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Mason Music Student Spotlight: Katherine Chkheidze

Katherine is unlike any kid you’ve ever met – in the best of ways. She pulls every person in the room into her energy, and as I sat and talked with her and her mother Nina on the Mountain Brook Studio couch, I couldn’t help but feel inspired. Katherine has been a student with Mason Music since 2020 and, while she’s taken voice and piano off and on for a few years, she is currently working with teacher Hannah Creel on her vocal talent and is a dedicated musician.

Mason Music Student Spotlight Katherine Chkheidze as a child

Katherine’s journey with music began at a very young age, when she fell in love with a little plastic piano and began to discover the joyful sounds she could make on those tiny keys. Eventually, her parents purchased her a keyboard and put her in a voice and piano class with a few other students. She took to it quickly, and developed a drive and passion for her music studies that we all should strive for! Katherine and her family moved to Birmingham two years ago, and her mom began the search for a music class to help Katherine adjust with the changes of moving. Nina wanted to give Katherine something to ground her and make her feel at home; that’s where Mason Music became part of Katherine’s story. 

Katherine has a drive that is unique for kids her age. She loves Disney songs and listens to all kinds of music, and Hannah and Katherine choose songs that really embody her energy. She’s currently working on High Hopes, Champion, and Stronger, and I couldn’t pick 3 song titles that better described her joy and passion for life! Katherine loves to make lists, at home and in her lessons, and she starts every lesson off by making a game plan for what she and Hannah will work on during their time together. After singing a song, Hannah will often ask her what she thinks she did well and what she can improve on, and Katherine quickly jumps in to highlight her strengths and opportunities for growth. How many 9-year-olds do you know that are self aware and focused on progress? She has even created a few warm ups like the “Roller-Jokester” and “HipHop” that Hannah uses with all her students now! Be sure to check out this video to see the Jokester in action! Katherine takes her music seriously and still enjoys every minute of her music studies. 

Mason Music Student Spotlight Katherine Chkheidze with her teacher

Hannah, her teacher, calls her mind “beautifully inquisitive” and that hunger for learning is an ever present force in Katherine’s life. In addition to her music studies, Katherine plays tennis, swims, is on the robotics team, and is an avid reader and artist. She loves fantasy and her imagination spilled out of her when we met. Her mom spoke of how important it is to let your child try many things, saying “it’s ok if they don’t like them all. It’s about letting them explore and eventually, they will find something they love.” Katherine loves a lot of things like she loves her music. Like her mother and father, Katherine speaks Georgian, and she will tell you all about how this beautiful language she speaks is one of the oldest languages in the world and that it has 33 letters in it. I asked her if in her head she thought in English or in Georgian, and she shrugged and said “it depends.” It’s no wonder this brilliant child is so capable of learning and doing so many things at once, when her own head is filled with imaginative musings in two different languages.

As I got to know Katherine, I learned that she has had a profound impact on the people around her, even just in her short 9 years. Hannah told me that her friends know all about Katherine because she talks so regularly about their joyful Thursday afternoon lessons. Hannah isn’t the only adult that Katherine has an impact on regularly. A few times a month, her 70-year-old neighbor asks Nina to bring Katherine to spend some time with her, just because she loves her energy and company. We all feel that way! Whenever Katherine leaves on Thursdays all of the Mason Music staff share a smile. We love it when we see her name on our schedule! 

Mason Music Student Spotlight Katherine Chkheidze at the piano

Katherine absolutely bursts with joy and knowledge and hunger for things around her, and yet she is also watching and listening. You can tell she has developed a habit of reigning in her enthusiasm just a bit, and while it shows how thoughtful she is, I hope she never loses her desire for more: more to think, more to do, more to say, and more to live. At the end of our time together, she gathered her things and headed for the door, anxious and excited for the next adventure, but she stopped and turned her head to look at me and said “will you be here next week?” I couldn’t help but grin back at her, because I’d made a friend in this musical and imaginative 9-year-old. I hope you get to be Katherine’s friend too, so keep an eye out for this girl. She’s going to do big things at Mason Music and beyond!

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