Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Young Artist Feature - Caleb Spjute

I've decided to feature a young artist each month on this blog. The young artist that immediately came to mind for my first post is a young pianist that has incredible promise and potential, and has already accomplished a great deal for his age - Caleb Spjute. Lindsey and I originally saw Caleb at the SummerArts Piano Competition at the University of Utah a few years back, and before they announced any of the awards, he was already our favorite, because he was just such a stud - he couldn't have been more than about 4 feet tall, but he was decked out in a gray pinstripe three-piece suit, pink shirt, and skinny far the best dressed artist at the entire competition. Lindsey turned to me and said, "We need to have you dress like that kid!" So, needless to say, we went out and bought a vest just like Caleb's and when I told Caleb he was the inspiration behind the vest, he wore it to every event he came to where I would be performing so we could match haha. He is awesome! (By the way, he had to step forward and accept every first prize award in his age category - 1st prize in performance, concerto, sight-reading, quick-study, and everything else he entered...incredibly talented!)

Here is a short biography of Caleb:

Caleb Spjute was born with a love of music. At age 4, he began reading through old piano books and teaching himself how to play. Within a couple of months, Caleb had passed through Level 4 method books and was playing anything he could get his hands on. Caleb particularly loved Tchaikovsky, and at age 5 was asked to play the “Overture” at his school’s performance of the Nutcracker. From the time he began playing piano, Caleb has told everyone his dream; “I want to be a piano player when I grow up.” At 6 1/2, Caleb began formal piano lessons at the University of Utah with Dr. Vedrana Subotic. In a short time, Caleb began competing in piano competitions and performing all across Utah. At 7, Caleb won the University of Utah’s SummerArts piano solo competition and won the “Iron Man” award for best all around. At age 8, he won his first piano concerto competition in Park City, and again the following year. At 9 years old, Caleb made his debut appearance playing a piano concerto with live orchestra. Now 10 years old, Caleb recently performed a full 3 movement concerto with live orchestra and won an Honorable Mention from the Utah Symphony Youth Guild Competition.

Caleb also loves to write music. Each year he wins his school’s musical composition competition, often going on to Region and State levels. He loves to play for care centers and nursing homes. He often accompanies his older brother who plays guitar and a younger sister who plays violin.
Caleb has a special love for playing in church. He loves to find different arrangements of hymns to play. This past year he created a web series called "Sundays @ 6" where he plays a different hymn arrangement every week. He is currently on week 46.

When not playing piano, Caleb has a great love for maps, building roads with his toy cars, reading, and writing. He has recently began playing the ukulele. He continues to study piano and work toward his goals of becoming a professional pianist and basically just sharing his love of music with others. He says, "I love it when I play the piano because it makes people happy, and that makes me happy."
As you can all see, this kid is amazingly accomplished, creative, and innovative. I decided to do a mini interview with him.
How has studying music changed your life?
Piano has made a difference in my life because it makes me happy and makes other people happy. It has given me goals to work for like learning harder pieces, memorizing longer songs, competing in piano competitions, playing with a live orchestra, and someday becoming a professional concert pianist.
I can’t imagine my life without playing the piano. I think it would be very boring. I like to be able to hear a song on the radio or somewhere and know I can play it myself.
I like to play with other people who play other instruments or sing.
I like most to play in front of other people to be entertaining and make them happy.
What advice would you give other young musicians wanting to study music?
If I could tell one thing to other young musicians that could help them in their studies, it would be to never give up. Never quit even if it looks like you can’t do it at first. Keep trying.
My teacher has taught me that the best way to practice is slow practice with a metronome. Even though it is hard, I know it makes me better if I do it.
Do you like to practice the piano?
Practicing the piano is hard especially when it might be boring things like scales and finger exercises, but I know it will help me be a better piano player.
I think other kids should learn to play the piano because there are so many songs that you can find music to. You can play all sorts of music like classical, jazz, new-age, rock, pop, and more on the piano and make it sound good.
And, an extra bonus---he says: Playing the piano has introduced me to lots of other great pianists like Marvin Goldstein, Jon Schmidt, Paul Cardall, and more. It makes me happy when composers and pianists find my videos online and leave nice comments to me! I have made many friends over the internet such as Jarrod Radnich, Josh Wright, Aaron Waite, Chas Hathaway, Carolyne M. Taylor, and Paul Cardall. 
Here is a link to a video of one of Caleb's performances:
Also, if you'd like to connect with Caleb online through his blog, Sundays at 6 series, or become a fan on Facebook, here are the links to do that:
Facebook Fan Page:
Keep up the great work Caleb! Thank you for being this month's featured young artist!
If any of you would like a signed copy of my new album, My Favorite Things, just scroll down 2 posts and find all of the various ways you can enter this month's giveaway. Thank you all so much for your support!


  1. Caleb is so awesome. His videos are amazing! I can't believe he is only 10.

  2. social websites, Someone who has a room to share when you are travelling to their country, state or town and is willing to let you have it for a price or in exchange for help around the house. Like an Aupair but not necessarily with the kids.