Alizon Lissance

Associate Professor
617 747-8496
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"I want my students to leave my classes with a heightened awareness of the inner workings of music, an embracing of the left-brain stuff, a desire to explore harmony and color. For the writers it's a no-brainer. There are a lot more singers here at Berklee now, and I really encourage them to play the piano. I hope my students come away with an openness to use the tools that we give them in their own writing and arranging."

"Everything's laid out on the piano—it's visual. It's the only instrument that shows all the sharps and flats and everything. It's all right there and you can play the chords and scales. Even if you're not really good you can still play them and hear them and reinforce that. You can sing along with your playing."

"I gig a lot, and I often work with singers, with people who don't have the harmonic background that I have. It helps me with my teaching in terms of translating difficulties that can be found when you don't play a chord instrument. I give everyone in my class at least one transposing assignment per semester, where they have to transpose something into another key. That's something that singers get stuck with all the time."

"I don't play straight-ahead jazz a lot, but because of the stuff that I teach, when I do I can look at a lead sheet and sometimes say, 'That chord doesn't fit there.' I can look at something and know without even hearing it first, when it would be too late."

Career Highlights

 

  • Diploma, Berklee College of Music
  • Keyboardist and vocalist
  • Leader of the group Alizon
  • Member, Love Dogs
  • Former member, Girls' Night Out and Myanna
  • Performances with Daena Giardella, Shirley Lewis, and Mighty Sam McClain
  • Recordings include Myanna by Myanna and I'm Yo Dog by the Love Dogs