Stefanie Liu Wyszkowski
Biology Major and Piano Minor on Pre-Dental Track
I planned on performing “Chopsticks!” arranged by Kurt Hugo Schneider at the annual Arts Scholars Showcase in Spring 2020. Due to COVID-19, I submitted a video of me performing this piece on a baby grand piano that I had previously performed at my high school’s talent show in 2018. “Chopsticks!” took a simple piano piece and added complex variations to it.
I had always wanted to perform a solo piece in front of my peers and other fellow Arts Scholars because I’m passionate about playing the piano. I had performed “Chopsticks!” in the past and this piece combines some of my favorite classical works, including Beethoven’s “Piano Sonata No. 14, 3rd Movement” (“Moonlight Sonata”), Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude No. 2, Op. 3”, and Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2”. I had so much fun performing this piece in front of my peers in the past, and I decided to perform it again. After I decided on what piece to perform, I started practicing right away in the practice rooms at Hughes Hall. I practiced a lot after my classes throughout the week, and once spring break arrived, I practiced even more at home. As I started getting more used to the notes, I added dynamics to give the piece more musicality.
Due to COVID-19 cancelling classes, I decided to submit my past performance of “Chopsticks!”, and I thought it was one of the most fun performances I have ever done. “Chopsticks!” was an enjoyable song play, and mostly everyone was familiar with playing “Chopsticks” on the piano as beginners. Even though I couldn’t perform this piece live, I’m excited to showcase my performance in front of my other Arts Scholars via live stream.
As a result from performing “Chopsticks!”, I gained a lot of confidence in myself. After switching my major from Piano Performance to Biology, I don’t have much time to practice due to other classes, labs, and lots of homework. Ever since I switched majors, I haven’t been practicing as much and I definitely feel distant from the piano. It has been difficult to balance practicing the piano with my other duties, and it is something that I miss immensely. As a result, I felt shy to perform a solo piece in front of others and I would never have the time to practice. As a Piano Minor, I don’t have many opportunities to perform because I’m not required to perform a jury and I wouldn’t be allowed to have my own recital as most music majors do during their 3rd or 4th Year. Fortunately, Arts Scholars hosts Showcase every year, and I finally had this “goal” to push me to practice more. Practicing for Showcase reconnected me to the piano and even though I couldn’t perform “Chopsticks!” in front of a live audience, I gained the confidence that I’m still capable of performing in front of others.
Performing at Arts Showcase has shown me to be more actively involved in the Art Scholars community, and to continue to participate in the Art Scholars community in the future. When I was deciding on what piece to perform for Showcase, I listened to several other amazing piano pieces that I would have loved to learn. I gained a better appreciation for many other piano works and composers, and I’m eager to learn about more works of arts in the future. Arts Scholars is a program that is meant to display the passion of different types of art both in- and outside the OSU community. As a result from this project, I hope to attend more music performances held in Columbus and attend different Arts Scholars’ events.
This project has benefited my future career goals by showing me how to manage my time. Juggling between classes, working, homework, and practicing, I need to find time to learn new pieces. I learned how to time manage better, which is a skill that I will use in the future when studying for the DCAT, working in a dental office, and taking other classes.