Jerome Kyles

Assistant Professor

"I come from a background in classical opera, jazz, and musical theater, as well as inspirational and gospel music. I'm also an instrumentalist, and I'm into vocal accompaniment. It's important to offer students a balanced approach and let them discover all the possibilities, so I'll give them both the foundation and the trimmings—both the cake and the frosting. Because cake without frosting is not necessarily a good cake, but cake with only frosting is, well, not cake."

"I remember going on tour in the Bahamas at the age of 10 with a gospel group, thinking how cool it was to be on the road, and not knowing what else I would want to do. But at every stage of my musical growth there was always an obstacle, like a person who said I wasn't good enough. I always thought of it as a challenge, like, 'Oh, I'm not good enough? Well, I'll show you.' Certainly I could have withdrawn, but I think you have to give yourself at least the opportunity to fight. If you don't try with all your might, then you'll never know what you can achieve."

"God-given gifts are wonderful, but without the drive to get better, it will just be that—a great talent sitting on the shelf. I see, in every student that I have right now, the ability to achieve. So if I see a student underachieving, then that student is going to get the hammer. But I believe students come to Berklee because they want the hard stuff—they want to be challenged."

"After we're done learning all we can, technically, about a piece—and certainly we'll never exhaust all there is to know about vocal production—we can't forget to sing, to get up there, have a great time, and perform the piece. I tell my students, 'Take every opportunity to share, and possibly to change people's ideas about life through your voice.'"

Career Highlights

 

  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • Vocalist, pianist, organist
  • Minister of worship and music at Morning Star Baptist Church, Boston
  • Performances with Andrae Crouch, Johnathan Butler, the Boston Pops, and Diana Ross
  • Recordings include The Live Experience
  • Leader of music ministry workshops nationwide