Nikolaos Pine

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Expected graduation date: December 2015

Degree objective: Music Performance

Instrument: Piano

University highlights, achievements and awards: I have performed two consecutive years for the Presidents Concert as a freshmen and sophomore. I have made Deans List for four consecutive semesters not including the spring of 2013. I just recently performed my sophomore recital.

High School: Terre Haute North Vigo High School

Hometown: Terre Haute, Indiana

Family ties to ISU: None

I chose to attend ISU because…of its closeness to where I live. Another reason is because I have always had a close connection with the university. I had my first lesson in the Community Music Center, and had my first performance on the same stage where I perform every semester. One of the biggest reasons I chose ISU for my undergrad was simply the environment. The professors really care about you as an individual. There has not been once where I have felt as though I was just a number, whereas that would be more likely at a larger school.

When I have free time, I like… to PRACTICE. Truly, I love to practice. I want to spend my life performing and teaching, and practicing is a part of it. For many people, they talk about how amazing it is to open up a fresh book to read. They love how the story and plot unfolds before their eyes. Well that is how I feel about practicing. There is something amazing about practicing and I cannot get enough of. Getting to the practice rooms early each morning and opening up my music is therapeutic for me. I could not be more blessed that God would give me a path like music. The fact that, as a musician, I will never be done learning is exciting. To many people the idea that one could never be done learning in their field could be overwhelming, but as a performer it is reassuring that there is constantly room to improve. The summer is approaching and I’ve been prepping my body and mind because of my excitement for all the practice time that I will have. I know this response may seem ridiculous to others, but this is what I love to do in every waking moment. There is one thing that is more important than music and that is my faith in God, and it is to God that I give all the credit to. I do all of this because it is how I express myself best, and it is through music that I hope to bring glory to God.

My favorite places on campus to study are… easily the Music Listening Library. It isn’t overwhelmingly warm like the library, and it is quiet.

My favorite professor is… This is about a loaded question and a half. I do not have a favorite professor because all of them have had a tremendous impact on my life as a student, musician, and individual, so because I do not have the space to talk about all of my teachers, I will discuss two, one from an academic standpoint and the other from a performance standpoint. The first one I want to mention is Dr. Dean. I was shaking in my boots when I heard all of the horror stories about his classes. I couldn’t have been more scared of any class more than I was for a single music history course. However, I didn’t know that he would be one of the most impactful professors thus far as a student. His courses are difficult and rightfully so. I am incredibly thankful to have a professor who cares so much about making sure we are ready for the professional world. His courses are about making the student become an independent professional from the beginning. Life is not going to hold our hands as we struggle to make it in the job industry or whatever it is the student wants to do. Dr. Simms. She has been more than a professor, I look up to her like I would my mother or someone of that stature. Strictly as a student, she makes sure that you understand your potential and she really helps to guide you in the right direction. I remember my first lesson after high school it was recommended that I go in to tuning pianos because my focus was so terrible. Now she’s helped me set my sights on some very prestigious graduate schools. There are too many times where I am sure I have bugged her from countless random visits to her office with about a million questions or not one because I would forget as soon as I would get to her door. She has really taken the time to get to know me as a person, and am so thankful that she is who I got to study with for my undergrad. I couldn’t imagine a better teacher to have for an undergraduate study. She also teaches my piano literature class and is an amazing academic instructor as much as she is a piano instructor.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…I would spend it with Marc-André Hamelin. I would spend all day picking his brain for information. He seems like a humble individual and is one of my favorite pianists.

If I knew I could not fail, I would… Take out a monstrous loan and perform a solo recital in Carnegie Hall.

After graduation, I plan to... apply for graduate schools. It is my plan and aspiration to make a career as a performer and piano professor. I feel my calling is to be both and I have a passion for teaching just as I do for performing. I could not do one and not the other. I will go through the doctoral studies and will pick-up every performing/artist diploma I can get. Thanks for Dr. Simms’s help in realizing my potential, in two and a half years I will be auditioning for the Eastman School of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music as my primary focus points.

The one ISU experience I will always remember is/will be…All of it, my experience at ISU has really showed me what it takes to really work toward a career in the musical field. Also the relationships that I’ve developed in just this short time I’ve been at ISU is amazing!

If I knew then what I know now, I would…get serious early instead of learning the hard way, but everything happens for a reason and am thankful for everything that has happened and lead to this point. I look forward to what God brings to my future.

If I could serve as a mentor for future ISU music students, I would tell them/suggest that they…they realize life doesn’t wait for you to get serious; there is no pause button. Practice and be thankful for every hard class. Ask questions because the professors are there to help you succeed. Get serious about your choices now and dig in!

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