American Organ Academy

Paul Watkins

March 17, 2021

When I studied with Dr. Schwandt, I was initially impressed by many of his great qualities: an incredible performer, unparalleled improviser, and a brilliant silent film accompanist. As my studies continued, I learned of another of his talents: teaching. It's one thing to be able to perform, but also being able to concisely communicate ideas, and show someone how to develop their own skills is a rare quality. Whether it was an expeditious technical fix, the use of a metaphor to drive musicality, or the crucial reminder to truly listen to what the music is trying to say, Dr. Schwandt had a way with teaching that was both inspiring and efficient. A man of integrity, endless wit and humor, I would not trade my time under his tutelage for anything.

- Paul Watkins, BM ’13, MM ‘15