Even as early as high school, Tonya Ballman knew she was going to study music at Eastern. “I came to jazz camp at EWU and learned so much from it,” she says. Now a graduate student in piano performance, Tonya says she has no doubt she made the right choice.
“You’re coming into a community that will support you, not only during your years at EWU, but also going into your future career.”
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“One of the things l love most about studying here is that every faculty member is a world-class musician. Even outside of the classroom, they all have incredible careers as performers, researchers and educators.” Tonya, who already performs professionally, is now poised to begin her own world-class career. “I have grown so much as a musician, just having this super diverse array of classes and ensembles I’ve been able to participate in,” she says.
Dr. Jody Graves: How to Make a Career Playing Piano
When Jody Graves, professor, performer and director of piano performance studies at EWU, was inducted into the Steinway & Sons Piano Teacher Hall of Fame in 2019, Steinway CEO Ron Losby said that Graves’ dedication to instruction was both “commendable and rare.” Her students share that assessment, adding that she is also an energetic career mentor. Even artists, after all, have to eat. “So how do you make a living if you’re going to make a living if you’re going to major in piano?” Graves asks. There are myriad ways, she says, “even right out of your undergraduate work.”