Skip to main content

Tell us about yourself!

I’m Nicole Kwasny, a freshman at Depaul, majoring in music performance at the violin studying with professor I-Hao Lee.

Do you have a favorite composer? What music do you like to listen to?

My favorite composer would be Wieniawski; I love his concertos and caprices on the violin. I would love to play them one day! I listen to a mix of everything. My favorite music to listen to is house/edm music, as well as sometimes some Polish folk music.

Nicole KwasnyWhat has been a highlight of your time in college so far?

Meeting new people and improving a lot in my playing. Playing the Mozart Requiem with the Depaul Vocal Ensemble and in general playing all the wonderful orchestral repertoire through each concert cycle.

I also enjoy exploring more of Lincoln Park, and my fav restaurant is Noodles in the Pot (run by my friend’s family), as they have really good Thai food!

Going to classical concerts watching the CSO play and Hilary Hahn play, and going to see my favorite artists perform like Chris Lake.

What was a difficult moment about your time so far?

Making sure everything is on task. Trying to make time for homework, practicing and working. The first year was a challenge for me, because I tried to turn in all assignments on time, and have enough time to practice my pieces for lessons, orchestra, and chamber. I finally figured it all out, made a plan, and was able to do everything on time as well as have enough time to practice, work, and even give myself a break once a week. Out of everything, the commute to school by transit was not very fun.

What advice do you have for CMPI seniors as they make the transition into college?

If your plan is to major in music, definitely practice a lot. If you don’t practice you’re not going to improve towards your goals

Stay on task, as it’s hard to catch up on things, and make sure you have enough time to practice and stay organized.

How do you handle organization and the balance of practice and human time?

It was rough at the beginning. I really started setting up a lot of goals for myself such as what time to practice or have lunch.

I give myself a day off every week to do something fun and relax. Sometimes if you practice too much it can overwhelm you. Watch your health, and how you’re feeling while playing. It’s better to take a break than push through. Health is the number one priority.

As of right now, what is a goal you are actively working towards?

My goal for now is to learn 15 etudes by this summer, learn 4 more different scales and double stops (mostly to prepare for my juries for next year), learn the whole Wieniawski concerto (for my recital in the winter), learn a new sonata, do some duets with friends, collaborate, and read a book. There is just so much – the list keeps going – but these are a few of my top goals.

Anything else you would like to share?

I wish I had been able to learn more technique-wise before college. Right now I’m catching up on drilling, training my hands to reach high notes, play fast 16th notes, making my double stops sound more clear and together, and having a nice clear sound. It’s getting better and I am hoping to make a video of one of my performances to see that improvement!

What’s shocking to me is that I started off with a Bach concerto when I came into college, and now I’m playing the Violin Concerto No. 2 by Wieniawski. I never thought I could play repertoire this difficult. I am going to challenge myself to play this piece as a whole and I will be proud of myself when it’s learned. Don’t compare yourself to others, focus on yourself. Having a positive attitude while playing is important.

College is gonna be fun and you’re going to learn a lot towards your career.

Keep going to CSO concerts because they are awesome and you could even come to DePaul to see some amazing concerts!


Nicole Kwasny

Would you like to make a gift to support CMPI?

Donate today