Harry Skoler

Professor
617 747-8334

"I came here right out of high school; my parents told me to get in the car with a suitcase. They basically dropped me off in the lobby and left. They said, 'This is your graduation present!' I had already been enrolled in another college in upstate New York for the following year. But, having spent seven weeks here, as soon as I got to the other college I knew it was the wrong place for me. The next September I was back at Berklee!"

"I've always had a passion for teaching that's equal to performing, being published, and recording. If I'm not excited about it, why would anybody else be?"

"There has to be give and take; there has to be tolerance. People always want to play with people who are more experienced than them, but in order to do that, those who are more experienced have to have an appreciation that nobody knows everything, and that they can learn something from somebody who's been playing for a shorter time. In order for this to work, we have to give each person their due and all be supportive."

"I tell students to try to have a long-range goal of five years, a shorter-range goal of a year, and then we start breaking it down to what we want to do by next week. And of course, what are we going to do today? Then we can jot down some short notes, and look at it every few weeks and evaluate. The plan can always be altered over time. I always tell them that if they more than double their age, I'm still older than they are, so they have so much time on this planet! Don't worry about the time pressure. Things need to cook at their own rate. As long as you're enjoying the moment—that's it, stop there. Have a generalized plan, but you can reevaluate at any point. Take the pressure off. Enjoy what you're doing."

"I still feel like it's 1974 and I'm walking down the street as a student. I don't ever want to lose that. That gives me motivation to come in and look forward to the day. When I teach, we both learn!"

 

Career Highlights
  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • M.M., New England Conservatory of Music
  • Recordings include Conversations in the Language of JazzReflections on the Art of Swing, and A Work of Heart on Brownstone
  • Contributed to numerous publications, including Down Beat magazine and various websites and books, including two method books published by Vandoren/Carl Fischer
  • Garnered numerous national and international reviews in Down BeatJazzTimesJazziz, and many other publications
  • Featured in Strictly JazzNortheast Performer, and Jazz Now magazines
  • Performances at national jazz clubs (including Blue Note, Regattabar, Scullers), festivals, and international venues
  • National radio interviews and regional/national television appearances
  • Charted on Gavin and Jazziz national radio airplay charts
  • Endorsement artist for Vandoren, Buffet Group USA, and Applied Microphone Technology