I had the privilege to study with John Schwandt at both Indiana University and the University of Oklahoma for my graduate degrees and eventually joined him on the faculty at OU. His teaching is both technical and wholistic at the same time, and my time with him, first as a student and later a colleague, greatly influenced how I approach music both as a performer and a teacher. He understands that organists must do more than just play the notes on the page, and he teaches his students how to combine technical ability, theory, knowledge of their instrument, and their own personalities to communicate and share real music with their listeners, no matter the style or venue. My career is split between church music and musical theatre, and in both fields I daily use skills I learned and developed under him. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher, mentor, and friend, and would highly recommend him to anyone who wants to grow both professionally and personally.
Craig Sproat, D.M.A.
Instructor, Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre, University of Oklahoma
Director of Music, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Moore, OK