The Universal Language

NASH senior Aidan Bartholomew began taking instrument lessons only a few years ago. Now, he aims to pursue a career in music.


photo by Kat Klinefelter

Bartholomew works on a song for Mr. Tozier’s AP Music class.

Miller Orris, Staff Writer

In a school where many students have a passion for music, Aidan Bartholomew’s musical commitment is unusual. Having never taken an instrument lesson out of school before 9th grade, the NASH senior now intends to turn his passion into a career.

“Music has given me a career path I never really thought about before and has let me express myself in different ways,” Bartholomew said.

NASH music teacher Mr. Schmiech sees Aidan two times a day in Electronic Music and Concert Choir, and he taught him last year Music Theory.

“As a teacher, it’s rewarding to see students mature their interests and skills into potential career paths of any area,” Schmiech said. “I don’t specifically wish for that interest to be in music, but I do love being able to use my skill set to help a student go above and beyond to prepare for a career.”

Over the summer, Bartholomew chose to supplement his development through a five-week program at Berklee College of Music in Boston, one fo the country’s most prestigious music programs.

“After taking music classes at NA, I learned about Berklee and I knew I wanted to attend,” he said.

Aidan’s time at Berklee proved to be an invaluable experience. He plans on applying to Berklee this fall.

“Berklee was nothing less than incredible,” he said. “The freedom I got as a ‘college student’ was a huge change. I think as a musician I grew exponentially.”

Schmiech readily expressed how fulfilling his job as a music teacher is, especially when he sees students like Aidan become motivated to pursue a career in music. In fact, Schmiech’s influence may be even stronger than he realizes.

“Currently, my major is between music production and education. I am leaning towards education a lot recently,” Bartholomew explained.

Indeed, Schmiech’s description of his own career arc sounds like a plan ready made for Bartholomew.

“I studied music education with an emphasis in voice and then I did a master’s degree in vocal performance and pedagogy,” Schmiech said. “I feel both of these degrees prepared me well for my job which allows me to work with incredibly motivated students and talented colleagues in a community that largely supports the arts. Personally, I think of my own drive to create music as more of a compulsion than a passion. This job certainly fulfills that and allows me to do what I love for a career.”

In the end, Schmiech doesn’t expect every one of his students to fall in love with the field like Bartholomew did. All he can hope for is that students walk away from his classes with a deeper understanding of their potential.

“My goal as a teacher is to give students valuable musical experience,” Schmiech said. “I would only encourage a student to go into music as much as I would encourage a student to pursue any career that aligns with their interests.”