Mitch Seidman

Professor

"A lot of the material I teach is new for many of my students. I was in the same position in the early '70s, so I know how they feel. When they're having trouble with some technical aspect, I let them know that I've been there myself and there's light at the end of the tunnel."

"I demonstrate as much as possible: ways to practice, how this helps my music. . . . I might relate a story sometimes, and very often I'll demonstrate how they'll benefit from it. I also try to get them to think of themselves as musicians instead of guitarists, drummers, or vocalists. I think that ear training classes help to level the playing field so that everybody is considered simply a musician first. Then they can all can strive for equal results, regardless of their instrument."

"I think playing other instruments is great. I do recommend that people become familiar with a chordal instrument, such as piano, guitar, or vibraphone. It'll really help them with hearing chord progressions, which can be abstract to some students."

"I teach a jazz ensemble and I teach a contemporary styles ensemble, which is a lower-level ensemble that gives students the opportunity to play all kinds of things: rock, jazz, funk, Latin. . . . I think it's a good ensemble for students to feel around with styles that they may not be familiar with in a nonthreatening situation. They don't need to feel like they have to be experts. Perhaps they'll even discover some new musical interests."

"I'm entering my 11th year teaching here. I was a student here in 1973. I only have good memories from my time as a student at Berklee, and I'm still close with friends from here. As a matter of fact, my roommate and I still stay in touch and work together after more than 30 years. So when they say you can make connections in the music business for life, it's the truth."

Career Highlights

  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • Mus.M., Boston University
  • Guitarist
  • Performances at Scullers, the Regattabar, and Ryles in Boston; Jazzmania and the Other End in New York; and Papashon in L.A.
  • Performances with Joe Beck, John Pisano, Alan Dawson, Joe Hunt, Eddie Jones, Charlie Kohlhase, Teddy Kotick, Harvie S (formerly Swartz), and Harold Vick
  • Concerts include 1995 Jazz is Toulon Festival, France; the Internationales Jazz Guitar Meeting 1999, Germany; and the Annual Classic American Guitar Show, New York; the Newport Guitar Festival, RI
  • Recordings on Cadence, Jardis, and Brownstone Records
  • Coauthor of Playing the Changes (Berklee Press)
  • Contributing editor, Twentieth-Century Guitar magazine
  • Artist-in-residence, Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano, San Jose, Costa Rica, 1997