Nina Dinan is 17 and has been a piano student of Nic Gerpe since 2019. Along with studying piano she enjoys being a part of her high school’s student government and creative writing program. Nina recently shared more about her interests (including her love of Baroque music!) and her time at PCM.
PCM: When and why did you want to start playing piano and what do you like most about it?
ND: I started studying piano in September of 2019, so I’ve been learning for almost a year and a half. Before that, I taught myself as much music as I could on an electric piano in my house. My goal was always to take formal lessons, so I’m thrilled to be able to do that now. I like everything about playing the piano: the feeling of it, the sound of it, and especially the happiness it can bring to people who hear it.
PCM: What piece are you most looking forward to learning?
ND: One goal of mine is to learn Bach’s Italian Concerto. This is one of my favorite pieces to listen to, and I find myself smiling every time I hear it. It’s joyful and elegant, and I want to bring those qualities to my playing.
I’d also love to learn Handel’s “The Harmonious Blacksmith” theme and variations. I really enjoy Baroque music, and I want to learn as much of it as possible.
PCM: Your teacher, Nic Gerpe, mentioned you’re in student government and take creative writing at school. What inspired you to join and what do you like about those things?
ND: I joined student government because I wanted to help my school and community. The main part of my position on student government is to organize blood drives with local hospitals, which I always enjoy doing; it’s a fun and simple way to help the students and others. Creative writing is something I do outside of school. I’ve always liked writing stories and poems about places I observe.
PCM: Who is your favorite musician?
ND: I’ve been introduced to so much beautiful music at PCM that I don’t think I can name only one musician. I go through phases when I listen to one composer a lot, and then I discover another and become obsessed with him. That said, Handel and Bach are definitely two of my favorites. (As I’ve said, I love Baroque music!) I also like the Renaissance composer Jacques Arcadelt. I listen to many contemporary pianists and orchestras playing classical pieces, and I’m inspired by them all.
PCM: What is your favorite memory at PCM?
ND: This is a hard one; I enjoy every moment I spend at PCM. I was able to study on the campus for only a few months, and I can’t wait to see it again in the (hopefully near) future. If I had to name one experience, I would mention walking into the building every week and hearing beautiful music all around me. Also, as someone who came to music at a late age, I especially appreciate the friendly, accepting environment PCM creates for students of all levels.
PCM: Anything else you’d like to share?
ND: I just want to say again how grateful I am to PCM for all the wonderful experiences I’ve had there. Learning from Dr. Gerpe and meeting other piano students is such a gift, whether in person or online.