Ross Bresler

Professor
617 747-2799

"Art history is a required course at Berklee, and it's just human nature for students—who are here to study music—to wonder how it's relevant to them. But within a week or two they start to realize that at the core of it, what all these people were doing—whether thousands of years ago or just last week—is exactly what they're doing now: figuring out how to channel their passion and curiosity into creating something."

"I'm a big fan of incessant curiosity. I think when students hear themselves and their colleagues articulate questions about the art we're studying, that sets up a conversational dynamic in the classroom. Students realize that they're not underqualified to talk about art, which has a similar kind of aura that I think classical music has for a lot of nonmusicians. It's a demystifying experience when students talk about art in the classroom and then in the Museum of Fine Arts. We are incredibly fortunate to be so close to the museum, and we spend a lot of time there."

"I'd like my students to think about how art helps them understand not just their music but also more about themselves. What are the different ways that artists since the beginning of time have sought to figure out the human condition? For Berklee students, the idea that they can learn, be inspired and horrified, or be made curious or afraid by thinking about the visual arts is an enormous gift for them not just as musicians but as human beings."

"My classroom teaching is a microcosm of my work at ProArts, where I develop pathways for students and faculty of different arts disciplines to engage with each other and think about ways that different media play on one another. That interconnectivity across disciplines crosses over into the ways I teach art history to music students."

 

Career Highlights

 

  • B.A., Indiana University
  • M.A., Ph.D., Boston University
  • Executive director of Professional Arts Consortium (ProArts), an organization of all arts colleges in Boston, since 2002