Brian Betz: Jazz guitarist and educator who inspires at Rowan

"It's obvious to all the passion Betz has for music, whether it's performing himself or helping others reach their own goals in the field." - Co-News Editor / Gianna Malgiari

Here at Rowan University, there are no limits held to the possibilities within the route you plan on going for your future, whether it’s in engineering, sports broadcasting, or even music. Brian Betz is no stranger to the possibilities that our students possess through the College of Performing Arts. Betz is a guitarist, composer, and of course, educator who teaches jazz guitar and improvisation here at Rowan. Betz has been playing the guitar since he was only six years old. 

Betz enjoyed rock and roll, especially during his childhood, and decided he wanted to go to college for music, but he couldn’t go to school for rock back then, so he decided to go for jazz.

“I was just on a whim like okay, I’ll play jazz guitar, which like my God if I would’ve known how different it was I would’ve played trombone,” said Betz.

“My parents asked me what I wanted to do like sports and I played soccer but I remember I had an uncle who played the guitar and I started taking guitar lessons at a music store when I was in the first grade,” said Betz.

Betz attended Rowan University and received his B.M. and was going to pursue graduate school in New York, but Rowan presented him with another possibility, offering him a full assistantship to stay at Rowan.

“I came here on a full assistantship because I was interested in going away to graduate school in New York and they presented that to me and I was elated and decided to stay and I’m glad I did,” said Betz.

Betz earned his master’s in music in 2000 and began teaching at Rowan shortly thereafter where he’s been ever since.

He also teaches at Paulsboro public schools and was awarded as one of the ten “Top Teachers” of New Jersey in 2018 by NJEA and FOX 29.

“The joke is like if people are gonna pay money, they just wanna me play jazz guitar, but I’m a public school teacher also, so like I can play orchestral instruments and I teach children and adolescents but you wouldn’t wanna pay money to hear me play that stuff,” said Betz.

Betz also evokes a sense of pride when it comes to teaching, no matter who it is or how old it may be.

“I love working with people, like kids, and adults. I mean I have tons of guitar students who come to my private studio outside of Rowan and I just like inspiring people and helping them with music they can be a fourth-grader or 35 years old and it’s something that feeds me and I enjoy doing it,” said Betz.

Betz’s passion goes beyond just teaching, as he also has released music of his own. He has released six CDs for the Dreambox Media Lab gives concerts, clinics, and masterclasses throughout the United States, and is also endorsed by GHS Strings, he also recently performed here at Rowan on Nov. 7 in Boyd Recital Hall.

It’s obvious to all the passion Betz has for music, whether it’s performing himself or helping others reach their own goals in the field, and he is one of the shining examples of the amazing faculty Rowan University has to help all students succeed and make our school one of the best out there.

For comments/questions about this story DM us on Instagram @thewhitatrowan or email