Former Yankee center-fielder Bernie Williams lined up with more than 200 other graduating Manhattan School of Music students on May 13 at Riverside Church to receive his Bachelor of Music diploma from the music conservatory.
Williams spent the last four years studying jazz guitar at the school, attending classes like a regular students. He commented that one of the biggest challenges to earning the degree were the rigorous demands of the courses and the strict scheduling, something he wasn’t used to as a Yankee where he had more spare time.
“There is a great correlation between the work ethic you need to have playing music and playing baseball,” he said. “The more prepared you are, the better you’re going to be. If you know how to read and write music, you know how to communicate with fellow musicians anywhere in the world. It’s the universal language.”
Williams is currently actively involved in lobbying for more music in the schools. He will be heading to Capitol Hill in a couple of weeks to meet with members of Congress to help with the arts advocacy group Turnaround Arts. He will also perform at the White House on May 25 for an audience that will include President Obama and the First Lady.