Berklee Online Faculty

Jim Odgren

Professor, Woodwinds
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-2563
  • Alumnus, Berklee College of Music
  • Alto saxophonist
  • Member of East West Standard Time
  • Performances with Gary Burton, Steve Swallow, and JoAnne Brackeen
  • Recordings with Gary Burton, Hiromi Uehara, Vinnie Colaiuta, Antonio Sanchez, Victor Mendoza, Michael Brecker, and Jim Kelly
  • Major publications include Saxophone Quintet Arrangements for Advance Music and Berklee Practice Method - Alto Sax

Ted Paduck

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8897

"You can know every parameter of every piece of gear that you work with, but if you can't make your time in the studio enjoyable to the artist or make them feel comfortable enough to create, you're not very useful. I tell my students that the job is probably 40 percent knowledge of the gear and how it's used and 60 percent being a psychologist."

C. Pat Pattison

Professor, Liberal Arts
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8308

"Our curriculum takes what I call the Nautilus approach to songwriting. You isolate the muscle and work on it. Everything about the major, at least at the beginning, is about isolation. The first step is to separate the lyric component from the music component, which isn't to say that we talk about melody without talking about lyric, or lyric without melody, because often you can't separate them . . . Of course, we try not to lose the focus that this is about creativity. We try to emphasize as strongly as possible that all these technical tools we teach are simply in the service of the ideas and emotions that you're trying to convey."

Anne Peckham

Chair, Voice
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-2513

"I want students to know that they can sing in a healthy manner in the style of music that they love. It's not like making cookie-cutter singers where everybody has a certain quality of tone or a certain sound to their voice; you can sound like yourself and still use vocal technique. Technique really has to be habituated so that it's almost invisible to the naked eye. That way, you're watching the singer perform, be expressive, and be him- or herself, while technique is the underpinning that's allowing the singer to sing freely, but with good stamina and good intonation."

Rick Peckham

Professor, Guitar
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-2511

"To me the musician's responsibility is not only to get the sound out of your head and to the instrument, but actually into the mind of the listener—and there are a lot of things between your mind and the listener's. You need to know about sound production on your instrument, getting your sound recorded, and making that sound the best it can be."

Jeff Perry

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8689

"I try to relate the class topics to real-life situations, what I had to go through, what I did professionally. This is the project that I want you to do, these are the guidelines. I'm the client, you're the artist. This is your job. You can also do another version of it that's more artistic for yourself, but you need to be able to fulfill the professional aspect of it. When you're out there writing jingles and the client wants it a specific way, you have to do it that way. Or you won't get called again."

Roberta Radley

Assistant Chair, Ear Training
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8326

"Ear training is not magic. And it's not something you're either born with or not. It's a lot of dedicated hard work, and it takes time. But the value of it is that, like a language, once you own it, you own it."

Ross Ramsay

Associate Professor, Piano
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-2824

"Our students run the gamut from a 17-year-old right out of high school who's played in rock bands to someone who already has a master's degree in music and is a tremendous player in one style and comes here to learn another. It's the most extreme place I think that you can teach because of the variety of styles and the variety of students. I had a student who was 65 from Japan who just retired and decided that he wanted to come back to school and learn music."

Eric Reuter

Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8251

"Outside of Berklee, I'm a live engineer and acoustician, and I integrate these experiences into my classes. The reality is that there aren't enough jobs in recording studios. It's a really difficult world. So I try to introduce other possibilities. There are a lot of jobs in audio that aren't 'recording engineer' or 'producer.' And the things that you need to know, or that are useful to know, are very similar for a lot of these various careers—live sound or location recording, or even acoustics to some extent. These other jobs are viable and respectable. I think it's our responsibility to present those as options."

Steve Rochinski

Professor, Harmony
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8335

"There are so many people in the world who would love to be here, but can't. So the online school fills that vacuum. I teach a couple sections of the Harmony class online. The students are generally older, quite bright and experienced, but it runs the entire spectrum of beginners who don't know a quarter note from a 25-cent piece to people who are working professional musicians but who never had a lot of the basic foundations of harmony as they were coming up. The online school helps to bridge that gap."

Alejandro Rodriguez

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses)

"The big advantage of being here is to have the ability to try different types of technology—not only the latest one but the original ones at the same time. Not only the most expensive microphone but a cheap one and lots of them in between. The fact that I started my career in a third-world country and lived in another third-world country for several years gave me the perspective of being forced to work only with limited resources most of the time, trying to be creative with whatever you have, not whatever you would like to have."

Susan Rogers

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-2721

"In the late '90s I produced a hit record with Barenaked Ladies. I took my royalty check and quit the music business, and in 2000 enrolled as a freshman at the University of Minnesota. I went to McGill University in Montreal to do my graduate work in music perception and cognition. This branch of psychology explores musical behaviors from the psycho- and neurological perspective, in other words, the what, where, how, when, and why of human musical experience. Berklee hired me to teach engineering and production, but also to help implement a more music-centric science program in the Liberal Arts department. They encouraged me to design courses in music cognition and psychoacoustics."

Bruce Saunders

Professor, Guitar
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8429

"In my classes and private lessons I always try to point out the importance of playing with other people, as opposed to (or in addition to) locking yourself away in the practice room. There are psychological aspects of playing music with other people that one can only develop through personal musical interaction. For this reason, I try to play with students as much as I can in all my classes and especially in private lessons. There is so much we can learn about ourselves and others by playing together."

