q: How long have you been playing guitar?  
A: 9 years
Q: Who is your teacher?
A: Chris Mallett
Q: What pieces are you currently working on?
A: Adelita and Lagrima by Francisco Tarrega and Tarantelle by Johann Kaspar Mertz
Q: What is your favorite piece to play on guitar?
A: Tarantelle
Q: What is your favorite food?  
A: Seafood
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside the guitar?  
A: Competitive swimming, reading, sailing, and hanging out with friends.
Q: Do you have any pets?  
A: We have 6 chickens. 
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?  
A: Wildlife biologist
Q: Are there any past performances that stand out to you the most?  
A: I performed in a talent show in front of my whole middle school.  It was a little scary, but I did really well.

Suvan Agarwal

Q: What is your name? 
A: Suvan Agarwal
Q: How old are you?
A: 16 years old
Q: Who is your guitar teacher?
A: Alexandra
Q: How long have you been playing guitar?
A: 11 1/2 years
Q: What pieces are you working on? 
A: Tarantelle by Mertz, Capriccio by Mertz, Allegro, BWV 998 by Bach, 3 Pieces for Guitar by Carlos Chavez
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Japanese food
Q: What do you love most about playing guitar?
A: I love the sound of the music, and the satisfaction of playing a piece right.
Q: Who are your top 3 favorite guitarists?
A: John Williams, Pepe Romero, Xavier Jara
Q: What do you plan to major in college?
A: Classical Guitar and maybe either engineering or history
Q: Tell us about any performances/masterclasses you have coming up.
A: I have a masterclass with Xavier Jara in February, the Junior Bach festival audition in January, and a recital in October.
Q: What advice would you give to a guitarist looking to improve quickly and take their playing to the next level? 
A: I would say watch lots of performances on Youtube and in real life, and do a lot of slow practice while focusing on the left hand.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of being a guitarist?
A: The hardest part of being a guitarist is worrying about your nails, and being nervous before a performance.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a musician? 
A: The best part of being a musician is feeling satisfied after performing well.
Q: Who is your favorite composer? 
A: My favorite composers are J.S. Bach and Joaquin Rodrigo.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not playing the guitar?
A: I like to cook, eat, watch movies, and hang out with friends.
Q: Where do you see guitar taking you in the future?
A: I hope to study guitar in college and become a guitar performer/teacher.


Diana Kunze, Parent Spotlight

Q: Regarding guitar, what are you most proud of Suvan accomplishing?  
A: I am very proud of Suvan for putting so much time and effort into his playing.  He works really hard on his pieces and spends at least 2 hours a day practicing, but not at my urging.  He wants to be a better guitarist and knows that practice is the only way to make that happen and I am proud that he understands that.  
Q: What are you most proud of Asha accomplishing?
A: I am proud of Asha for becoming a really confident guitar player. She loves learning new pieces and she never complains about something being "too difficult"  Her confidence makes her thrive and she always wants a challenge.  Sometimes she will sight read a new piece on her own so she can surprise her teacher.  She heard her brother playing one of her (and his) current pieces, Tarantelle and she decided she also wanted to learn it.  It is probably the most difficult piece she has ever had, but she sight read most of it and surprised Chris.  I am also proud of her for always wanting to do better in her guitar playing.
Q: You've been a part of this school and community for many years now. Can you talk a bit about what that experience has been like for you?  
A: I've always felt that the conservatory has had a very supportive environment and it's never felt competitive.  The kids and parents always support each other.  AndI feel very fortunate to have seen so many talented kids come through the conservatory.  I have watched Suvan, Asha, and many other kids grow up at the conservatory and they've all become amazing guitarists.  I can't help but feel lucky to be a part of such a community.  I also feel lucky to have met so many wonderful parents at the school, some of whom I've known for our whole 11 1/2 years.  We went from talking about kindergarten to now discussing high school classes and college!   
Q: Why did you decide to give your children a musical upbringing?
A: I have always loved music and I wanted to share that with my kids.  I don't think people are born musicians, but I think everyone can become one and I wanted that for them.  I think once you learn music, you don't lose that knowledge and that's special. 
Q: How has guitar impacted Suvan's life? 
A: Guitar has taught Suvan an extremely valuable lesson.  When Suvan started at 4, I had no expectations.-I just wanted him to learn an instrument.   Suvan didn't like practicing when he was very young and it became so bad in middle school that I pulled him out of guitar for a year.  Over that year, he started to realize that he missed playing guitar and asked to start lessons again.  This "break" made him appreciate his ability and made him want to be a better guitarist.  Playing guitar has become his passion and he practices for 2-3 hours a day now.  Guitar has taught him that perseverance and hard work really does make a difference and that is something that he can apply to everything.  
Q: How has guitar impacted Asha's life?
A: Guitar has been a part of most of Asha's life.  As with anything you practice, the more you do, the better you get and she doesn't take that for granted.  Growing up playing guitar taught her that valuable lesson and she has applied that philosophy not only to guitar, but to her school work and competitive swimming. 
Q: What is your favorite piece so far? Fugue from BWV 998. 
A: I never get tired of hearing this piece.