American Organ Academy

Rachel Gucker, MM

February 16, 2021

Dr. Schwandt is the best teacher I’ve ever had. His own work is technically exquisite, deeply expressive, and powerfully inspiring, but he is so much more than an artist: He possesses the ability to effectively communicate to his students how to get there themselves. Plus, he sees his students as whole people: mind, body, and spirit working together and never stronger than the weakest link. Working with him I felt seen, understood, and valued, both in my triumphs and in my failures. I’ve had so many teachers who desired for me to succeed at what they did. Dr. Schwandt desired for me to discover and succeed at what *I* do. He has the exceptional personal maturity and humility to focus wholly on his students: uncovering their talents, building their skills, guiding them to happy and fulfilling lives, and connecting them with one another to build a thriving community. To have studied with him is a gift I will cherish forever, and to now call him a friend is even better.

Rachel Gucker, MM, Class of 2011