More than 5,000 miles away from Atlanta, GA, Adam Bloodworth continues to use music and his musical training, even as a lecturer at the University of Szeged in Hungary. “As a language instructor, I use music extensively in my classroom and have published on the benefits of using music in the language classroom,” he says. Fluent in Russian and Hungarian, Adam teaches English language and methodology courses to incoming B.A. and M.A. teacher training students, while also developing alternative instructional methodologies and materials through a European Union-funded educational program and conducting proficiency assessments of advanced students finishing their language courses.
While advancing his career in higher education and linguistics, Adam continues to see the benefits of his musical education. “Playing music requires a lot of skills that are generally important and useful, so musicians see a lot of benefits of their practice elsewhere. People who play music of course express themselves creatively, which has a ton of cognitive, emotional, and physical benefits, but they also improve their discipline, work ethic, teamwork skills, and the list goes on.”
“I think music gives students a creative identity as well, which I found to be very important in school. I’ve always appreciated the camaraderie of other musicians and have a shared cultural point of departure when meeting other musicians all over the world.”
When Adams says ‘all over the world’ he is not exaggerating. While he currently lives with his wife, Rosalind, in Szeged, he spent a few years teaching English in Russia, and most recently has spent time traveling through Croatia and Austria.
Looking back on his time playing saxophone with AYWS, Adam fondly remembers when the group traveled to Chicago for the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Festival. “Going to Midwest had been a goal of mine throughout high school. We had a great program, a large audience, and got really nice feedback based on our performance. It was a really special few days that we spent there.” Upon reflection, Adam describes that trip as being almost prophetic in a way. He remembers “hiking through Chicago in December and discovering what winter really means for the first time. For me, it was equal parts exhilaration and trauma, and the experience gave me the confidence to take on Russia later on.”
Adam continues to value music in his own life and feels strongly about advocating for strengthening music programs in schools and communities. “It’s clear that the arts are already underfunded and monetary support is only going to diminish. For this reason, I think people who want music programs to continue to exist should consider contributing directly to a program that they value. AWYS has enormous value for talented young musicians in our state because its existence provides a unique intellectual and creative space for students to collaborate and grow, and to do so under the direction of Dr. Scott Stewart, who is a superstar educator.”