- M.F.A., University of Pittsburgh
- Published in local and national newspapers and magazines
"A lot of the students have never been to the museum, and when we go, it’s an epiphany. So they really enjoy that part of it, and so do I."
"You can't know where you're going unless you know where you are, and where you came from. When you put those three things together, you have the best formula for making a successful impact on your craft and on the world of music."
"Even though you're getting a music degree, having a college degree means that you've been exposed to a whole range of different things, not just an isolated, focused study."
"My rule of thumb is very simple: whatever you're working on, make it valuable today."
"When I teach writing, I try to teach it as a craft and explain to students that it's an art, just like music. It may not be your chosen art, but we can learn about music by studying writing."
"What's most important to me in the classroom is creating a community where everyone feels safe to talk about their opinions, to explore questions, and to have answers that might be wrong."
"The trick is to present the material in a way that is unique to Berklee. There might be classes with similar names at other institutions, but they're going to be nothing at all like what students are going to get here, because pretty much every problem in math involves music in some way. We calculate the frequencies of notes under various tuning systems, looking at the math behind it. In economics and statistics, most of the articles we read are related to the music industry."
"I want students to be able to see how they can apply psychology in their daily lives, and I hope that when students leave the classroom they are able to share in some of the enthusiasm for psychology that I have."
"The big thing I want for my students is to not be apathetic and to see that they are a part of history like everyone else."
"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."
"My wish is for students to embrace 'the dark side' and realize that science rocks!"
"My philosophy is based on the process of listening to music you find compelling, and then seeking to find your own voice, rather than imitation. I believe a great musician listens to life and integrates it into their music, making connections that are true and sincere."
"All of my writing classes start with a free write, and we free write every class for up to 30 minutes. "
"I hope that students are able to apply these lessons to future tasks without my guidance. I make connections to real-life writing that students will need to do for their careers, such as cover letters, reports, scholarship applications, and press kit materials. They need to see that writing a good essay is really the same as writing a good cover letter."
"Given the competitive nature of the music industry, students need to speak and write articulately. Writing about literature and drama helps them with their lyric writing and their ability to promote themselves as music professionals. Thinking critically about other art forms teaches them to connect with others and to discover and express new ideas."
Vice President for Academic Affairs-Curriculum and Program Innovation,
"My teaching style has always been one that encourages self-reflection and discovery. I like to push my students to be self-motivated. For me, it isn't about the grades they will receive, but rather the knowledge and skill set they can build on."
"I'm teaching a Topics in History class called the American Music Industry. The course provides an overview of music business practices here in the United States, beginning with sheet music publishing and piano manufacturing in the 19th century. We then explore the birth of the recording industry in the 1880s and 1890s, the impact of film and radio on the music industry of the 1920s and 1930s, and the emergence of new recording techniques and new marketing practices in the post-World War II era. By focusing on these major paradigm shifts, students leave the class with a better sense of what's happening right now in the music industry, as digital distribution is changing the way we consume music. Students also develop a clearer sense of how popular music reflects the time period in which it's written, whether we're talking about pro-Union Civil War songs or early Delta blues recordings."
"I find that this age group really identifies with their own coming of age, so I focus on that kind of literature and get them thinking about all the different ways we come of age—those pivotal moments in our lives when we move in new or unexpected directions. What they read is a mixture of nonfiction and fiction; what they write is nonfiction. Personal narrative is one of the pieces that they do, but I also have them write about the literature they are reading. We often discuss songs and lyrics and consider ways to use these as source material."
"We live in a world that, within specific disciplines, demands a complex set of skills. Musicians need a skill set that is broad to perform at the highest level in a complex world. Having a broad view with a 'lens' that understands the connections between the liberal arts, music, writing, art, theater, and dance is important. The more connections one can make to 'the muses,' the more informed one's own particular chosen art will be, in my opinion. Studying the liberal arts makes artists better artists."
"My role as teacher is to be a facilitator. I don't lecture; I don't like it, and I can't imagine my students would like it, either. My role is also to create a safe environment for my students to take risks, open up, share their ideas, and believe that what they have to say is worthy. To start a discussion I'll show them something as a catalyst, maybe lead them off with a word or two, then say, 'Here you go; wrestle with it,' and sit back and watch. And that's really how it should be."
"I try to foster a sense of honesty, tolerance, passion, and social responsibility in my students. Stressing the development of critical and creative thinking skills, I encourage clarity, precision, and originality of thought in writing and speech; the ability to ask relevant questions and solve problems; an openness to new ideas and experiences; and a flexibility of mind that allows one to view topics from multiple perspectives and see connections. I continually emphasize a respect for individual and cultural diversity and encourage students from different countries to interact with, and learn from, each other. I try to help my students view the world with compassion, fight injustice whenever possible, and heed the words of the great writer and social activist James Baldwin: 'Artists are here to disturb the peace.'"
"I think of myself as a facilitator rather than a teacher. I try to give my students tools they can use, and help them to ask pertinent questions, to push farther and dig deeper to discover insights on their own."
- M.A., Dance and Cultural Studies, UCLA
- B.F.A., Theater Studies, Boston University
- Performances with Alicia Keys, Mos Def, John Legend, Reggie Gibson, Joshua Bennett, and Donna De Lory
- Recordings include HBO's Def Poetry season 5 and Ever Widening Circles
- Published in the Legendary, Numinous Magazine, and the Charles River Review
- Participant in Slam Team San Jose 2004 and Boston Cantab Slam Team 2005
"What it means to be a good musician is more than technical proficiency. One of the things I think we can really offer is time to reflect and work through what it might mean to be a musician in contemporary society. Not all of us talk about music in our classes, and that's because a lot of what it means to be a good musician goes beyond music: it has to do with what it means to be a thinking person. I'd like to think of what we do not as a supplement, but as something that can really add to the ability of our students to think about where they can go as musicians."