Teaching That Is Simply off the Charts

George W. Russell Jr., Harmony Department professor

“The thing I love about Berklee is that it’s so diverse. I don’t know any place where you can find so many styles of music—and experts in those styles. And the students come in at such a high level that they are more like peers. It’s not unusual for a teacher to support a student at a gig, but they always give you respect as a teacher.”

Many of our faculty members are professional musicians who record and tour frequently, but they also have a passion for teaching. George Russell Jr. started piano lessons when he was seven and is an in-demand player. He graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in music education and taught at a number of schools before joining Berklee, where he has won the Distinguished Faculty Award and the Ted Pease Excellence in Teaching Award.

“In terms of analysis and the concepts that we teach, Berklee has a system that is second to none. I have the latitude to present the material how I see fit, so I do a lot of playing in the classroom. I also teach a massive open online course (MOOC). When I see former students on TV or hear about where they’re teaching or what they’re doing with music, I feel very proud. When they succeed, I succeed.”

George W. Russell Jr.

Professor, Harmony Department