Guitar teacher Jonathan Klizas just might be the school’s most interesting man


by Diana Angello

Music teacher Jonathan Klizas instructs senior Gavin Tyman on the guitar.

Lexi Nielsen, Staff writer

High School can be very stressful and uninteresting for many students, but when you have Jonathan Klizas as your guitar teacher, HHS becomes a whole new world.

Klizas has been playing the guitar for over fifty years, and he is sure to bring this experience to the classroom. Even after teaching guitar at HHS for thirteen years, and for forty years in total, he still finds excitement in watching his students learn how to play.

“After all of these years, I still get a thrill at watching students discover the magic of creating sounds out of that wooden box with vibrating strings,” Klizas said.

If you’re wondering how Klizas obtained all his skills, they came from many years of practice and a strong love for music.

“I have had a deep love of music since as long as I can remember,” Klizas said. “I started out as self-taught and then studied classical guitar for many years.”

Outside of school, Klizas still works on his music during his free time.

“I attempt to write, arrange, record, and mix music in my home,” Klizas said. “I love using music technology.”

In addition to his love for music, Klizas is also very passionate about art and nature.

“I have a profound love of nature and I spend many hours in the outdoors studying birds, butterflies, and all natural entities,” Klizas said. “I have a web site devoted to the birds of Morris and Somerset Counties, I’m completing my second term as a member of the New Jersey Bird Record Committee, and am an associate naturalist for the New Jersey Audubon Society.”

Klizas cares deeply about the well being of the environment, and captures its beauty through photography.

“The protection and conservation of our environment on planet Earth is a major concern of mine,” Klizas said. “I enjoy photography of natural subjects, primarily birds, and am fairly adept with Adobe Photoshop.”

Along with music, art, and nature, Klizas’s health is also very important to him. He makes sure he is eating well and exercising regularly.

“Cooking is a daily activity I enjoy, mainly because I love eating and knowing what it is I am putting in my body,” Klizas said. “I have been a vegetarian most of my life, and vegan for most of the past 10 years. Also, exercise and physical activity is important, so I attend a gym whenever possible.”

Overall, the amount of passion Klizas brings to all aspects of his life is what makes him so good at teaching guitar to students. He brings his love for music to all students at HHS, and makes teens enjoy playing the guitar as much as he does.

“Teaching guitar opens up what hopefully is a lifetime enjoyment of music and art for kids, which is a privilege of which I am never tired,” Klizas said.