Student Interview :: Zubin Grogg
One of the privileges of being an Art and Piano teacher is staying in touch with my longtime students after they have graduated college. It is an honor to feature those who chose a profession in the arts. Such is the case with my longtime former art and piano student, Zubin Grogg. What better way to honor his achievements than with an interview on the school’s blog! I hope you find it inspiring.
Q1. Zubin, do you happen to remember how old you were when you started art classes and piano lessons at my studio? Had you ever studied art or piano before?
A1. I don’t remember how old I was when I started art classes and piano lessons, but I was in high school when I was studying with you. I studied both art and music for 6 years at Pastimes for a Lifetime. I do remember when I first started, you had turned part of your apartment into an art and piano studio. A few years later you found a studio that was better suited for teaching. It was a very friendly environment. I had no prior art experience. I did take piano lessons before, but I wasn’t happy about the way they taught. I had the most success studying with you and your curriculum, Linda.
Q2. I’m so glad! How did your parents find me? Was it an ad in a magazine or the Yellow Pages, or perhaps a referral?
A2. My mom wanted me to take art classes. She saw an ad in the paper and the next thing I knew I was taking my first art and piano class.
Q3. In art, you completed courses in a variety of drawing and painting mediums. Which is your favorite medium to this day? Do you still draw or paint when time permits? What styles of art speak to you the most? Any favorite painters or illustrators?
A3. Unfortunately, I do not draw or paint as much as I would like. Mostly because my job keeps me busy. But I still have all my supplies so who knows – maybe I will dust them off and pick it back up sometime! My favorite mediums are colored pencil and watercolor. My favorite painter is Van Gogh. One of my favorite pieces I did was a charcoal study of calla lilies.
Q4. I remember that piece. Very well done.
In piano, you completed both the Classic Series Volume 1 and 2 and graduated to playing original manuscript music. Do you still play a little piano when time permits? Who are some of your favorite piano composers? Do you have any particular piece or pieces you still enjoy playing or listening to, to this day?
A4. Unfortunately, I do not play that much piano anymore, but music is still a big part of my life. You had introduced me to a lot of different composers. Some of my favorite composers are Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. I always have music on in the background while I work and some pieces I like listening to are Mozart’s piano concertos and Beethoven symphonies.
Q5. That’s great! How did your art classes and piano lessons help you in college? Where did you attend college? What degree did you graduate with?
A5. I attended college at the University of Miami. I thought I was going to major in music, but that did not work out. I graduated with a liberal arts degree with a concentration in music and theater. So, I was able to keep a music track. I think my piano lessons helped me a lot in college. I was able to take a lot of music history courses and a few theory classes as well. I don’t think I would have had be been to go so far in my music classes without the terminology and theory I learned from my piano lessons.
Q6. That’s wonderful. Where do you work now? In what capacity?
A6. I work at Adelphi University in Garden City New York. I am the resident videographer at the Performing Arts Center. I also work on various promotional videos for other departments. I actually had the honor of having two of my pieces in an art exhibit at Adelphi’s Performing Arts Center last semester. It was fun and I was excited to be part of that.
Q7. That’s exciting! Congratulations on having your work on exhibit. How has your art classes and piano lessons helped you land the job? Are you using those skills on the job? If so, in what way?
A7. I feel more comfortable when I film music performances. I feel that I can track and pan across the stage more fluidly with the strong sense of musicality I’ve developed over the years. I am also able to edit footage to the beat of the music. I have had some fun projects that are cutting images to music.
Q8. Nice work! Have you ever been interested in becoming an art or piano teacher? Was there any particular person or event that inspired your decision to do so or not to do so?
A8. I did think about becoming a piano teacher. The person that inspired that thought was you! I have had other piano teachers, but I was not happy with them and didn’t get very far with them. I got the furthest in my piano lessons with you. Your curriculum broke everything down in a way that was easy to understand and made lessons entertaining and informative. You were my best teacher for music, and I don’t think I would have gone as far as I did without you.
Q9. Your kind words mean a lot. Art and Music can touch people’s lives, bringing happiness and hope. For example, my art and piano school partners with CoachArt to provide free art classes and piano lessons for families impacted by childhood chronic illness. Is there a charity you are fond of or support, that you might like my readers to learn more about?
A9. One of the charities I have supported for two years is the Special Olympics. I have been involved with two world games. In 2009, I was a team leader for the winter games in Boise, Idaho, where I oversaw the video production for all the figure skating events. Most recently in 2015 I was on the media team for the summer games in Los Angeles. I produced videos on the “Unified Sports Experience”, which put people who do not have intellectual disabilities with people who do have intellectual disabilities on the same team and they play together. It was a lot of fun and good organization to support.
In closing, do you have a favorite quote, mantra or process that you find inspiring or helpful when faced with a frustration, that you would like to share with my readers?
I don’t have a favorite quote or mantra – but I would like to say thank you, Linda for everything you have taught me! The skills I have gained from my studies will last a lifetime!
Zubin, it has been an honor to interview you for the school’s blog. You were a pleasure to teach and have in class. I always looked forward to seeing you and your folks at the studio, student concerts and art shows. Friendship with you and your lovely family over the years is something I treasure most of all. I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing more of your successes in the years to come.
In closing, I’m pleased to share two of my favorite photos of Zubin participating in a student piano concert and art exhibit. Enjoy!
To get to know Zubin a little more, here he is answering the interview questions in person.
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