Berklee Online Faculty

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."

Anthony Scibilia

Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-6049

"I'm assuming a certain level of dedication and competence and passion on the part of the students, and I'm appreciating that very deeply. When a student has that level of depth in any one area, I find that it's very easy to give them something that isn't in their area and, very quickly, something coagulates. They build a world around it much more easily than if there aren't some simple structures in place. When you've had your own deep experience of something, you're able to say, 'I recognize that. This sounds like something that I know, but it's just being done in visual art instead of music.'"

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."

Didi Stewart

Associate Professor, Voice
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8246

"I think of myself as more a mentor than a teacher, and I'm teaching the kids everything I learned through trial, error, and pain. For instance, it doesn't matter if some really great singer happens to go on right before them. I'm finding that a lot of my voice students want to belt like Janis Joplin, and I used to be that way. I used to love screaming my guts out. But if you're going to do that for five or six weeks on the road, you have to know how to survive it."

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!"

Marty Walsh

Assistant Professor, Ensemble
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8688

"In my MP&E classes, I try to look at many of the small details of production that otherwise would have a tendency to go unnoticed. In my ensembles, I like to be 'part specific.' I look at how the drums and bass are interacting. I look at how the harmonic instruments are interacting. Are they playing in appropriate registers? Are the parts complementing or fighting each other? Once we get the tune up and running, the players have more liberty to embellish their parts—within the framework of the tune. The song comes first. All improvisational ideas are drawn from the song."

Mark Wessel

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8193

"The foundation of the MP&E program at Berklee is musical as opposed to technical. The focus first and foremost is the song and the production. The knob twisting and button pushing is always contextualized. Most of our engineering classes serve production classes. Students in the production classes 'hire' engineers from the engineering classes. It mimics the real world in that way."

Don Wilkins

Chair Emeritus, Film Scoring
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-2441
  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • Composer for feature films Sixteen (a.k.a., Like a Crow on a June Bug), Mission Hill, The First Killing Frost, and Academy Award nominee Urge to Build
  • Composer for television series Hometown and Breaking Ground and co-composer for America by Design
  • Music supervisor on over 200 short subjects, including Academy Award winner Karl Hess: Toward Liberty and nominee Kudzu
  • Film music editor for network television specials and contributing arranger for network television movies River of Gold and Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring
  • Clinician on film music for National Film Board of Canada, Women in Film-New England, and IAJE

Michael Williams

Professor, Guitar
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8227

"I see a lot of people who are interested in blues and jazz, and those are the main areas that I love to work in. Students come in who are already blues players, wanting to work on elements of jazz, and students come in who are jazz or rock players, wanting to get more blues into their playing. I try to make students as complete as I can all-around, on guitar skills, rhythm guitar playing, and soloing. If they're interested in playing over changes, we work on that; if they want to get more into real, straight blues, I'm happy to go in that direction, as well. We dedicate a good amount of lesson time each week toward the personal strengths of the style or styles students are interested in."

Jonathan Wyner

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-3130

"Our students are encouraged to explore something as abstract, slippery, and hard to define as art and approach it from the standpoint of the aesthetic and the technical. They go fairly deep in both directions and that is unusual. Berklee's not just an art school and it's not just a trade school."

Norman Zocher

Professor, Guitar
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8221

"You can't sound good if you don't sound good. Sound is probably the most fundamental musical element. It's the thing nonmusicians, even newborn babies, know instantly if it's good or not. There are so many facets to what makes a good sound, but I think what captures it best—the basic definition of technique—is touch. It's also that your sound must be coming from your ear internally first, then you shape it on the instrument. The answer is not in the equipment. The answer is in your own hands."