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Student in the Spotlight

By Joshua Nishimoto

Student in Spotlight Sandpoint

Levi Hill, Senior GemPrep Online Academy

Levi Hill isn’t your typical student-athlete. While Hill tends to stay active, his major accomplishments do not rely on his ability to kick, throw or run. All Levi needs to compete are his fingers.

“I have been playing piano for almost nine years now,” Levi said. “Throughout my life, I have competed in competitions, played in many performances, as well as been accepted to Interlochen Center for the Arts for their summer program three years in a row now. I am also an Honors student at the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint.”

While playing the piano is Levi’s focus, he has expressed interest in studying psychology while continuing to pursue his passion for piano in college.

“Over the past one or two years, I've developed a strong curiosity for figuring out why people act the way that they do, and what goes behind certain actions mentally. I have also considered combining the two and pursuing music therapy.”

When asked why piano, Levi just shrugged and said, “Performing has always been the highlight of piano for me. Everything from the adrenaline before a performance, to the crowd watching me, it’s so enthralling. To be able to share with a crowd of people all the hard work that I've put into my pieces over the past couple of months is incredible.”

While being exceptional at playing piano, Levi, a senior at Gem Prep Online Academy, has not gone without his fair share of challenges and life lessons learned along the way.

“One of the biggest challenges that I've personally had was this past year reauditioning for Interlochen,” Levi said. “It was a very long process of emailing them back and forth and constantly looking for updates in the screening process. Once I was finally accepted, I had to worry about the financial aspect of the program.”

Another aspect of piano that Levi learned was that comparison is the thief of joy. Levi described the aspect of the journey versus destination as a key component to his success.

“A lot of music, and just life in general, is focusing on making yourself better and setting goals that are realistic for where you're at right now,” Levi added. “If you compare yourself now to yourself a year ago, the progress would be unreputable. Just because someone else is better than you are in the moment doesn't mean you shouldn't be proud of how far you've come.”

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