Fulbrighter Nathan C.J. Martin ’13, ’17 MM
Dr. Elizabeth Cowling joined the faculty of Woman’s College in 1945 as an assistant professor of music. The first cellist of the Greensboro Orchestra, Dr. Cowling dedicated her life to the study of cello and to travel focused on cello history and music research. Her public service included being a musical missionary in Haiti, and she taught at what became UNCG for 31 years, retiring in 1976. In 1988 she created the Elizabeth Cowling Scholarship in Music.
Nathan C.J. Martin ’13, ’17 MM came to UNCG as an undergraduate to study music education. During his undergraduate years, he held the Elizabeth Cowling Scholarship in Music, which gave him the opportunity to intern with the Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program at Clara J. Peck Elementary School.
As a graduate student at UNCG, Nathan became a violin and cello instructor for the Lillian Rauch program. Teaching music to children and conducting youth orchestras has been his greatest passion, but it’s not just because he loves music.
“Music is a meaningful way to influence kids’ lives and to give them an opportunity to be leaders, he explains.
A 2017 Fulbright Scholarship recipient, Nathan now lives in Germany, in the state of Hessen, where he spent part of his childhood. He teaches English, using some of the same skills he learned in his studies in music education.
“Music is one of our best resources for helping students learn and acquire language,” he says, citing pedagogical research and techniques he discovered in working with his professors and mentors at UNCG.
Prior to his year abroad, Nathan volunteered in Greensboro as an English teacher for refugee assistance organizations, and he even studied Arabic in order to improve his communication with Arabic-speaking refugee populations.
“Literacy and language skills are the key to the world,” he says. “And they give people freedom, their own voice.”
He plans, upon his return to the United States, to continue his work with children of underserved populations, providing them with access to music education, as well as to literacy in English, incorporating what he will learn from teaching in a multicultural school setting in Germany.
Music, music education, and public service are the central elements of Nathan’s life, academically and professionally, just as they were for his scholarship’s donor—a significant figure in the history of UNCG’s School of Music, Dr. Elizabeth Cowling.
Story by Susan Kirby Smith, Donor Relations
Endowments provide donors with opportunities to create living legacies and touch the lives of future generations.