Jan Shapiro

Professor, Voice
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-2103

"I teach private lessons, vocal labs, and ensembles. When I teach private lesson students, I teach classical technique and how it applies to contemporary vocal styles. As a teacher, I see myself as a guide to each individual student as they travel down the path of vocal development and their own individual progression. Whether a singer becomes a recognized household name as a recording artist, a full-time performer, a session singer, a backing vocalist, or a singer in a wedding band, I try to prepare all my vocal students for the changing music industry and vocal styles."

Lenny Stallworth

Associate Professor, Ensemble
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses)

"We all have a destiny, and I try to make students realize that each of them is an individual unique unto itself and you don't have to run anyone else's race. Sometimes I get students that are overwhelmed because there are so many great players at Berklee. So I just try to connect the fact that if we can find the one unique part abut us, that's what's gonna make you separate from the masses. The upside is that we all have something to contribute. No matter what. I think each student has something that the world can only get from that particular student. It's up to that student to, with integrity, work and develop that skill to bring it to fruition."

Loudon Stearns

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8606

"I like making the content for the online classes. It's a more relaxed atmosphere, just sitting in your office deciding how best to present this material. Is it best presented with a video, with a piece of text, with a custom app that Berkleemusic makes for me? Some of the things I do online I can't do in the classroom. I do a series of videos where the student sees my hands on the keyboard, sees the Ableton program right there, and it has my voiceover. In the classroom I don't have a camera guy at my back. Another of the things I do is like a VH1 pop-up video. You watch the waveform of the tune, but every time that I hear something important, a little observation pops up."

Jim Stinnett

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8366
  • B.M., New England Conservatory of Music
  • Performances with Kai Winding, Buddy DeFranco, Anita O'Day, Red Garland, Phineas Newborn, Tal Farlow, Mel Torme, Diane Schuur, and Roy Haynes
  • Guest appearance with Phish
  • Author of The Music of Paul Chambers and Creating Bass Lines

Robin Stone

Associate Professor, Guitar
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8368

"I would like my students to really know the guitar theoretically and to understand how the fretboard works. I firmly believe that students should have a thorough understanding of harmony and how it works on the guitar. Because of the way the guitar is tuned, learning the fretboard can be confusing and frustrating. Most students learn by patterns and fingerings. While this method is a wonderful way to learn how to play the guitar, it leads to a situation later in one’s playing of not knowing what they are playing. I would like to be able to say that my students come away with a better understanding of how those patterns and fingerings translate into a real working knowledge on the guitar."

Jeri Sykes

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8670

"I do a lot of work in musical theater and I worked as a designer for theater as well. I'm very fond of theater music and I play show tunes in class. That kind of music is very highly arranged, and comes in all kinds of styles, so it's great for arranging classes."

Daniel M. Thompson

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8145

"From the production side, it's easy to lose sight of that ultimate goal by getting 'lost in the toys.' Obviously when you're in school it's important to try out a lot of different techniques, and to get facile with the tools. But ultimately we want to make the technology disappear—to be in service of the process and the creative moment. We're trying to get out of the way, to be masters of the tools and not slaves to them.

Ed Tomassi

Professor, Ensemble
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8383

"I teach a lot of things by ear—improvisation concepts, balancing solos, different harmonic and melodic concepts. There is a key to teaching improvisation. There are five elements: melody, harmony, form, rhythm, and color. Out of those five elements, I teach different concepts, so the students get a well-balanced diet of solos, so it doesn't sound like they're just concentrating on one element. Some students are more crafted in certain areas, in form or harmony. They may need more melody or more color. It all depends on the individual."

Kai Turnbull

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8401

"Technology is a tool and, ultimately, when mastered it can become transparent. It takes time and discipline to learn, of course, but this is no different from other musical skill sets. On the piano, for example, one develops technical proficiency through the practice of specific exercises and repertoire with the aim to ultimately express oneself fluently and effortlessly. It's the same way with music technology. You have to spend the time required to get the fundamentals-the principles that work behind it-to really know it inside and out, in order to support those unexpected and creative leaps of imagination."

Leanne Ungar

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-2483

"In technology, the only thing we can count on is change. So we prepare our students to go on learning, long after they have their Berklee degree. We believe the best way to do this is to foster critical thinking and adaptability, and give them a broad foundation of recording practices. Our goal is to mold versatile, well-rounded musicians with critical-listening skills, interpersonal skills, and a wide range of technical knowledge, balancing historical context with state-of-the-art methods."

Anthony Vitti

Professor, Bass
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8388

"Between Berklee and summers hanging with legendary artists, all my learning was about being a great rhythm section player. And that totally translates into how I teach today. I want my students to have the solid fundamentals to be great working bass players for all styles. The top things I focus on are time, note placement, the length of their notes, note selections, and consistency. I also want them to concentrate less on how many notes they're playing and more on rhythmic depth, to be a more supportive player—yet to be able to do their individual thing, shine through, and play with confidence."

Mark Walker

Professor, Percussion
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-2717

"Carmen McCrae once said, 'It's more important to listen than it is to play.' It's such a simple concept, but very deep. It's a hard concept for some drummers to understand, but the working drummers understand it. That's why someone like Steve Gadd, one of the world's greatest drummers, plays next to nothing and everybody loves it, because he's totally supporting what's going on. He plays what the music needs. When it comes time to whip it out, he can deliver!"