Matthew Rotjan is an active music educator committed to cultivating excitement and enthusiasm in music and education. As a public school music educator, he is on staff in the South Orangetown Central School District (NY) teaching grades 3-8 string lessons and orchestra classes. Since joining the faculty in 2008, he has been selected as LoHud’s Educator of the Week, nominated for the 2015 Grammy Music Educator Award, and Quarterfinalist for the 2016 and 2017 Grammy Music Educator Award. His teaching is inspired by a strong belief that a quality music education offers students not only an opportunity to study an instrument and music, but also a unique social context for student growth.
Outside of his activities in the public school, Matthew works with young musicians in NYC as a conductor of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York’s Morningside Orchestra, which has led him to conduct in Trinity Church, Symphony Space, and Carnegie Hall. With a strong commitment to community music making, he is the co-founder/conductor of the Rockland Youth Orchestra, a not-for-profit organization in Rockland County (NY). Matthew has recently written articles, guest conducted, and presented at conferences for the National Association for Music Education, New York State School Music Association, Connecticut Music Educators Association, Vermont Music Educators Association, New Jersey Music Educators Association, and the American String Teachers Association.
Matthew is a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he has been an Instructor and Florence Geffen Scholar. His research explores the complex relationships of student interests, teacher philosophy, and repertoire selection practices in public school orchestras. He is actively immersed in connecting theory to practice in music education, string pedagogy, and teacher preparation. Degrees are from Ithaca College (B.M) in Music Education and Performance (cello) and Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A. and Ed.M.) in Music and Music Education.
Mr. Rotjan spends his free time being outdoors in nature. He is a member of the Catskill 3500 Club.