Gabrielle Nappa has been making music for as long as she can remember. At around the age of 5, her mother bought her a little piano keyboard, one which made dog and frog noises.
Gabby taught herself to play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” on that keyboard.
“Since then, music has always been a part of my life,” she says. “And then I got to study it at ANU.”
There are a lot of things Gabby loves about music. It offers an escape from everything. She loves how you can relate to music regardless of when it was composed, be it the 19th century or in the modern day. And she loves that it can evoke the same feelings now as the composers thought it would then.
“It’s a great ability to have. I think it’s really important to play as a young person, because then you just take it through your whole life.”
“I think it was in Year 6 when I wanted to stop doing piano,” Gabby recalls. “My mum just said, ‘No, sorry. You’re just too talented’”.
She says now that she was only average at it then. But she’s glad her mother didn’t let her quit.
“It was just me being an angsty teenager being like, ‘I don’t want to practice anymore.’”
At ANU, Gabby has been able to make the most of life as a student, playing music, sport, and living on campus.
“That’s all possible at ANU,” she says. “I was definitely attracted to ANU because here I could do anything.”
“And at the School of Music
, I did such a broad study of music. The teachers there are amazing.”
In first year, she went home most weekends, to Bowral. But she’s stopped doing that, having made a nice life for herself in Canberra.
“I know some students find it at times boring. But I think it’s a really great university town.”
She also thinks it offers a lot of opportunities for students post-graduation.
“There’s so many consulting firms, law firms, business firms. It’s such a good start for a fresh-out-of-uni student.”
Gabby is going to become “one of those consulting people”. She’s landed a position on KPMG’s graduate program for 2018.
Piano will remain in her life, however, and her dream is to have a job that combines music and business.
“I’ll still keep playing,” she says. “I don’t think I’ll ever stop.”