Roots & Rock
AJ Seitz joined the Music Institute as an instructor in the Musikgarten and Roots & Rock programs in April 2023. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in music and philosophy. She also was a Grace Updergraff Bergen Scholar, Ried Scholar, and Galovich Student Syposium Presenter.
Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music and Philosophy
Grace Updergraff Bergen Scholar
Galovich Student Syposium Presenter
My focus in my studies was popular musicology, specifically looking at ’90s punk subcultures and the ’60s folk rock movement. I believe that understanding the historical context of repertoire and playing go hand in hand. I also have a background in various childcare positions having worked with children aged 2-15 with very diverse backgrounds and learning styles. When creating classes, at the forefront I am thinking about how to create lifelong musicians that have passion for what they do. I also like to emphasize that anyone can be a talented and successful musician no matter their background as long as they are committed to learning. With my teaching, I aim to share what I love about music and hope my students latch on to my enthusiasm.
Hobbies/interests outside of music:
While music is pretty much all-consuming for me, I do try and expand my horizons, taking time to pursue visual and fiber arts. I also like to spend my extra time cooking, doing home improvement projects, and spending time with my cat.
Most memorable musical moment:
I have so many memorable moments when it comes to music, but I always like to think back to my very first piano recital when I was around six years old. I was playing some short piece out of the level one book my teacher started us all on and wearing the dress I had gotten for the previous Easter. While it was a small affair, my teacher took so much pride in setting up the whole event and made the day so special for her whole studio. With my older brother on deck to play after me, I remember walking into my teacher’s living room repeating the memorized speech about the composer of the piece and proceeding to rush through the already-brief song I practiced for weeks. When it was over, we all came together and took pictures marking the occasion. These are the types of memories I look forward to creating with my students. The memories of first performances always stick with musicians and are so formative to becoming an artist.
What you love about Chicago:
I just moved to the city after spending my undergraduate years in the suburbs and have found an even deeper love for Chicago. The DIY and concert scene of the city is what I most cherish as there are so many options to hear live music any day of the week!