Lawrence University freshman Elena Santin is one of the Council’s 2019 Scholarship Winners. She and Council Writer Katherine Corbett discussed future plans, hobbies and adaptations for playing music with a visual impairment.
Katherine Corbett: Tell me about the first time you knew you wanted to study piano performance.
Elena Santin: I have been playing piano since I was nine years old. I chose to study piano performance and psychology because I want to go into music therapy after college. Music is therapeutic for me, and I specifically want to work with kids with disabilities. I know what being a person with a disability is like and can empathize with them and their families.
Katherine: Creativity seemed to be a theme in your application and throughout your life. What does that word mean to you?
Elena: Being creative is a way I express myself; creativity is an outlet to get my emotions out. A lot of times I will write songs to get through hard times in my life.
Katherine: What kinds of activities do you like to do in your spare time?
Elena: I like watching videos on YouTube, writing short stories and poetry. I also enjoy playing ukulele and singing.
Katherine: How have you adapted your hobbies to accommodate your visual impairment?
Elena: For my music, I enlarge everything so I can see it; to save paper I download PDF files of the music and put it on my laptop that has a detachable screen. I can put the screen on the stand of the piano and play the notes from there. I am looking into whether I can scroll through the text on the screen using a foot pedal.
Katherine: What are three words friends or family members would use to describe you?
Elena: They would say passionate, kind and creative.