Valentina Jotovic 4 min read

Student of the Month: Leo Allentoff, Piano and Clarinet


Hearty congratulations to Leo Allentoff on winning September's Student of the Month Award!! Leo is 12 years old and has been attending HAA for the past 7 years.

What instruments do you play? I play the piano and clarinet.

What do you like about each instrument and how do you find time to practice both? What I like about eachLeo_Allentoff_Aug_2016-627540-edited.jpg instrument is that they both have a big range of notes they can play. Also both instruments have a very unique sound and can be used to play many different styles of music. I feel that if you really enjoy playing an instrument, it is very easy to find time to practice. This is because you can’t wait to play and so the first opportunity you get to practice, you will want to do it. This is the case for me.

Your sister also takes music lessons at HAA and music seems to run in the family. What are your family’s favorite music activities? Do you ever play together? My family’s favorite musical activities are listening to various types of music and playing instruments together. My dad sometimes plays with me and my sister. He likes to accompany me by playing on the piano while I play on either the piano or clarinet. We also sometimes have little recitals where my sister or I play in front of the whole family.

You’ve been with us for many years. What do you like about being part of Hunterdon Academy of the Arts? The thing I like about Hunterdon Academy of the Arts is that all of the teachers I have had so far are friendly, motivating, and help me really improve in my playing.

What kind of music do you like to listen to in your free time? I listen to classical and pop music in my free time. I especially like listening to Baroque composers like Bach and Handel.

What would you like to do when you grow up? Any plans to study music? I would like to be a chemist or an engineer when I grow up. While I don’t have plans to study music professionally in the future, I will still enjoy playing and listening to music.

Other than music, what are your favorite activities? One of my favorite activities besides music is playing soccer and watching sports; I’m a big fan of NASCAR racing and the New York Mets. I also enjoy sitting down and reading a good book.

What else would you like to tell us about yourself? I enjoy going to music concerts and watching live productions of musicals. I am learning Chinese and I have been to China five times. This is because some of my relatives live in China. I play clarinet in my school band and I have performed piano duets with classmates at school which were played over the loud speaker so everyone at my school could hear us. My goals as a musician are to be able to play challenging pieces on the piano and clarinet.