Anna Marie Riner ’24Music Minor
Posted on March 29th, 2023 by

“By giving me opportunities like accompanying, the faculty have helped me develop my own self-confidence, time management, and interpersonal skills.”

Originally only focused on her Psychology major, Anna Marie’s involvement and enjoyment in music at Gustavus led to encouragement, particularly from Professor Yumiko Oshima-Ryan, to pursue a Music minor with a focus in piano performance.

Of the faculty within the Music Department, she says, “They seemed invested in knowing me as a person and in challenging me to step outside my comfort zone.” Since becoming a Music minor, Anna Marie has found many opportunities to improve her performance skills and has found a deep sense of community among her peers.

The course Quiet Mind for Performance has especially helped her with performance anxiety, which has helped her both musically with piano performances, and with psychology courses that involve giving presentations. Her piano seminars have also been an important opportunity to grow as a performer. These seminars are casual gatherings in which students play pieces for each other and receive constructive feedback from peers. She says, “It’s a supportive environment where you can practice managing performance nerves and hear what other people are working on.”

She also recognizes the music faculty for giving her opportunities to grow, especially opportunities to accompany ensembles on piano, and for demonstrating “what leadership, inclusivity, and teamwork look like.” She specifically appreciates her piano professor, Esther Wang, who has been a warm and caring figure for her on campus, and also someone who has helped her develop her piano skills.

Anna Marie’s involvement in the Music Department led her to an opportunity for off-campus experiential learning in New Zealand and a Musics of the World Course, which applies to her music minor while also giving her a valuable cultural experience and a “well rounded perspective” on music.

Anna Marie is also involved in other organizations on campus, including Building Bridges, Environmental Action Coalition, and LineUs Improv.


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