Edited by Cynthia Brian

Music is a constant presence found practically everywhere. While some of us are content to simply enjoy listening to music, others are dedicated to making music an integral part of their lives. Lamorinda is fortunate enough to have many talented young musicians. Even though it’s summer vacation, many are still working hard making the music that they love. 

Kelvin G, a clarinetist who studies at Miramonte High School just returned from a three week intensive music camp. He was part of the Stanford Youth Orchestra, which provided an opportunity for gifted young musicians all across the world to gather and play together. In the three weeks that they were there, the entire orchestra had to learn several different pieces and be able to perform them in a concert held at the end of each week. Despite the heavy workload, the orchestra was able to make every concert professional and a success. “Being around and working together with people my own age made it a really fun and educational experience. Although we had to practice rigorously, it was all worth it in the end. I was able to make many new friends who all share my passion in music.” 

Moraga teen and enthusiastic pianist Yurika Kazama also devoted part of her summer to music. She participated in a chamber music program by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music called Summer Music West. In the program, young musicians were assigned groups to perform in ensembles. Though students received the music beforehand, they had just ten days at the Conservatory to get to know each other, rehearse, and polish their pieces to make them performance-ready. Coaches worked with the students, making sure that they were practicing efficiently and effectively. Kazama explains, “We played in groups of three or four, which meant that everyone had to do their best, since a single mistake could really stand out. I learned so much in just a week and a half. The coaches were really helpful, and I now appreciate music even more. I only wish it had lasted longer!” 

Music can really bring the world together. As a pianist myself, I know how much work and practice it takes to make just a few notes perfect. It makes it all the more admirable that these two Lamorinda teens would give up their time to learning more about music. As summer draws to an end and the school year is about to begin, keep this in mind: the best way to succeed is to practice. After all, practice makes perfect!

Konnie Guo, a junior at Miramonte High School, is a member of Club Be the Star You Are!®. She is an avid reader, and during her spare time, enjoys playing the piano and doing volunteer work. 

As the editor and teen coach for Teen Scene for the newspaper, Cynthia Brian has had the opportunity to work with talented teens with attitude and opinions. She shares selected published works. To read numerous articles shepherded by Cynthia, visit Cynthia Brian also produces Express Yourself!™ on Voice America Kids Network heard Tuesdays NOON PT at  or for photos, descriptions, links, and more visit 


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