She has been playing the piano since the age of 5 and since that time, she has experienced some amazing, incredible things in her life. She joined YouTube on 12 August 2013 and as of early May 2016, her channel has amassed over 7,000 subscribers with over 500,000 video views. She has taken first place in many competitions in her home state of Utah including the Salt Lake Piano Competition and Utah State’s Piano Festival. In March 2015, she released her “Frozen Mashup + Backwards Piano” video with Jason Lyle Black (professionally known as “The Backwards Piano Man” ®). The video garnered millions of views on different social media sites and she took her first plane trip to Tokyo, Japan where she and Jason were invited by Fuji TV to participate in a flash mob. And in March 2016, she took second place in the CVX Live “Next Big YouTuber” contest. Who is this incredible, gifted talent? She is 13-year-old Sara Arkell (a.k.a. “The Piano Gal”).
Normally in her videos, she showcases her remarkable talent of playing the piano – sometimes backwards and as part of a duet – as mentioned in the video with Jason Lyle Black, or in the video “Walk The Moon – Shut Up and Dance” with her cousin, Nathan Schaumann. However, in a video released on her YouTube channel on Tuesday, 3 May 2016, Sara surprises us with another of her wonderful talents. In the special Mother’s Day tribute video “When She Loved Me,” a song by Sarah McClachan, Sarah sings for the first time – and what a beautiful, angelic voice she has.
Featured in the video are three of her younger siblings – Jessa (2), Asia (4), and Kamri (9). Sara states that she was super nervous making the video, but that nervousness does not show through whatsoever in her flawless performance of “When She Loved Me” which is sure to touch the hearts of all who hear her sing it. A press release of the video reveals that “her dad thought it would be a great idea to incorporate her three younger sisters in the video since they look like Sara did when she was younger. He always wanted to film a music video that showed Sara “growing up” on screen.”
The song, from the popular movie Toy Story 2, is powerful in that it shows the pain that occurs when someone we love lets us go – as in the case of a loving mother allowing the child she so dearly loves to begin to spread his or her proverbial wings. Every child is the heart song of its mother, but as the child begins to mature and can do things on his or her own, there exists a sense of separation between mother and child. In the video, Sara and her dad collaborated on creating a story that would capture the relationship between a mother and her daughter from birth to her teenage years. Once the daughter reaches her teenage years, the mother begins to let go, and although the bond between the two may not seem as strong as it once was, there is hope that as the daughter matures that bond will grow even stronger and last forever.
Latter-day Saint Musicians would like to thank Sara Arkell for creating this beautiful, heartfelt Mother’s Day message in song for all of us. We would also like to wish all mothers, no matter where you are, a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day. Thank God for mothers!