"My time [as a student] at Berklee was extremely nurturing. The atmosphere was so inspiring, everyone working so hard to really be able to play at the highest level possible. Antonio Hart and I were roommates for a period, and did a lot of playing together, and grew together. In 1988, my curiosity was piqued by electronic music, programming, and synthesis. I dedicated time learning how to program drum machines and synthesizers, and started learning how to produce popular music."
"I teach a contemporary styles ensembles. Over the course of the semester, we play everything from modern pop to straight-ahead jazz and everything in between. In ensemble playing, you need to be generous musically. You need to listen to the other people. You have to play like a team. If you're not playing as much for the other people in the group as for yourself, that's a problem. You have to have musical humility, to think about the song first. The song is the focus, not the guitar solo."
"The best thing about teaching or learning how to play music is the balance between technical information and whatever your heart and soul feels. Hopefully the technical information is only the vehicle for what you're really trying to do. I want my students to stay focused through the ups and downs, and to trust in what they believe in. I try to reinforce that they should learn as much as they can and be as versatile as possible, because the competition is very high. I also tell them to respect and learn from the past as they're trying to go forward."
"The technology and tools of music synthesis are changing at an incredible speed. Berklee has been really good at making sure that students have the latest tools in their hands, both in the studios and through the Berklee laptop program. No matter what the tool, however, faculty know and impart upon the students the commonalities of all of those tools. We don't teach just the button pushing for today's technology, but how to achieve effective music and sound design with any set of tools. We want students to sit down at the newest synthesis software tool, and say, 'I know what I'm looking for; the question is, where are they hiding it?'"
"Times have changed a lot, and the music industry has changed a lot, but if you're a really well-rounded player, the industry and the times can continue to change as much as they want to; you'll be fine. My personal musical passion is within the jazz idiom, be it mainstream or straight-ahead; however, being well rounded and versatile is what allows me to play a rap gig with a back-beat track and smoke it. The skills are always applicable."
"I think students come to Berklee for many of the same reasons. They find role models they can identify with. Our job is to provide the fundamental training for young musicians to succeed in the world they live in."
"Sometimes ideas can come at the most random times. For me, it's mostly when I'm lying in bed at night or driving in the car. I'll either stay up in the dark singing through the melody line I have created until I get it right, or I'll find the sound recorder on my cell phone and recite the lyrics that pop in my head in between shifting gears in my car. Bizarre, yes, but when something inspires you, you have to grab hold of it, because you never know, it could be your next hit."
"I realize that most students are not here because they want to take a science class, so I want them to see that what we're talking about in class is absolutely relevant to their everyday lives, whether or not they think of those things as science, per se. Whatever's on the news, we'll be talking about it in class. Somewhere over 4 million people have been affected by the floods in Pakistan. They're not getting food; they're not getting water supplies that are safe to drink. That starts a lot of political unrest, and that's all related to the environment. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico absolutely has relevance in terms of seafood supplies, economic impact to the United States, etc. Hopefully we can tie all of those in and see why they should care about those things."