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Faculty Profile: Andrew Le
Assistant Professor of Music

Dr. Andrew Le, assistant professor of piano, has been guiding students in the art of music at Hope College since 2005. As the keyboard area head, he is responsible for piano studies, keyboard and organ.

Dr. Le is no stranger to higher education. He attended the University of Michigan, where he received both his B.M. and M.M., and then moved on to the world-renowned Juilliard School in New York City.

When Dr. Le was offered a teaching job at Hope, he knew that the position held prestige and promise in a different way from Juilliard.

“Nowhere do I sense community quite like this,” Dr. Le says, speaking from his office in Nykerk Hall of Music. “Students here are so well-rounded; they do everything so well, and they are fully aware of world issues.”

The biggest positive Dr. Le sees in Hope is the close student-professor relationship, a relationship that he says is built on “reciprocating respect.” He credits Hope’s smaller size as being the key to the closeknit community.

“Some places are just too big to not be exclusive. The conservatory-style education where you take, almost exclusively, music-related classes has its advantages. The downside is that at those schools it can be difficult, if not impossible, to get out and do other things on campus. But here, I realize, the students are so much more well-rounded.”

Despite receiving conservatory-style education himself, Dr. Le appreciates the difference found at Hope.

“When I was in school, all I knew about was music. All I wanted to care about was music. That was because of the complete immersion I was in. But teaching here has made me realize how important it is to be aware of the world outside of just piano.”

Performance has and always will be a crucial component to Dr. Le’s teaching philosophy. Having performed at the highest levels himself, including a 2004 performance at Carnegie Hall, he asks of his students that they, too, be willing to risk themselves in performance for the sake of growth and improvement.

Off stage, though, after the hours of practicing and recitals, there is only one question that truly matters to Dr. Le.

“I am always questioning, ‘Does this make my students better functioning members of society?’”

The answer at Hope, Dr. Le believes, is a resounding ‘yes.’

“I can graduate my students with the confidence that they will be active, healthy and functional members of society, using their God-given gifts wherever their lives take them. I see no end in that, and I take absolute delight in it.”

This profile was written by Charlie A. Walter, a Hope College senior from Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2010-11 Hope College Catalog.

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