Ruth Kost decided to enrol in the Bachelor of Music at Excelsia College in 2011 after realising her calling for playing piano. From the get-go, she found Excelsia’s environment very welcoming. ‘I felt like everybody – both staﬀ and students – wanted to help each other succeed,’ explains Ruth.
Throughout her time at Excelsia, Ruth loved the opportunities to perform not only her instrument, but also to branch out into ensembles including choir. ‘Being a classical pianist, I would spend most of my time alone practising my instrument and performing solo. Choir was the first time I was able to perform with other musicians and I discovered a love for it.’ Ruth was able to take the ‘Choir Tour’ subject and travelled to Europe where she performed in different countries, as well as a choir competition in Vienna where Excelsia placed second. The choir also performed with the Strathﬁeld Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Bach’s Mass in B Minor). ‘These experiences helped me to develop a deeper understanding and interpretation of music, which I now use to help guide my own students.’ Excelsia also provided Ruth with the opportunity to perform at various locations she had never played before such as the Sydney Opera House and Balmain Presbyterian, as well as prepare and perform in numerous recitals at the College.
Excelsia also helped Ruth feel more comfortable in her Christian faith and in her knowledge that other people share similar beliefs. Her favourite Bible verse is Deuteronomy 31:6 which says, ‘Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’
After graduating from the Bachelor of Music in 2015, Ruth decided to further her studies and began her Master of Music at the College that same year. She wasn’t exactly sure what her end goal was going to be; she just knew she wanted to keep studying music. During her masters, she studied part-time and began teaching piano, which she enjoyed more and more.
Since graduating in 2020, Ruth has gone on to become a full-time piano teacher. Her favourite part of teaching is seeing her students’ joy when they realise they can finally tackle a difficult passage or grasp a technique they hadn’t been able to before. ‘Not only do I get to spend my time working with music, but I also have the privilege of teaching some hilarious kids as well. Kids have such an amazing sense of humour and I try to make my lessons as enjoyable as possible so they will grow to love the piano and music as much as I do.’
Reflecting on the College turning forty, Ruth says, ‘Excelsia has come a long way from when I started back in 2011. In my nine years studying, I have not only seen it grow into a more nurturing community but also improve its quality of education.’
If you want to foster your passion for music and be taught within a supportive learning environment where you can choose to explore more than one instrument and be involved in ensembles, why not consider Excelsia College’s Bachelor of Music or Master of Music?