How Amanda Nguyen grew from breaking violins to breaking through.

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18 month old Amanda with elder brother Alex’s old half size violin

When Amanda Nguyen was two years old, she wanted to be just like her brother. Amanda’s mother Kim Nguyen recalls her toddling around the house, Alex’s old half sized violin in tow. “She broke everything on that violin! She wanted to play so bad!” Kim purchased a violin for Amanda when she was 3 years old, and the search for an instructor began. Kim called Holy Names Music Center, and was paired with violin instructor Mariana Dimitrova, who started Amanda out using the Suzuki method, and now she is breaking through! 


Amanda Nguyen performing at KPBX From The Studio

In May 2017, she earned gold medals at MusicFest Northwest, and was featured on KPBX’s From The Studio. Most recently, Amanda’s application was among the 35% selected to compete in the Classics Alive Young Artist Competition held at Pepperdine University. “I thought it was kind of a pretty good idea, so I just decided to try it out myself.”  

Dimitrova believes Amanda’s focus is what makes her exceptional.

“She is very interested in the artistic repertoire, but unusually for a child the technical etudes and scales are interesting to her; how things work. She grasps right away, she is very focused, I think this makes the difference between kids who succeed and who struggle: focus.”


Mariana Dimitrova, (violin instructor) Amanda Nguyen, and Kim Nguyen (Amanda’s mother)

This brought Amanda success in other activities as well. She is also an accomplished pianist, a member of the Math is Cool team at All Saints Catholic School, a black belt in Tae Kwan Do, and winner of the Junior Golf Championship. This July, Amanda beat the odds (67 million to 1, to be exact) of making two holes-in-one within the span of three days!

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Amanda on the Avondale Golf Course in Hayden Photo Credit: Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review. Read about Amanda’s golf adventures here!

It (music) helps her concentration, her thinking. She is sharp for golf. Golf is hard, and so is violin, and she picked up both easily. Golf, violin, and piano require accuracy. Music helps her to calm down when she is upset, and focus under pressure, and move on from mistakes. It also helps her in math and school work.” Kim Nguyen.  

Regardless of what the future holds for Amanda, Kim is grateful for Amanda’s experiences.

I wanted her to have this experience. She can have a career in music if she wants when she’s older, but now it is just a stepping stone to her future. Music she can carry with her the rest of her life, even if she doesn’t choose it as a career.”  

Holy Names Music Center is grateful for the opportunity to nurture a life-long passion for the arts by giving voice to the spirits of our students. Enroll today to start your break through!


Amanda Nguyen at Holy Names Music Center where she takes violin lessons.

 Author: Clara Mannino