Barbara Prast is a student at SPC Seminole taking Spanish II for the Bachelor in Nursing Program at SPC. She is currently the Vice President of the Spanish Club.
Have you ever sat in the UP bldg of SPC Seminole campus wondering, “who is that young man playing the piano? He is so extremely talented.” His name is Mike Dudenkov, a 19-year-old SPC Seminole student and music major in the SPC MIRA (Music Institute Record Art) program. Mike was born in the Ukraine and moved to Florida in 2004 from Washington State. He started playing the piano at the age of seven, taking private lessons. At that age, he wasn’t so crazy about learning to play piano, but with a little push from his parents, who were also musically inclined, father playing guitar and mother a singer, it wasn’t long before he was hooked on the piano. Since that time, Mike has developed into a superb pianist, with musical ability that has expanded into playing other instruments. Mike’s played the saxophone for 8 years, the guitar and accordion for 2 years. He graduated from Pinellas Park High School, there he performed in several talent shows and received numerous awards. Mike has also been part of a few small local bands.
What makes Mike so unique is his ability to take a popular song from the radio and integrate it into his own piano masterpiece. His favorite genres are the 80’s & 90’s alternate rock, especially artists such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park, Panic at the Disco, and Crazy Rock Party.
Mike states, “People usually think of the piano as background music.” Not with Mike; he makes the piano sound different by using his unique ability to play two different melodies simultaneously, one with right hand and another with his left. He’s trained himself, to hear a song on the radio and play the chords in his head. He can even practice the piano cords and notes in his head. He said, “It’s very similar to actually practicing the piano.”
Playing the piano has opened up a new and different way of thinking in Mike’s life. With 88 keys on a standard piano, the possible combinations are endless. With Mike’s mind and fingers working together, a creation of the most pleasurable sounds one can imagine can result. Whether it be learning to play an instrument or learning how to speak a foreign language, Mike is using his time and talent to bring pleasure to others everyday here at SPC, making a positive impact on all he comes in contact with. Mike doesn’t know what the future will hold for him, but he is hopeful that music will continue to play a key role.