Ryan GardnerFebruary 19, 2018
Dr. Ryan Gardner is Associate Professor of Trumpet at Oklahoma State University and the NY and LA Artist Coordinator for Music for Autism. His students have achieved success at conferences and competitions at the international, national and regional levels. As a Bach performing artist, Dr. Gardner actively performs as an orchestral, chamber and solo musician and provides clinics internationally. Dr. Gardner received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in 2003 and is an Arts Leadership Program alum.
Can you speak about your “Music for Autism” project? Have any of the skills you learned in Arts Leadership Courses impacted your role as the Artistic Coordinator for this program?
Music for Autism is a non-profit organization that provides a unique setting of acceptance through free interactive concerts to individuals with autism and their families. My role is to contract a diverse artist roster for our concerts and to serve as a liaison between the artists and the organization. The ALP set me on the right path by instilling the importance of organization, how to communicate well with other artists and how to maintain old relationships and foster new ones.
How have the career skills you learned at Eastman helped to shape your career?
My time at Eastman heavily shaped me as both a player and teacher. I rely upon the pedagogy and instruction of Professor Thompson as well as on the ensemble skills I picked up from conductors and chamber music coaches. I’m also grateful for the strong academic education that helped give me historical context of literature and a better ear. Furthermore, the leadership and entrepreneurial skills I developed have been essential in my growth as both a pedagogue and administrator.
What is one piece of advice you wish you had received while studying at Eastman?
The best piece of advice I can offer is to be as versatile a person and musician as possible. Take advantage of all of the incredible ensembles and teachers that surround you.