Sarah Brindell

Associate Professor
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617 747-2745

"I tell my entry-level students in Contemporary Writing and Production that we'll progress very quickly from 'this is a quarter note' to composing an entire score. I encourage students to bring in the music they love, and we learn how to write it. I have a really eclectic international mix of students with lots of different musical tastes and backgrounds. That's one of my favorite things about the class—it's really fun to delve into so many different styles of music."

"I create a laid-back atmosphere in my class, but it's also focused. We're there to learn, and I don't let anyone tune out—I'll walk right up to them and bring them back. I'll even start to tapdance if I have to! I also don't let students get away with work that's not done to the fullest of their ability. It's important that students prove to me that they want to understand the material, and that they're trying."

"I also want my students to understand how important it is to throw themselves into the fire—to build the confidence to go up to other musicians and say, 'Hey, I'm good; you should play with me.' This can be especially hard for females in a male-dominated industry. As a woman leading a rhythm section, I've had to learn to assume authority—to know how to trust my instincts and where I wanted the music to go."

"Berklee students should take what we give them as traditions: not hard and fast rules, but guidelines to be followed—and maybe eventually broken. I want them to know they need to take the knowledge we give them and create something innovative and new."

Career Highlights
  • M.M., Music Education, Boston University
  • B.F.A., New School University
  • Vocalist, pianist, composer, producer, and arranger
  • Solo and band performances of original material at countless venues across the U.S. and Europe
  • Recordings include Dreaming Shoes (2010), Live at the Paradise Lounge (2005), and Piece of Mind (2003)
  • Teaches songwriting and arranging courses at Berklee in Boston, as well as with Berklee Online