Associate professor, world renowned pianist and artistic director are just a few of the many words used to describe Dr. Michelle Schumann. She has been a professor at the university for seven years, but a pianist for many more.
“I love being able to express myself through the piano,” she said. “I was 5 years old when my parents brought home our first piano, and I wanted to play it all the time, so I started taking lessons right away,” she said.
Her achievements include a doctorate of musical arts from the University of Texas, a Young ArtistDiploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Performance Diploma from the Vienna Conservatory. Schumann performs locally as well as worldwide, touring in Canada and Europe, playing solo concerts and collaborating with top ensembles throughout the U.S.
Sophomore music major Nick Arbuckle was impressed with Schumann’s accomplishments.
“I can’t believe that she … has done so much and dedicated so much of herself to learning all about the piano,” he said.
Schumann just released her fi rst CD titled “Imaginations.” It is composed of works described as fantasy, an emotional genre.
She said creating the CD was a “culmination of a lot of study and really forming who you are and what is important to you as an artist.”
English department chairperson Dr. Brady Peterson believes that Schumann is “brilliant.”
“By her own admissions she plays with emotion. I don’t know which is better, to watch her play or to close your eyes and listen to her music.”
Schumann loves the idea of communicating without words and letting her music speak to listeners.
“Having the means to be able to transform people’s feelings through music is the most wonderful thing,” she said. “I love the transformative nature of music.”
Senior recreation major Dennis Greeson attended her CD release concert and party Sept. 17, and noted how low-key and personal her concert was.
“Before each piece she would share her heart and talk about the emotions stirred up in her through the journey of learning each piece,” he said.
Schumann believes achieving her goals is never as rewarding as the hard work and dedication it takes to get there. Instead, she focuses on the journey of working hard consistently and reaping her benefits in the end.
“Being a university professor was a huge goal of mine, but I didn’t set myself in a certain path to make sure that happened,”she said. “In many ways it was a gift from God. I worked steadily and it happened.”
Schumann enjoys her interaction with students.
“I love being able to teach my art to the students,” she said. “Their ability to absorb is tremendous.”
Peterson said that Schumann adds a lot to the university.
“We are lucky to have her,” he said.“When you listen to her… it moves you.”