A rocky start to piano lessons transformed Lauren Wolffis’ perspective on music

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Sophomore Lauren Wolffis continued playing the piano all these years not because she enjoyed going to lessons but rather because she hated them. 

Feeling confined by the strictness of the sheet music she was given, Lauren absolutely despised going to piano lessons when she initially began in third grade, pushing her to quit those lessons three years later. However, that was not the end, for Lauren took things into her own hands and has been happily playing ever since. 

“I hated doing piano lessons,” Lauren said. “I liked it for a while, and then I just got really tired of it. I ended up ordering my own sheet music and finding things online to play. And I started to really like it.”

After stepping away from the confined lessons and moving towards individualistic playing inspired by her eclectic mix of favorite artists, Lauren found a new joy in playing the piano that traditional lessons were unable to give her. 

With a colorful musical palette, Lauren has been and continues to be inspired by her motley of artists. From classic 80s hits to Carrie Underwood to musical soundtracks to Harry Styles, Lauren grew up with many artists taking up space throughout the walls of her home that now sit atop her piano. 

“I ordered the Harry Styles Fine Line sheet music, and I am obsessed with it,” Lauren said. “I wanted to play what I wanted to play.”

Admitting to a Taylor Swift phase ten years ago as it is “a part of life,” Lauren has always found comfort in her favorite artists, which have developed as she has grown herself. 

Harry Styles, for example, recently rekindled her joy for piano, and the inspiration she pulls from him as both an artist and a person goes beyond the keys of her piano. 

“[Harry Styles] is very much an individual,” Lauren said. “A lot of his influences are also musicians that I also listen to, too.”

Her other favorites include popular artists such as Billie Eilish and Post Malone because they provide a certain degree of emotional overload that Lauren simply cannot find anywhere else. 

Often playing just a single song just to shut her eyes and let the melodies and beats completely overtake her, music—any genre—is Lauren’s happy place, another dimension.

“Music, for me, is kind of how I escape,” Lauren said. “Sometimes, I’ll just play a song and just listen to it and completely immerse myself into the song.”

Lauren’s deep connection to music defies all genres, for she has even acquainted herself with Scottish tunes. 

“I literally have such a fascination with Scottish and Irish music,” Lauren said. “Back in seventh grade, we sang a Scottish music medley in choir, and I just really took a liking to the sound of it.”

Explaining her admiration for unique sounds, Lauren immediately took a liking to the “vibe” of Scottish and Irish music, further proving that her love of music is completely genre-less.

Lauren likes what she likes, and she happens to love the sound of distinctive instruments, such as the bagpipes. 

“I just like different sounds,” Lauren said with a laugh. “I love different instruments and stuff like bagpipes. It’s fascinating. I love it. I’d love to learn how to play some cool instruments; I just don’t really know how to go about doing that.”

Her ability to play musical instruments goes as far as the piano—and the beloved recorder—but her admiration for the sound of music and her favorite inspirational artists stretches far beyond the eye can see. 

From her rocky but eventually steady and unwavering passion for piano to her forever admiration for all genres of music, including the bagpipes in Scottish songs, Lauren’s love for sounds has always been a constant. Leading to her curated yet not at all picky current music taste, Lauren has always found something special in the music she listens to—the emotional outpour that her favorite artists directly feed her soul with. 

“Music can express such a deep feeling and connection to anything,” Lauren said. “You [can] make music for anything, and I feel like it conveys such an emotion that you can’t really get through anything else.”