How Keith Schwartz went from original Supertonic to teacher


Photo taken with permission by Simon Kidane

Keith Schwarz, Wootton’s music teacher, displays his piano skills.

To think teachers have a life outside of school is definitely a bizarre idea for students. For example, students might be surprised to know that when Keith Schwartz is not teaching music, he may be found watching Law and Order SVU, Ratatouille or going for a run outside. 

Schwartz’s first day of teaching was his return to this school as an alum. He started the first Acapella group that he teaches today and participated in theater. Schwartz’s favorite role was Charlie Brown in “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” his first time ever playing a lead. For him, theater is what he is most glad he did in high school. “I was very shy in high school, so theater made me more outgoing and made it easier for me to speak in public,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz may as well be the embodiment of music in school, but he was originally hesitant to pursue it. “Even though I knew I liked music, I didn’t let myself tell people that I was majoring in something that didn’t have a set career path,” Schwartz said. 

Finally, once his senior year arrived, Schwartz realized that music is something that he can be successful in. “I didn’t feel embarrassed anymore to not be majoring in something like engineering or medicine,” Schwartz said. 

He applied to college as a double major in music and psychology. Yet, after Schwartz’s audition, his voice teacher emailed him and told him that music should be his only focus: “You’re going to be a music major, so here’s some money, and see you then.”

Since this pivotal moment, Schwartz has ventured the world for singing programs where he has not only fortified his love for music but discovered a passion for travel. “My favorite place I’ve been to is Spoleto, Italy, as I got to really immerse myself into Italian culture.” 

Schwartz’s talents are not limited to music. Equipped with a photographic memory, he can memorize anything in just a couple seconds. Schwartz said, “I can stand in the parking lot and name every car from a distance. As long as I see something once, I memorize it.”

Mr. Schwartz fabricated a story about there being ice cream in the chorus room so that I’d try out.”

— Luke Jordan

Today, he is constantly on the run for future acapella and Chromatics members to keep the groups alive. He may even go to extreme lengths to do so. Senior Co-President of the Acatonics Luke Jordan said, “Mr. Schwartz fabricated a story about there being ice cream in the chorus room so that I’d try out.” 

Music is an outlet for expression and Schwartz strives to make his classes a welcoming environment. Co-President of the Chromatics Meghna Krishnan said, “Mr. Schwartz works really hard to make his choir classes a safe place for people to express themselves in a fun way.” 

Most importantly, students of Schwartz has said that his most unique trait is his ability to make bonds with his students. Co-president of the Acatonics Elizabeth Ipe said, “He cares deeply about his connections with students. If a student needs anything, he is there to help them, at any time.”