Robynn Amy, Instructor
|Photo by Phil Farnsworth|
"I graduated from Berklee in 2003. I think that the student perspective is still fresh in my mind when I'm teaching, so I have a different perspective on how to reach them. But, I certainly have to adapt. When I'm dealing with younger-level improv students, we have to talk a lot more harmony and theory, because at this point they're being introduced to this stuff, but they haven't put the pieces of the puzzle together yet. So a lot of my lab classes are trying to link how their ear training classes and their harmony classes and their arranging classes all back up their playing. The other guys who already have all of the theory and improv chops, we're talking about style and interpretation and musicality and turning this thing that we've been working on for years and years into something that isn't technique-based, but based on emotions and trying to reach your audience."
"The sooner they can put the pieces of the puzzle together, I think, it benefits them more. I remember for a while when I was here, improv sort of escaped me at first because of my classical background. I didn't really want to do it. It's hard to fall on your face and feel like you're doing something new and you're not great at it yet. It's hard to let go of those inhibitions and just relax and let the current kind of take you. When I was in school, I didn't realize that until later, almost at graduation. I think the sooner the students can do that, the better."
"In addition to teaching at Berklee, I also work with the Monterey Jazz Festival. The Festival sponsors this year-round continuing education program, and we bounce around in a van once a month and give clinics at schools for big bands. I'm getting in 28 clinics a week when I go out there—28 different schools in 4 days. It's great for the kids that may not have jazz programs. From November to April, I go out to California once a month, and in the summer I'm there two weeks. I bring all of these skills I learn while I'm out there back to my classes here at Berklee. I always make up the classes I miss here at Berklee, because I don't like to send a sub. My involvement with both programs is hugely beneficial to the students and I hope this connection with the Monterey Jazz Festival continues to grow."
- Tenor and bass trombonist, euphoniumist
- Trombone clinician, Monterey Jazz Festival
- Performances/appearances with Christian McBride, Doc Severinson, Carmen Bradford, Eguie Castrillo, Against the Grain, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, and Swinging Europe and at the Red Sea Jazz Festival, Eliat Israel, and the Heineken Jazz Festival, Puerto Rico
- Recordings include Syncopation’s A New Dance, Will Street’s 7 Colors of Love, Against the Grain’s Against the Grain, Jazziz on Disc: Women in Jazz, Swinging Europe Jazz Orchestra 2006, and DIVA’s Live at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola with Carmen Bradford