Growing up, Jonathan Bowman loved listening to Beethoven and Bach and he thought about what composers were thinking about when they were writing their pieces. Today, Bowman loves hearing new music and learning new music.
Dr. Bowman teaches classical piano to the piano majors who are getting teacher certification to be music educators in the schools and students who want to go onto graduate programs in piano performance.
Currently, Bowman is working with nine of those students and a couple non-music majors who are also taking lessons.
Bowman also works with fellow faculty members performing concerts at the Doudna Fine Arts Center.
“It’s a lot of fun to work on something and refine a piece, refine an interpretation together involving more than just yourself,” Bowman said. “It’s really satisfying.”
During his undergraduate career at Brigham Young University, professors would take him to a concert, festival, or competition and he would find certain things that would inspire him.
“That’s an exhilarating feeling that I hope I can do for other people,” Bowman said,
As a collaborative pianist, Bowman has worked with a wide range of professors that play instruments from the tuba to the trumpet. Bowman said he likes being able to support their artistic vision.
“They’ve got their own music they’re working on and I try to enhance that,” Bowman said. “My role is the finisher or the enhancer, I try to compliment the piece.”
At the beginning of each semester, Bowman works with each of his students to set goals to reach for like a weekly practice time goal and look at different literature.
Once a week, all the pianists meet and play for each other to get practice performing in front of others.
“Just by doing it every week it starts to become a neutral thing that you just do, its just part of your life,” Bowman said.
At the end of each semester, students go before a few faculty members, a jury, to play for 15 minutes, one at a time. Bowman requires his piano students to accompany other instrumentalists or singers in their jury.
“It’s inspiring to have people younger than me who are in the same place I was 10 years ago and remembering how the teachers changed my life and hoping to be that person for them,” Bowman said.