Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Performances

Caleb had a very very busy Christmas season of performing this year. He was asked to play in 3 church Christmas programs, and once at another church. Besides that, he played at Maceys several times, his Great Grandma's nursing home, and he had a piano recital at a fancy house up behind the capitol building.

It wasn't always fun though. One important day where he had 2 performances scheduled, Caleb got really really sick and so missed his church Christmas program, but still made it to his recital that night although he felt really awful. He threw up just a half hour before his recital, but he still played. It turned out alright, although he wasn't well. Just think of how much better he can play when he is feeling good!

Here is a video from his recital performance:

He played an old Christmas favorite for a stake Christmas program. Here he is at home running through the piece:

He did get to reschedule his piano number to the day after Christmas to play in church since he was sick for the Christmas program. They were very nice to do that for him. He also played it in his aunt's church earlier in the month.

Here he plays an arrangement of Silent Night:

This year Caleb has teamed up with his brother who plays guitar.

They played a little duet of "What Child is This" for a Christmas program dinner. Here is a video of them practicing at home:

Then, of course, he can't miss playing at Maceys. They didn't have a nice grand piano this year to play on, but he made do with what they had. His brother came along as well for a few numbers.

The piano wasn't very big, and not very loud, but he did manage to play alright. Here's a fun new song he learned that he played called "Linus and Lucy" otherwise knows as "the Snoopy Song".

Caleb had an awesome Christmas season and loved performing! Now for a bit of a break. There aren't any performances, competitions, or recitals for a while. Just time to practice practice practice!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Caleb Plays in Church

Recently, Caleb played the piano in church for all of the congregation. He played a song arranged by composer Aaron Waite entitled "Be Still My Soul". He did a great job.
Here is a little video of him playing just one verse and the 2nd ending at home:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Piano Evaluations and UMTA's Honors Recital

Caleb participated in the Utah Music Teacher's Associations Piano Evaluations in October. It is where students play one or two songs and get evaluated by a couple of judges to get some performance feedback.

Caleb loves doing this. He participated last year where he received his very first certificate with a gold seal on it to hang on his wall. Of course he got another one this year!

It is not a competition, however the judges will pick about 70 kids out of Utah who they think are the best to perform at that year's annual conference.

This year, they chose Caleb!

How excited he was that he was going to get to perform. It was going to be held at a big University in November. Caleb played 2 songs at Piano Evaluations, but they only wanted one song to be played at their performance and they chose his ever so practiced Sonatina 3 by Clementi.

We made the trip up to Weber State University for Caleb to perform.

Caleb loved that it had a big map to tell you where to go.

He also loved the giant statues. Here he poses with one of his sisters and his brother who were good sports to come along and support him.

He got to play in a ballroom with a fancy piano on stage. He says the piano bench was particularly heavy that he was trying to scoot up. Here is his performance:

He played with about 12 other kids, of course Caleb always seems to be that littlest one compared to all the others.

And, how exciting for him that he gets another gold seal certificate!!! This time it is for Outstanding Solo Performance!

Congrats to Caleb!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fall Piano Recital and Duets

Caleb performed in his fall piano recital this week. He played Knight Rupert by Schumann for his solo piece:

And then for the first time he played in some piano duets with another student. Poor Caleb had bad allergies that night and so you can see him during the last song struggling not to sneeze. It's kind of funny, but he held it in and it didn't affect his playing!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Caleb Plays the Grand Plexiglass Piano at the Fancy Restaurant--A Dream Come True

There is a very fancy restaurant here that is set on the very top floor of a building which over looks all of downtown. It is very nice and is home to a very fancy plexiglass piano, which is like a regular grand piano, but the whole top part is transparent glass. A few years ago, Caleb's parents went there for their anniversary. When Caleb saw pictures of this piano and heard about how people would play this grand piano as their job and get paid for it, he was so excited.

From that day on Caleb has talked about how much he wanted to go work at this restaurant when he grew up and how he would get to play on their big fancy see through piano.
Caleb dreamed of working playing the piano to pay for his college at the University School of Music.

We just kept telling him to keep practicing and maybe someday he could do that.

Well, for Caleb's 8th birthday, he got a very happy surprise.

The very nice people at the restaurant agreed to let Caleb come and play their big piano! How happy and proud he was to go in there and play all his fun songs on the see through piano. He absolutely loved it!

He played about 10 different songs; Everything I Do, Piano Man, Goodnight Lullabye, Listen to Your Heart, Only Hope, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Hallelujah, Be Still My Soul, Silent Night, and then he finished with a grand finale of his Sonatina.

It was so cute to look over and see this little boy on this huge piano!

The restaurant workers were so nice! They sang him Happy Birthday and gave him a little treat. Caleb did so well. He almost looked natural sitting there on that big fancy piano.

