The Media Studies and Production Plus One program is one of Temple University's accelerated degree programs, giving Klein College of Media and Communication students the opportunity to earn both their undergraduate and graduate degrees on a fast-paced, five-year path. Zach Jaworski, an MSP Plus One student who has just begun his final year of graduate studies after finishing his undergraduate degree last spring, took a semester off from the program to apply the skills he learned in his classes to real life. As the drummer for the alternative-rock indie band Twin Beds, he went on an extended tour that allowed him to put the skills he learned from Klein College to the test.
Jaworski has always had an interest in music, audio technology and production. He decided to join the media studies and production department while he sat in on an MSP information session during his freshman orientation week. He also lived in the Klein College Living Learning Community in Hardwick Hall, which deepened his appreciation for studying communication.
During his undergraduate coursework, Jaworski focused on honing his skills in audio engineering and recording. This was strengthened by his involvement in Temple's WHIP Radio, where he was a host of The Core, WHIP's alternative-rock music show. His role as a host is what led him to his membership in Twin Beds: the guitarist of the group, John Clark, was a guest on the show and told Jaworski that he wanted to start a band. Along with bassist Jack Einhorn, they came together and started holding practices and recording music.
Jaworski often performed weekend gigs and short tours with Twin Beds. On their most recent tour, however, he had the availability and resources to do more. After graduating from the undergraduate portion of the MSP Plus One program, he worked a full-time position at Citizens Bank to help fund a full-fledged tour. By October, the band was ready. They traveled around the country and even to some venues in Canada in a 15-passenger van to play their music. He even got the opportunity to manage the sound for the band's sets. However, without the advantage of endless funding, touring was not an easy feat to accomplish.
But Jaworski believes that the do-it-yourself experience was worth it, especially because as an independent band, the profit Twin Beds received went directly to them. He also enjoyed spending time with his bandmates, and as a bonus, Derek Morgan--an additional guitarist who played on Twin Beds' latest project--and the North Carolina band Ol' Sport joined Twin Beds on the last leg of their tour.
"Tour life is hard sometimes," Jaworski says. "But you gotta really love the people who you're surrounded by because you're spending all day with them."
Nicole McKenna, director of the Klein College graduate office, was Jaworski's point of contact as he figured out how to proceed in the MSP Plus One program. Students in the program work with McKenna to guide themselves through their graduate-level coursework and to stay on track. McKenna says that the students who succeed in the program are "super motivated and want to be challenged," qualities she recognizes in Jaworski.
"[Jaworski] really enjoyed the graduate-level classes he took as an undergrad student," McKenna says. "I was pretty confident that he was going to have a good time out on the road but come back to us and finish up."
Now that Jaworski is back to taking classes, he is working hard to earn his degree. He is also looking forward to more work with Twin Beds; with tours planned for spring break and the summertime, he has a full schedule. But his ultimate goal of owning a music studio in Philadelphia is his motivation to power through.
"It's been hard to balance school and stuff but despite that, I absolutely love all of my professors right now," he says. "And even though the band is definitely priority the whole production thing is still always in my mind."
Twin Beds' music streams on Spotify and Apple Music. However, their music and band merchandise are available for purchase at their Bandcamp website. Look out for future tour information on their Twitter.