Cowles Spent ‘Greatest Year’ in Estonia – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Cowles Spent ‘Greatest Year’ in Estonia

Robert Cowles, associate professor of music, returned from spending a year teaching in Estonia, and his story was the topic of the August 18 article “'Greatest year of my life': HWS professor, family spend year in Estonia” in the Finger Lakes Times. Cowles taught American choral music at the Estonian Academy of Music, a college-level conservatory. He and his family lived in Estonia's capital, Tallinn. His children were enrolled at an international school. Class instruction was in English, but they also studied Estonian, which is the official language. Cowles and his wife also learned some of the language. Cowles said that students in his classes who spoke English often helped translate for those who did not. One of the reasons Cowles opted to teach overseas was to be closer to the work of Estonian composer Veljo Tormis, whom Robert Cowles met at a concert.