“I teach Arranging 1 and 2, which is really teaching students the tools they can use to express themselves. I want to hear how my students take the tools I’ve given them and the music they want to arrange and put their own stamp on it. That’s really what arranging is. You’re saying, ‘This is how I envision this song; I want other people to hear that.’ When I sit down and look at a blank piece of paper, I’m thinking, ‘What do I want to say? What do I want the people who listen to this to get from it?’"
"I make a living doing the things that I teach in class. I write arrangements of jazz and pop music for recordings, concerts, and television broadcasts. I speak passionately about the subject because it is not a theoretical exercise for me; I am living it. I try to make my classroom reflect my reality in the professional world. I assess my students given where they are in their education, but I also try to assess them as someone outside the Berklee community would. They’ll get two grades from me on their projects: the student grade and the grade they would get outside of Berklee. I like to think of myself as their client. From week to week I am commissioning them, and I expect them to wow me every time."
"I'm trying to get students to analyze the music all the time. For instance, if you're a vocalist you probably will not focus on where the snare drum is placed. But if you know what's going on behind you, you can sing better, and you don't have to hire an arranger. I think you can learn the most by analyzing what you like. Why do I like it? Let's try to imitate at first and then make it our own."
Composition and production credits include major albums by renowned artists such as Paco de Lucía, Bebo Valdes, El Cigala, Enrique Morente, Wynton Marsalis, and the acclaimed Spanish singer Concha Buika
"I teach Arranging 2 and Big Band Arranging. When I went to Berklee, I was a very reluctant arranging student. I just didn't think I needed it, and I wanted to become a studio musician. Taking all the other mandatory classes made sense, but arranging didn't. When would I ever arrange? It's funny that now I teach arranging and sell a lot of my arrangements. That's something that I try to instill in my students: You think you know what you want while you're here, but keep your mind open, because you have to be prepared when opportunities come up."
"At Berklee in general, and in our department especially, we strike the right path between the traditional composition and arranging techniques and the technological aspect of production. We teach the latest technology in terms of production, recording, and sequencing, but we also provide our students with the traditional orchestration techniques for acoustic ensembles, tools that are extremely valuable these days to any professional musician. I always strongly encourage my students to stay updated on new musical trends, new arranging techniques, new styles, and new technologies. Technology should be regarded as a tool to improve the quality of music and to help develop new musical idioms, but it is imperative for the student to sustain a balance that includes strong musicianship"
"The Music Synthesis major, particularly at the elective course level, is diverse by design. We are teaching our students to be highly creative with a wide variety of electronic tools. That creativity could take the form of composition, production, performance, sound design for film/television/video games, software design, or a unique combination of several forms. For some musicians, their identity is with their instrument. For us, it is an electronic sound palette put to innovative and musical use."
"Over the years, the business has seen a paradigm shift, where often a budget only allows for a small or even one-person team to bring a song, score, or jingle to fruition. The CWP major is unique in that it provides the student the skills to become a one-stop shop: the person who has the ability to compose, program, produce, edit, mix, and deliver the product, and negotiate a good price for their work. I'm fortunate to work with students who are about to graduate from CWP, and I desire to leave them with a renewed sense of what is possible for their future, armed with the knowledge and tools necessary to 'live the dream,' much as I have had the honor of doing for so many years."
"I understand what skills a writer needs to survive, and those are what I try to teach. To make a living and have a high professional quality of life, one needs to be able to write good music quickly. In the Contemporary Writing and Production Department, we train students to deal with any situation they might encounter as professional writers. The curriculum is not focused on any particular style. Instead, we deal with typical situations in which writers may find themselves in the music industry, be it music for radio, TV, electronic games, or multimedia; arranging and production for live performance and recording; writing original music; or producing other artists."