Heather Blair, an office support associate for the School of Music for two years, doesn't have to whistle when she works.
As chief assistant to the director with an office located near a hallway filled with practice rooms, the soundtrack of her workday tends to drift up and down the dial.
"Some of them are really good and I get to listen in," she said. "But sometimes it gets overwhelming because the music is all going on at once."
Blair had worked in a similar office position for four years in the College of Fine and Applied Arts until that position was eliminated for budgetary reasons. She moved to the music school, where she replaced an employee who had worked there for 30 years.
"I had a lot of things to learn but I also was given the chance to revamp some things," she said. "In this job you deal with a lot of different things and people, and you're kind of the face of the director's office."
The position serves nearly 100 faculty members, as well as temporary and visiting positions, and sets calendar and travel arrangements for the director. Blair also assists with payroll duties and other human resources functions.
"We do a lot of elections for School of Music committees," she said. "That by itself keeps me pretty busy. I like the variety and I like seeing different faces. There's a lot of multi-tasking and it's not the same day every day.
She said her first position at the UI was more student-oriented, but that she enjoys working with the music department's faculty and staff members.
"Some of them are fun and really upbeat," she said. "It can be a really fun place to work."
Prior to her working for the UI, Blair was employed at a day care center.
"I really love kids and I'd been there for a long time," she said. "I just wanted to do something else, plus the benefits, such as health insurance, were something the day care couldn't offer."
Blair, who is married and has a 13-year-old stepdaughter, isn't the first member of the family to work at the university.
Her mother, who recently died, worked for 30 years at the UI Library, and an aunt has worked at the UI for nearly 30 years.
Blair does carry a secret with her to work each day, though: She's an amateur musician.
She plays flute and piano and has sung at various weddings throughout the years.
She said she's never discussed her musical tendencies at work because being around so many professionals is more than a little daunting.
"It's never come up and I've just never mentioned it," she said.