The Inspiration Behind My Passion For Music by Holly Hinkle

Benjamin Haas |

I started taking piano lessons when I was seven years old with a woman named Adele who lived two minutes from my house. She was regimented and well-spoken in every lesson I took with her, as well as extremely talented. She included theory, technique, of course actual piano pieces, and most important, a love and passion for music. She was the reason I subbed in church throughout all of high school and most of college. The parish I used to sub at is fortunate to have her currently as their full-time organist as she can improv on any hymn and is always a joy to listen to. I would like to give her the credit to why I wanted to keep music in my life when I went to college. Hence, my unusual mix of degrees but I was firmly set on accounting and music. 

The reasoning behind those two? I wanted to be realistic about the difficulty of finding a career in music and I always liked math so I decided to pair it with something people will always need: an accountant. All of the professors I had were very good at Moravian but the music department had exceptionally fantastic music instructors. Each music major is allowed to take up to 3 lessons/semester so I took classical piano (my focus in my major), jazz piano, and voice. I might be biased, but I fully believe I had the best instructors I could’ve gotten, and they continued the passion Adele gave me. Looking back, I think I took it for granted at times while at college, but I would not be the musician I am today without them. 

Dr. Goldina was my classical piano teacher and was the hardest piano instructor at Moravian in my opinion. She pushed students to go to their limits and even though she was very strict with making sure everything was perfect, it was because she wanted us to be the best we possibly could be. She is the epitome of what a classical pianist aims to be when she would perform and I’m very grateful to say I had her as my teacher. Dr. Wilkins, who goes by Skip, was the coolest jazz instructor someone could have. He plays here in the U.S. and also goes on tours in Europe. He showed me a whole new perspective of improv and what could be out there as a pianist, and no shocker here but he's also incredibly talented. Last but certainly not least, Dr. Azzati helped me branch out and perfect my Broadway showtunes. He recognized right from the start that my voice was well suited for theater songs and helped me get chances to perform in front of my peers (you have to get approved by the department to perform something other than your primary focus at performance class or recitals). One of my favorite things would be when he’d sing during my lessons as I always I enjoyed listening to him sing (also super talented which is the theme but 110% true for all of my teachers). 

We always say at HFG about wanting to know a person’s “why” and when I think about music and why it’s so important in my life, it leads me to “who” instead. All of the people listed above inspired me to make music an integral part of who I am and something I’m very passionate about. Of course, I can’t forget my parents supporting me and playing a huge role throughout the years too so that I could become the talented musician I am today. I encourage you to think about your passions and if there’s anyone who might be the reason your “why” is so important to you. 

P.S.- In case anyone would like to hear me play piano or sing, here’s two clips from my college recital (junior year and yes, my hair was blonde!) and I hope you enjoy them 😊 

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