Here are some little video bits from his night:

He did have some challenges turning pages and keeping his books to stay open:

It was a big piano, and the bench was also made out of this plexiglass material so it didn't adjust. Caleb could hardly reach the pedals as you can see from this video where he is sitting at the end of the seat stretching to reach:

I'm sure the restaurant just loved getting all 6 verses of Hallelujah as well! Don't worry, I only recorded one here:

Caleb said this was the best birthday ever!

What a cute kid! Happy Birthday Caleb!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Singing with the Piano!

All of the sudden Caleb has began taking a great interest with being an accompanist and even singing himself with the piano. He absolutely loves to learn and play songs that someone can sing while he plays.

He learned to play Billy Joel's Lullabye song so his dad could sing it with him:

but then that didn't seem enough, he found out another new song he could play called Hallelujah that he could sing WITH his Daddy:

Now he just sings and plays all the time!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Caleb Makes the Local Newspaper

Last month we received a call from a local newspaper reporter who wanted to do a story about Caleb. She interviewed us and this is what was printed in the September issue of the Murray Journal:

Seven-year-old 'piano man' awarded as talented entertainer

Caption — Seven-year-old Caleb Spjute is at home at the piano, having taught himself how to play at age 4.

When Caleb Spjute was four years old, he watched his older brother, Micah, learn to play piano from his aunt.

"It looks like fun and I wanted to play and try it," said the now seven year old.

So his mother, Becca, found the beginning piano books and pointed to the notes middle C, D and E and left him to it.

"Caleb took that book, read through it and began figuring it out," she said. "In one month, he passed up his brother and kept right on going. He said he'd like a song and then I'd find it on the Internet and print it off and he'd figure that out."

One year later, Caleb could perform "The Entertainer" and would be found playing the piano nonstop. He also was ahead of the academic learning curve, so his parents had him skip kindergarten.

Former Viewmont Principal Darren Dean knows of his talents. "He is very talented for his age and takes music lessons from a professor at the U (University of Utah). And, he is also a very good student," Dean said.

Recently, the 3rd-grader took part in the University of Utah's Summer Arts piano competition after studying just one year under associate professor of piano Vedrana Subotic. Caleb, who competed with students up to 10 years of age, won four awards: 1st in solo performance, 1st in theory, 2nd in sight reading and the Iron Man award for best all around in his age division.

"I thought he was just this cute little kid who played," his mother said. "I knew he must have talent, but I didn't know he was that good."

She said Caleb is now being instructed on the right way to play and not his own way he taught himself. As part of a motivator, they have created a Facebook page as well as a blog where they post him playing.

In 1st grade, Caleb played the "March of the Nutcracker" in his class's performance of "The Nutcracker." Last spring, Caleb's own composition won Murray School District's Reflections music category and advanced to state.

"That's all he wants to do is play the piano," his mother said.

"I want to play at The Roof (restaurant) and be a piano teacher someday," Caleb said.

Caleb's talents lie within the family. His father is a singer, his older brother now plays guitar and his five-year-old sister plays the violin. Spjute laughed when she said her husband, Troy, wants two-year-old Macey to play the drums so they can create a family band.

"I took piano lessons for two years and violin for a year, but I'd be the band manager," she said.

Already, the family volunteers to perform at senior homes.

"They love to see him sit down and play all these favorite songs," Spjute said. "He just loves to play."

It seemed to be a nice article. We hoped we didn't come across as boastful. We are proud of our little Caleb!

I think we would have omitted the part about passing up his brother on piano. Caleb has a very talented older brother who has talent in other areas---ballet and tap dance, playing the guitar, and in academics.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Caleb's Piano Competition Winner's Recital

Caleb was so excited to be invited to play in the University of Utah's SummerArts Winner's Recital. He thought it was the neatest thing ever to have his name listed in the program and even have a paragraph about him under the performers bios.

He performed his 2 pieces he played for competition. A few mistakes--oops!--but he did pretty well. He hopes to work hard so he can be in many more concerts to come.

Here is a recording from his performance. (Sorry it is a back view, but we were on the stage and trying to sit as far away as distractingly possible. It is tough for a little 7 year old to sit still for so long, but Caleb tries to be as quiet and still as a little boy can possibly be.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Caleb Wins Big!

Caleb competed in the University of Utah's SummerArts Piano Competition and he won!

Caleb competed in the solo performance category, but then also entered the Sight Reading Skills Test, and the Theory Skills Test.

We figured he had a pretty good chance at placing in the Sight Reading and Theory Test because of the fewer numbers who were competing, but we didn't expect him to place in solo performance because there were a lot who entered and they were kids up to age 10.

How surprised and proud we were when the winners were announced and our little 7 year old Caleb not only placed, but won 1st place Theory, 2nd place Sight Reading, 1st place performance! and then even what they call the "Iron Man" award for best all around with the most points!

He was so cute as he stood up next to all the other kids who had won an award. He was just that little boy on the end.

