Off the Field

NASH senior Gabi Götz is known as a standout on the soccer field, but he is also at the top of his game on the piano.

Libby Heckert, Staff Writer

When did you start playing the piano?

I started playing when I was 4. 

How did you get into it?

I was taught by my next door neighbor and then switched to The Center for Young Musicians, where I played for most of my time when I was younger. My parents started me on piano following my sister, who’s two years older, mainly to just explore my interests and hopefully plant some sort of musical seed in my development.

Have you always played the same genre of music?

When I was twelve, I switched to studying and playing jazz at Duquesne and the Afro-American Music Institute, and that was a change that I chose to make because I got sick of playing classical music and grew interested in how jazz sounded and the idea of playing that kind of music.

How has it affected your music taste today?

It affected my taste in music a lot, and although my taste is mainly rap and r&b, a lot of times there’s a good amount of jazz in a lot of that type of music, which is probably one of the reasons why I was attracted to it. 

How do you think it has affected your creative side?

Playing piano for so much of my life definitely affected how I looked at and listened to music. Music affected my view on the artistic and creative side of the world. It’s so much easier to acknowledge the beauty of things, whether that’s in nature or in things man-made, but playing developed my specific taste in things like color, design, the outdoors, and aesthetics. 

Do you think this has affected other aspects of your life?

I think playing music helped develop creative abilities of course but also my ability to problem solve and comprehend abstract or compound problems better.

What is your favorite part about playing the piano?

My favorite part of playing piano and jazz specifically is that I have the ability to play anything I want, whether that’s my own creative idea or something someone’s already written or made. 

Have you had any experiences that have come with playing?

I’ve had some of my best experiences playing with my teacher, Howie Alexander. Playing with him is like having a conversation, and even though he has so much more experience, we can build off of each other and the music just flows and you can hear that chemistry in the playing.

Has it helped you in school?

I’d honestly say that playing hasn’t helped me in school. If my schedule were filled with music-based classes, then, yeah, my life would be easier because I played, but I’m personally big on keeping my school, soccer, and piano lives separate to keep everything pure, in a way.