Prince Charles Alexander, Associate Professor
"I want to create, in my classroom, an environment that closely mirrors my experience in the real world. I'm a former recording artist, a producer, an engineer. . . . I've managed, I've done tour support, I've done live sounds. . . . So I want to teach my students how to survive in the music business and put them in as many realistic situations as possible. If you're going to take advantage of this educational process, you need to investigate as many of those tangents as possible. You never know when one of them might be the one that opens the door."
"In my classes I'm trying to look at what music has become, so I'm actually studying the billboard charts, the current music this week, and asking, 'Why does it sound like that and what are the connections to everything that has gone before? Do you hear any jazz in this record? Do you hear any blues?' It might be a challenge for an uneducated ear to perceive why that newest thing is connected to everything that came before. So we'll do analysis of current music—not just listening, but recreating. In many ways, that's exactly how I learned when I was a kid. I listened to great records and said, 'I want to sound like that; how do I do it?' We don't have to reinvent the wheel. All the components, everything we want to do in terms of creating music, already exist. It's just a matter of fine tuning our sensibility as to what to draw on and when to draw on it."
"I work with high-profile artists, and sometimes that's a challenge, because the situations that I'm in and the equipment that I use are out of reach for my students. The microphone that I use is a $6,000 microphone; the microphone that they use is a $400 microphone. So I've got to draw a connection between how these things are similar. I have to stay current; I've got to cover the same tools the students use. So I will bring my projects in and ask the students to analyze them. When I'm mixing in New York I might have one or two students come in to look at what I'm doing so they can give me some feedback. That feedback is really important, and it gives them a sense of how my work relates to what I've been telling them in class."
- B.A., Brandeis University
- Independent record producer/engineer
- Client list includes Mary J. Blige, Destiny’s Child, P. Diddy, Alicia Keys, the Notorious B.I.G., and Luther Vandross
- Received three Grammy Awards and seven Grammy nominations
- More than 40 platinum and gold certifications from the RIAA
- Winner of a Victoire de la Musique (French Grammy equivalent)
- Member of the NARAS Grammy Committee Board of Governors
- Member of the Recording Academy Producers and Engineers Wing
- Member of the Audio Engineering Society
- Member of American Federation of Musicians Local 802
- Former Virgin Records recording artist
- Instruments include wind synthesizers, flute, saxophone, and keyboards