Armsted Christian

Professor
617 747-8280

"I challenge students to think for themselves and be accountable for their own learning. It's very personal. Even in a class of 15 or so, I want students to know that I'm really talking to them, that they're not just a number in the room. I've been in seminars as a student, and I used to feel so detached from the instructor. I never forgot what it felt like to sit in that chair. I tell my students, the same rules I give you, I use myself. Strive for excellence. Don't let your minimum become your maximum."

"I had no real writing training when I came to Berklee as a student. I was like a lot of the students here now—I may have had talent, but little technical training. So I came here to investigate the craft of composition. If you really want to do something, there are people here who can help you. But you have to want it. Your desire is as important as your talent. I think that's an important part of being a teacher: instilling in your students the desire to learn, and encouraging them to feel confident doing so."

"At Berklee you have faculty who have been trained classically, and those who've had their training in jazz, r&b, pop, rock, country, Latin, and they're all one teacher! In a contemporary school environment you're trying to give the student an idea of what the industry will be asking of them. And one thing it asks of them is flexibility, versatility."

"I produce shows here at the college and outside of Berklee, as well as recording projects, and I hire students to perform with me. It's on-the-job training for them, a grooming session. These are the things that students who come here aspire to do, and it would be a shame not to offer the opportunity for those who have the ability to participate."

Career Highlights

 

  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • Leader of Peaceful Flight
  • Member of the Will Downing Group and the Gerald Albright Group
  • Performances with Patti Austin, Regina Carter, Will Downing, Chieli Minucci, Najee, Diana Ross, Special EFX, and others
  • Recording artist for SIAM Records
  • Songwriting credits on Moods by Will Downing on Mercury/Polygram Records, and Najee's Just an Illusion and Share My World on EMI
  • Former multicultural education coordinator at the University of Massachusetts
  • Former faculty member at New England Conservatory of Music
  • Winner of the SESAC Award for Songwriting in the Adult Contemporary/R&B and Smooth Jazz categories
  • Grammy-nominated for All the Man You Need with Will Downing
  • Writer of the theme song for NAACP documentary House on Fire