Timothy Schwarz, MM, DMA, is an accomplished musician, elite violinist and inspiring educator at Rowan University. At just 9 years old he won a competition to play solo with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He toured the world as an Artistic Ambassador on behalf of the U.S. State Department playing places like Syria, Egypt, Israel and Sri Lanka. Today he finds himself performing, teaching and motivating students at Rowan.
Schwarz has many things to be proud of but it’s watching his students grow that makes everything worth it for him. Students not only learn and discover what they can accomplish, but work to become performers to experience the same feelings musicians of his caliber feel.
“There are a million small things that I am proud of, and the list grows every day. Whenever a student gains confidence, or realizes the power of the piece they are working on, I think of that as a great moment. As a performer, we work and work to prepare ourselves for a concert. But when everything really connects–composer, performer, audience–that is a gift. And when it happens it is the most amazing thing anyone can ever experience.”
When you enroll in music courses at Rowan you are immersed in culturally diverse classes where students thrive and learn different skills. Schwarz has students from Columbia, Korea, Puerto Rico, and of course all over the U.S. with a wide range of races, economic backgrounds and religions in his classes.
“While I can teach [students] about the violin and about ways to help their career, learning from other students is something that can only be done in a situation like college. It is an amazing time in a person’s life; they are usually open to new ideas more than any other period before or after.”
A support group is so important to have when you’re studying to be a musician. It’s your friends, colleagues, and classmates who encourage you to reach your goals. People always remember the ones who inspired them and helped them reach the top.
“In the past few years I have taught five different music courses, conducted an orchestra, and of course taught my violin and viola students.” Schwarz is heavily involved in the music culture at Rowan and never lost sight of what music does for people.
Schwarz leaves you with some final advice for aspiring musicians:
“Think outside the box. Being a musician today means being skilled at many things- you need to know how to negotiate prices, write grants and contracts, find funding, generate audiences and of course play very well. More and more musicians are expected to do a lot of different things musically.
Most important is to never lose focus of why we become musicians. I once was at a high school in North Philadelphia; a very poor neighborhood. A young boy asked me why he should care about Beethoven. It really made me think — if we can’t answer that, and make Beethoven relevant to people today, then we need to move on and play something else. I personally believe it is still extremely relevant: Beethoven often wrote music protesting social inequality, especially people who felt their voices were not being heard. When put in that context, it suddenly becomes very relevant. But if musicians can’t find a way to communicate that to people who don’t know a lot about classical music, then we still have work to do beyond just playing our instrument well.”
Currently teaching Major Applied Instrument 1, Secondary Applied Instrument 1, Chamber Music I and String Class-High, Professor Schwartz is readily available to become your next beloved professor as a student in the College of Performing Arts.
View what music courses are available next semester through our Class Schedule database.
By: Jen Green,
senior public relations major