Something I’ve always found striking about the Honors Program is the amount of musical talent filling the halls of Russell. On any given night, you can hear a violinist working his or her way through a solo, a vocalist practicing scales, and every once in a while, if you’re lucky, there is someone tickling the ivories in one of the lounges. There is nothing like being bent over a textbook, ears filled with either oppressive silence or the grating sound of a Pandora ad, and suddenly hearing the black Yamaha in the corner come to life.

Russell A resident Dylan Buller, one such musician, explained why he so often finds himself at the piano bench.

“With the harrowing days I’ve gotten each week, it can be nice to sit down for an hour, forget about all the stress, and just enjoy the music,” the freshman said.

And as it turns out, the person playing the music is not the only one enjoying it.

“The piano playing in the lounge can create the perfect background music for studying,” elaborated Chemical Engineering major, Rachel Chess. “Sometimes, it’s nice to have just the right amount of noise when working through a problem set.”

Sean Considine plays the piano in Russell.

I tend to agree. There are of course those times when I need complete silence, and for those times I lock myself in the library or the Quiet Study Lounge. However, when working my way through the dry pages of a textbook, there is something truly special about being accompanied by a well-played piano to make the experience more enjoyable. The mixture of words and notes transports me to my own world. It is when I can find this peaceful state that I am most productive.

Moreover, I’ve found that this music can be a subconsciously connective experience. Oftentimes the music being played matches and emulates the mood I’m in, forming a subtle link between the performer and the audience.

“Although piano playing is a primarily introspective experience for me, I think everyone feels the emotions I convey through music at one time or another,” Buller said of this connection. “It’s conceivable that other people could be in ‘tune’ with that and feel it, too.” I certainly think so.

This piano playing is something most students, myself included, often take for granted. Yet, as I thought about it, it occurred to me what a privilege it is to be surrounded by people of such talent that will share it with us on any given occasion. It’s an underrated, but uniquely striking aspect of my life here at UD that I’ve really come to appreciate.

Just another perk of life in the Honors dorm.

~Victoria Snare

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