Mitch Haupers

Professor
617 747-8212

"After 17 years of teaching ear training here at Berklee, the move to harmony has allowed me to teach more in my style. The curriculum is less systematic and more driven toward the absorption of applicable concepts regardless of method. My strengths are utilized to aid the students in bringing these potentially abstract theoretical concepts into the realm of meaningful practice. The inclusion of an ear training component in the harmony curriculum is a recognized need in the department—one of the reasons I'm here is to help facilitate this effort on a larger scale."

'I continue to have teaching opportunities in the performance area of the college through my Improvisation Concepts Workshops, where students have the chance to explore improvising in a 'nonstylistic' environment. This yearlong course was created in direct response to student requests for ways to bridge the gap between ear training classes and hearing on their instruments. Their growing sense of community is remarkable to witness. They really seem to enjoy this approach—I know I do!"

"I'm an improviser at heart. I went through all those early teaching years trying to utilize every minute in class with activities, but now I'm trying to get students to teach themselves. They're going to do that ultimately, anyway. Often they have this preconceived notion that teachers are authorities, but I see myself as just someone on the same path that they're on. Perhaps I've been there a little longer, so I can say, 'Maybe you should try this, because this is what it did for me.' I guess my style is more practicing in front of them in order to get them to practice, rather than imposing a subjective set of expectations on them that may or may not apply to their future. I really believe that people are self-motivated already; you've just got to free that up."

Career Highlights

 

  • B.A., DePaul University
  • M.M., New England Conservatory of Music
  • Performances with Either/Orchestra, Joe Maneri, and Abby Rabinovitz
  • Production credits include Stan Getz, Kenny Barron, Ran Blake, Mick Goodrick, Dave Holland, George Russell, Bob Moses, and Gunther Schuller
  • Founder of, and performer for, Rules of Air Spontaneous Composition Ensemble
  • Certified luthier