Student Spotlight: Andi Grene is exploring the Mendel Music Library collection

Print or digital? Glance at any given college classroom and it wouldn’t be uncommon to see laptops littering the desks of students. Regardless of the field, digital materials have become increasingly pervasive in academia, providing students and researchers with (generally) easy access to recent publications, historic texts, and companion materials.

For Andi Grene, an English concentrator and member of Princeton University’s Class of 2024, print is still king. 

Andi Grene in the Stacks of Mendel Music Library

Andi Grene in the Stacks of Mendel Music Library. Photo Credit: Brandon Johnson

As a violinist in the Princeton University Orchestra, Grene finds that print materials are useful in her music practice, and relies on Princeton University Library’s Mendel Music Library to access print versions of pieces.   

“There’s something to be said for having the book in your hand and having the piano part,” Grene said. “You can get it on the International Music Score Library Project, but then you have to print out a million pages, which is messy.

“Plus, the pieces at Mendel are really well kept,” she added. Grene checked out an Amy Beach sonata, as well as Franck’s Sonata, and has her eye on the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor violin concerto. 

“The Beach and the Coleridge-Taylor concerto are both pretty niche, and the pieces that you’d get online wouldn’t be as high quality,” Grene noted. 

Grene has been playing violin for 15 years, having started in an after school program while attending elementary school in New York. 

“My mom worked late and I had to do an after school program at my elementary school,” Grene recalled. “They had an outreach program for kids learning violin. I started with that and I really liked it, and I moved on to a music school that was a bit more serious.”

Now, in addition to playing in the orchestra, Grene is also concentrating in English at Princeton, where she finds both of her creative passions overlap. In her Junior Paper, which will explore the way time functions in short stories, Green pulled four short stories by four authors to discuss how simultaneity and immediacy interact to create empty homogeneous time.  

“I think both reading and playing music are forms of internalizing and living through history,” Grene said. “With books you’re reading things that people before you have thought and felt. Likewise with music, you’re playing the emotions of people that have come before you. You’re playing moments in history.”

Published on May 4, 2023

Written by Brandon Johnson, Communications Strategist

Media Contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications