Paul Elmen

Assistant Professor
617 747-8166

"I teach in the Ensemble Department. It's a mix of things—rock, pop, and some standard jazz tunes, also. Because they're mostly focused on the rock thing, I'm trying to get them to be more diversified. The whole idea is so they can play all styles of music convincingly, so they can take any gig that they need to. That's one of the reasons they're here. So I'm trying to get them to keep what they've got, but add to it."

"Some students have never played in a band before, and that can be difficult. That's why I always use a recording of the songs that we're playing, to give them an idea of what it is to play together if they haven't done that in the past. You listen to how it all works together. We listen to the drums, we listen to the bass, we listen to the accompanying instruments. That helps them get towards that goal of playing together. And sometimes it'll take a few weeks before it starts sounding musical. I always tell them, our goal is for a concert at the end of the semester. We're working towards that—it's a little carrot out there for them, so that they have something to really think about achieving."

"Every semester before midterm I put on a program called Preparing for Your Ensemble Audition, because they don't know what goes on during a real addition for ratings. I find two people that will actually do their audition in front of 90 to 100 people, to let them know what the ensemble ratings and are all about."

"I've had actually one student that was here, about a year ago, who had a book of tablature. That's a book of nothing but fingering charts for guitar—not notes, just fingering positions. He had that right next to the book that I used for my ensemble, and he was bound and determined to get past that. And he has. This one of the rewards of teaching, when you see somebody get past what has been a real major stumbling block for them."

Career Highlights

 

  • A.A., American College in Paris
  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • B.S., Point Park College
  • Performances with numerous groups, including Gladys Knight and the Pips, Ice Capades, Philharmonic Choir of Paris, Hal McIntyre Orchestra, Arnie Lawrence, Urbie Green, the Temptations, and TKO