Ukrainian teen refugee and pianist Tymofii Salomatin connects with Colorado classmates by way of music

Ukrainian teen from Westminster connects with Arvada classmates by way of piano

Ukrainian teen Tymofii Salomatin from Westminster connects with Arvada classmates by way of piano


When 13-year-old Ukrainian refugee Tymofii Salomatin began at Tennyson Knolls Preparatory College in Arvada, he did not communicate any English and his classmates did not communicate Russian, so the youngsters used Google Translate to speak. When the opposite college students requested Tymofii what he preferred to do, he talked about that he performed piano, which lead the curious college students to beg their instructor to permit him to play. 

Tricia Corneau is a culturally and linguistically various schooling specialist at Tennyson Knolls. She did not know what to anticipate when Tymofii sat all the way down to play on the previous piano within the Colorado college’s music room.

“Tymofii begins taking part in and it was as if it is an American Idol audition,” Corneau stated. “All the college students’ jaws simply hit the ground, and all people suddenly simply set free applause, and all people’s clapping and cheering. Some children have been crying.”

Since that day, Tymofii’s ability has grow to be legend. He even performed at a latest highschool occasion for Westminster Faculties referred to as “Celebrating Excellence.”

Tymofii Salomatin  


“They’d by no means heard something so stunning, nor had I,” Corneau stated.

His mom Ella Salomatina would agree.

“There’s a saying in Russian; ‘Genius is 99% work and 1% expertise.’ I believe Tymofii has expertise from God. God gave him this present,” Salomatina stated in Russian.

Tymofii has studied piano for seven years, attending music college in Ukraine. All of his siblings additionally play devices, however his mom says he’s essentially the most gifted.

“It is my dream,” Tymofii stated in Russian. “I desire a profession on this as a pianist.”

It is a present that he is cultivated regardless of huge adversity.

“This struggle left an imprint on all of us, we noticed it with our personal eyes, we heard how shells explode, all of us survived it, the kids survived it,” Salomatina stated.

Ella Salomatina


In 2014, Tymofii, his mother and father and his 4 siblings fled from their house within the Donetsk area of Ukraine to elsewhere within the nation. However in 2022, the struggle adopted them. 

“The place the place we lived there, it was shelled, it was very scary, the kids have been very scared,” Salomatina stated. “We ran from one home to the basement to cover from the shells and God put a wall over us, that’s, we have been all intact, nothing occurred to us, though there have been explosions flying round.”

They moved once more to western Ukraine and lived there for the final 12 months, however hazard persevered. 

Lastly, in late March, they immigrated to Colorado to dwell with family members, however one member of the household was left behind. 

“My eldest son Andrey, he is nonetheless in Ukraine. He cannot go away as a result of we’ve a struggle there and males from 18 to 60 years previous cannot go away the nation,” Salomatina stated. 

Because the struggle rages on, the possibilities of the household ever returning dwindle. 

“Not too way back, within the village the place we lived, there was an explosion and our home was very broken. In the mean time, we see no approach to return. It is harmful for the youngsters to be there,” Salomatina stated. 

Now, they’re adjusting to life in Colorado. Salomatina says the group has been welcoming, and her kids like the college. Additionally they have made pals with different Ukrainian refugees within the space.  

“We’re grateful to America as a rustic. It helps Ukraine on this struggle loads. We’re grateful to the college and our favourite instructor. She has devoted loads of time to us. Thanks!” Salomatina stated, gesturing with gratitude to Corneau. 

Tricia Corneau, schooling specialist at Tennyson Knolls Preparatory College 


“He is simply such a motivated pupil. He is keen about his studying, he is keen about his music and he is such an inspiration for our college students and our employees,” Corneau stated.

Tymifii is making pals, and studying English, however within the meantime, he tells his story by way of music. 

“Music is the common language and he proved that,” Corneau stated.

The varsity does not have a music program and Tymofii does not have a piano at his relative’s house. As an alternative, he practices on an electrical keyboard his household borrowed from a church and takes classes remotely together with his music instructor in Ukraine.    

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