By Adrienne Foss, Contributing Writer
Assistant Professor of Music Composition Aaron Wyanski recently joined UMF during the 2020 school year and has since been making extensive contributions to the music department.
“On one of my first days, I was asked what kind of classes that I wanted to teach during the semester,” Wyanski said. “All of the classes that I pitched ended up actually happening, which is new for me and I find very exciting.” He currently teaches three classes a semester, along with the piano lessons he provides to a select number of students.
“I like how interdisciplinary the arts division is here and how easy it is to interact with people all around campus,” Wyanski said. “Sometimes music can be really siloed, which is definitely not the case here.”
Wyanski has been teaching instrumental lessons for almost 20 years and has been teaching composition for five. He has had previous teaching experiences at The Hartt School, which is connected to the University of Hartford, along with Sweet Briar College located in Virginia.
“One of my missions in education is to make sure that no one should feel bad for not knowing something,” Wyanski said. “Very often in music, people feel intimidated to try something new in fear that they might make a mistake.”
Wyanski started to gain an interest in music when he was an early teenager, and he started out by playing the guitar. At the time he was more of a visual arts person, but he soon began to realize he wanted to pursue a career in music. At the age of 18, Wyanski became an early admission student at a local New York community college where he began to learn how to play the piano.
Between getting his undergraduate and his master’s degree, Wyanski took a lot of time off and focused on working as a musician. After going to graduate school for music composition, he eventually realized that he wanted to pursue a career as a music educator.
“I’m consistently impressed with the students here, which is a big part of my inspiration when it comes to teaching,” Wyanski said. “For me, teaching has always been so much more about teaching people rather than only teaching a subject.”
“Part of what I’m here [UMF] to do is to make new things happen,” Wyanski said. “It’s a challenge in its own way, but I get to figure out what makes sense for the music program here.”