It was so awesome to watch them announce all the categories and then call all the names and yet it was little Caleb that won in the end! Here's a small clip of his winning moments:

There were some small cash awards and gift certificates to Dayne's Music which he will receive next week, but Caleb was most excited for his certificates! He has always had "participation" certificates, but these are the first actual winning certificates. And to think----4 of them! He was so excited and happy that he wanted them to hang on his wall.

So that's what we did:

Also, the University invited Caleb to play in a "Solo Winners Concert" at the University this next week. His first real concert debut----not just a recital!

We are so proud and happy for Caleb! We know this is just the beginning for our little pianist!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Competition Preview

This year Caleb is competing at the University of Utah's SummerArts Piano Competition. He will be competing in solo performance, sight reading, and theory. This is his first time competing at the U, and we hope he will do well.

They had a sort of "Competition Recital Preview" to show off what they would perform for competition. Here is a video of Caleb's "practice" performance:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Playing the Harpsichord

This summer Caleb has been able to take part in a sort of "music camp" at the University. He has been able to take some different classes and learn some new things. One of these classes was a harpsichord class where he was able to learn how to play a song that was originally composed for the harpsichord (before pianos were invented). Caleb thought it was pretty neat.

Here he is playing Bach's Invention No. 4 on a real harpsichord:

and here he is changing it up a bit:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Robin Hood Song

Caleb is having a fun summer learning all sorts of awesome piano songs from the radio and old movies.

Here is a favorite of many; Everything I Do (I Do It For You) from the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves soundtrack:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Piano Boy

It is summertime and Caleb has some extra time on his hands, so we went to the music store and got him all sorts of piano music.

We are usually calling Caleb "the Piano Boy", so we thought this would be a fitting song.

Here is Caleb playing Billy Joel's "Piano Man":

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Only Hope

Caleb often plays songs to entertain his mom. She likes this song called "Only Hope" that Mandy Moore sang in a movie called "A Walk To Remember".

Oh, and the ear phone he has in his ear is connected to a new metronome we got. Caleb thinks he looks like a secret agent!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chariots of Fire

We showed Caleb a video on You Tube of the movie Chariots of Fire where people were running on the beach to this song. Caleb thought it was pretty neat. He also thought it was funny if he could play the song and some one could run in the background in slow motion.

We don't have someone running in the background here, but here is Caleb's rendition of Chariots of Fire:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

End of the Year School Talent Show!

Caleb played the piano in his school's end of the year talent show.

He has been working on learning Clementi's Sonatina No. 3, and so he wanted to play it for his school. If you'd like to see the video of his school performance you can click on the link at the side under "Caleb's Recitals and Public Performances ".

For a more close up view and maybe a little more learned, here is a video of him playing the Sonatina at home a week later:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Talent Show 2010

Caleb was very excited to perform in a talent show this last month. He had so much fun performing a preview of a song he's working on, and then 2 other full songs.

You've already heard him play his Piano Concerto in A Minor, but here is the other song he played for the show; Ballade by Burgmuller:

He can't wait for next year to hope they do another talent show!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Piano Concerto in A Minor

Caleb has been working on this new song that he will perform in a talent show.

Here is Piano Concerto in A Minor by Grieg:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Piano Competition in Park City

Caleb went to Park City, Utah for his first piano competition.

He played his Spinning Song and Bach's Invention No. 1.

There were a bunch of older kids there who played too. He didn't win this time, but he can try again next year. Maybe in a few years when he is bigger he can win if he practices really well.

He had fun and got a certificate and a prize.

Here he is pretending to win the big trophy:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Caleb's Spring Recital!

Caleb performed in his Spring Piano Recital on Monday night playing 3 songs:
-Invention No. 1 by Bach,
-Siciliana by Schumann,
-Piano Concerto No. 1 by Tchaikovsky

He did such a good job and he was so cute too!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Caleb's Composition Wins Best in Region!

Caleb went to an award ceremony this week to receive an award for his musical composition he created last October.

He won out of his division for his school, and then went on to win out of his age division for the region.

Here he is with his composition and his medal:

He even got to meet the mayor!
Here is a picture of him with the mayor and his daddy:

Here he is accepting his award with the other winners in musical composition:

Next his composition goes onto the state level.
Congratulations and good luck!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A New Song, but Not the Real Deal

Caleb really likes this song, but it isn't quite the real thing.
This is Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1.
The real Piano Concerto No. 1 is pretty intense with orchestra and major playing, but anyway, this one isn't so bad, and Caleb likes it a lot.

We shall see if he gets to play it in a recital if not just for fun.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Caleb's Piano Solo at Church

Caleb was lucky to be asked to play a piano solo at church during Christmas. He played the song Still, Still, Still. Everyone thought he did really well. We couldn't record it in church, but here is a video of him practicing: