By Amanda Madenberg
In many ways, Elisabeth Dimitratos is your typical freshman girl. She begins every day at 6 a.m., fights with her sister, Katherine, for the bathroom, and then heads off to begin another day at school. Besides partaking in honors classes, Elisabeth participates in the debate team and plans on joining the lacrosse team in the spring. But Elisabeth has a strong passion that few people know about: She is a very talented musician.
Behind the scenes, Elisabeth has a secret escape to a stress-free world: piano. “Whether it be school or guys or friends, [piano] takes my mind off things,” Elisabeth said.
Elisabeth started playing piano five years ago, but it wasn’t until about three-and-a-half years ago that it started to be something she loved—not just something her parents made her do. “As my stress increased, I would alleviate the stress onto the piano,” she explained. Now, Elisabeth practices the piano about one-and-a-half hours per day—purely because she loves it. While Elisabeth plays many genres of music, from classical to popular, her favorite songs to play are by her idol Billy Joel and the Beatles.
Recently, Elisabeth discovered another aspect of music she really loves: singing. While she has always been a “car-singer,” she hadn’t had much training and decided she wanted to sing for technique. The thought really stemmed from her best friends in the musical. “They would always be singing and dancing in the hallways,” Elisabeth said, “And it seems so fun.” While at the moment Elisabeth does not have any interest in being involved in the musical, she loves the elements of it, and she’s glad she can sing at home with confidence. “[Singing is] completely for myself,” Elisabeth admits. “Now I can sing and play piano at the same time.”
Although music is a huge part of Elisabeth’s life, she doesn’t see her future being entirely devoted to music. However, Elisabeth says that one day, when she is retired, she would love to be a piano teacher to pass on her talent. She wants to continue playing the piano throughout her entire life, though not professionally.
Elisabeth stands out from most piano players: she can’t read music—not well, anyway. Instead, she has an incredible ear: when she listens to a song over and over again, she’ll know the notes to play on the piano. “It’s a set back,” Elisabeth said. “And I really don’t have the time to learn how to read music.” But Elisabeth takes her “disability” with stride. “It’s self-empowering to be able to tell people I can do something different,” Elisabeth said. “I’m pretty independent.”