"I try to work with students at a level that’s comfortable for them. But I also try to see where the edge is and if they can get close to the edge of their comfort zone, and maybe go beyond it.
Working with first-year students has been overwhelmingly positive. There’s a freshness that is very contagious; it only feeds into my own enthusiasm for teaching, and particularly teaching here at Berklee. I’m eager to show them, 'Here’s my experience. Here’s what I’ve been doing for the last 15 years as a teacher and, in addition, for the last 30 years as a performing musician.'
As a first-year instructor, I can’t emphasize enough that I’m not just teaching students how to sing. I’m teaching them how to be professional musicians. I want students to have grown a little bit more as young adults [after working with me].
I try to emphasize relaxation above anything else. If a student can feel comfortable with me as a teacher and as a human being then we’re off to a very good start. I believe that the work we’re doing comes from a relaxed place. I want them to be at ease. I want them to feel like they can be open to this experience, as well as, when it comes time to present themselves, that it starts from a calm, grounded center, and they’re open to express themselves, which is what we’re doing as a performing artist.
I want them to come away with a solid technique that will serve them for the rest of their lives, whether or not they go into this professionally."