Nathan Thomas: Teaching the Violin Comes From His Heart

A violin


PATERSON, NJ - Last spring, Nathan Thomas was another name on a list. Several hundred Paterson teachers had received lay-off notices and Thomas was among them.

He lost his job at School No. 7, but he didn't lose his love of teaching music. So he didn't stop doing it.

Sign Up for E-News

Every Saturday, Thomas makes the 40-mile drive from Somerset County to Paterson to teach a violin ensemble of 16 of his former students, and his does it on a volunteer, no-pay basis, according to a Star-Ledger story

Thomas is a prime example of someone who has gone Above and Beyond to make Paterson a better place. His sessions are conducted in the sanctuary of Saint Bonaventure Roman Catholic Church on Ramsey Street. He and his students played at the Board of Education's January 19 meeting as part of the Paterson Education Organizing Committee's "performance protest"  against the district's art and music budget cuts

Thomas believes the fine arts can take urban students to places beyond their dreams.
“I am quantitative proof,” he said in the Star Ledger article. “Look at the things I’ve had a chance to do.” It took him from the streets of Baltimore, where he grew up, to the University of California, Santa Barbara, on a full scholarship. He’s played in France, Switzerland, England and Italy, the article said. He’s even made a stop at the White House.

Thomas could not let the budget cuts deprive his students of the beauty of music.

“They are taking part in something that is rich in history and valuable on so many levels in the development of civilized adults,” Thomas said in the article. “Part of a well-rounded education is understanding the fine arts.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Memorial Hall, Paterson

Cost Free Courses


Sat, March 3, 12:00 PM

The Bethwood, Totowa

Have-A-Heart Tricky Tray

Food & Drink Giving Back

City Council Candidate to Voters: Let Your Voice Be Heard

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

It is very important for the citizens of Paterson to participate in local city-wide elections because elected officials can help determine the economic, educational and social well-being of entire communities. For example, two very important tasks of city council members include making laws and allocating money.

Elected officials are the gatekeepers for millions of dollars in ...

Dreams for Service Dog for Autistic Montville Resident Become Reality

February 22, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - Faith Stanley, a Towaco resident and a single mother of four boys, sought help for her youngest son, Joey, who is almost three years old and diagnosed with autism. Amazingly enough, Faith found the help she needed!

Due to the generosity and help of so many people, Faith has managed to reach her goal of raising ...

Paterson Hosts Statewide Event as National El Sistema Leader

February 22, 2018

PATERSON—On March 10, nearly 300 students from seven New Jersey immersive ensemble music learning programs will converge in Paterson for the 4th annual Fiddlefest and Falala Festival. A day of music making and a celebration of culture and community for both the students and their families, the festival features the Paterson-based program Paterson Music Project (PMP), in addition to the New ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...