Nursing student takes on music

By Luverta Reames

The few. The proud. The organ students.

Kate Hausken, junior nursing major and music minor, is currently the only Olivet student taking organ lessons on campus. Hausken, who began as a piano minor, finished her requirements and decided to take organ lessons for credit, expanding her abilities and gaining more musical knowledge of a an instrument similar to the piano.

Hausken started taking organ lessons because the opportunity arose and she thought she would try it out.

“Originally, I didn’t have an appreciation for organ before starting,” she explained. “The church I grew up in didn’t really include organ in the services. But now that I’ve started, I just think it’s an amazing instrument.”

Being able to play a specific piece makes Hausken able to relate more to her composer.

“You’re never bored playing the organ. It’s two hands, two feet, always going,” she said.

Hausken’s mother enrolled her and her sister in piano lessons when they were young, which led to the fascination with the ivory keys.

“In third grade, I wanted to quit piano, but then you hear the cool, harder pieces that people play and think it’s cool,” she said.

Hausken noted it has been a struggle in college for her to have two strong passions, in both music and nursing, yet the timing has been just right to give her the chance to fulfill both loves.

“I tried to stay away from music my first semester and focus on nursing, but I started to get depressed because I didn’t have that emotional outlet,” she said.

Although, Hausken only gets, on average, four to five hours of sleep, she has found a way to balance all of her responsibilities.

“I set up my own homework station in the room. When I need a break from nursing, I practice. When I’m bored with practice, I do my nursing homework, and when I need to be social, I go grab a drink of water,” she explained.

Playing an instrument is a good emotional outlet for Hausken. She enjoys that she can play when she feels happy or sad.

Hausken also plays the piano at Immaculate Conception, a Catholic church in Morris, Ill. She has played every Sunday since August of 2009. She plays during two masses each morning.

“It’s really humbling to play every Sunday for a group. It’s not that I sing.  I play the intro and bring the congregation into worship,” she said.

Hausken, while focusing on school now, would love to be able to lead a congregation from the organ in a church someday, putting her talents to use for God in both the medical and musical fields.


  1. This is a good turn for the student. I suppose music is a way to calm some patients the nurse is taking care of and this would be very beneficial lessons.

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