CSU music professor strumming through COVID-19 pandemic

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) -Folks at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music have figured out a creative way to teach during this pandemic. Their classical guitar professor is taking his lessons outside.

Anyone strolling near Woodruff Park in downtown Columbus might hear the sweet sound of classical music. It would be cascading from the terrace outside the Bo Bartlett Center on Columbus State University’s River Park campus.

That peaceful setting is where CSU Classical Guitar Professor Andrew Zohn sets up shop with his classical guitar students several times a week.

He’s thankful this outdoor option came along after COVID-19 hit. “When it happened in March and we went all online, it was really, really difficult to communicate an effective lesson online,” said Zohn.

But this open-air setting has provided the perfect alternative. “It gives us a chance to work together in person. Just being able to work through this, get some deeper, meaningful lessons in a time of crisis is paramount for these students,” said Zohn.

Zohn shares the same hometown with one of his students. Alex Wolfe and Zohn are both from Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Wolfe is working on her masters and fully appreciates the skill of her mentor. “Like, we’re going through a piece and he’ll talk about history or theory or anything. And it all relates, and by the time you’re done with the lesson, oh man,all the stuff you’ve learned and didn’t really realize,” said Wolfe.

During the summer Professor Zohn is usually teaching in Europe. Covid changed all that. “My entire summer got wiped out. I didn’t make any income traveling. I should have been in Spain and Italy and Germany this year as well as China. Instead, I stayed home,” said Zohn.

In times like these, Zohn says he finds great consolation in his music. “It’s always been a refuge for me. No matter what’s going on with me, I can always pick up my guitar anytime and find some
solace, and I hope other people get that experience as well,” said Zohn.

Professor Zohn has served on the faculty at the CSU Schwob School of Music since 1999. He’s an internationally recognized instructor, composer, and performer..having entertained on five different continents.

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