It was the summer before his senior year of high school and Navdeep Maini ‘19 heard “How to Save a Life,” by The Fray, being played on a piano. The beautiful music moved Maini and planted a desire within him to learn the introduction of the song. Without access to a keyboard, Maini turned to his tablet, and downloaded an app called “Piano Perfect.” With a “piano” available in the palm of his hands, Maini learned to play the introduction to “How to Save a Life.” Because of that experience of playing the piano, Maini signed up for “piano lab” at the beginning of senior year of high school.
Although that moment seems like a pivotal point in Maini’s musical training, Maini jokingly says, “My musical-training truly began around third grade with the recorder, going ham on some Buns, Hot Cross Buns.” Maini is referring to the English nursery rhyme, which is also an Easter song.
When it came time for his freshman year at Swarthmore College, Maini already knew he wanted to incorporate music into his studies, declaring a minor in the subject. With jokes aside, Maini exhibits a genuine interest in music, especially when it comes for his future. “I think a part of me felt like I had to complete something (major or minor) in music because getting a music or audio related job might be kind of cool,” Maini said.
Additionally, maintaining that same drive from his pivotal moment, Maini wanted an avenue to continue playing the piano. “I had interest in wanting to learn about how composers keep their audiences’ interests during long pieces and I also had interest in performance,” Maini said.
After taking many music classes for his major, Maini highlighted his interactions with Professor James Blasina and Professor Andrew Hauze. “Their teaching styles and methods are wonderful, and it feels like they do not mind teaching you beyond the scope of a class,” Maini said. “For example, when I was in Music 2b (Reading and Making Music: The Basics of Notation), Professor Blasina introduced me to the idea of moving to the relative minor in the middle of a song.”
Furthermore, Maini attributed his Music 48 voice lessons, his time in chorus and gamelan, and discussions with other students as other crucial learning moments. “Dr. Nancy Jantsch, my voice teacher, Professor Tom Whitman of Gamelan, and Professor Joe Gregorio of Chorus are all personable in their own ways and will work with you to not only create the best sound possible, but to enjoy music.”
Maini has written some original pieces, which he calls “simple amongst this land of complexity.” During two Parrish Lunch Hour Concerts, Maini has performed some of his original pieces. As for the near future, Maini is searching for a job in the software industry, but maintains that his interest in music will remain with him. “Music seemed interesting and theory seemed cool. Should I keep exploring this interest? What if I start hating computer science in the future? Is there something I could switch to? I think these questions fueled me towards more music and not less,” Maini concluded.
David Chan ’19