Percussion Faculty

Kim Plainfield

Professor, Percussion

" I always tell my students, 'You've got to learn the rules in order to break the rules.' That's a very strong truth."

John Ramsay

Chair, Percussion
jramsay@berklee.edu | 617 747-8328

" I know firsthand the obstacles and pitfalls that many musicians face; by sharing these experiences, I hope that I can help students confront these challenges with some insight."

Mikael Ringquist

Associate Professor, Percussion
mringquist@berklee.edu | 617 747-8488

"I think the fact that we're offering Brazilian styles, Cuban styles, Indian styles, and African styles makes it a great place to learn."

Ed Saindon

Professor, Percussion
esaindon@berklee.edu | 617 747-2307

"Improvisation to me is like living. We all improvise every day, and it's an art; it's being open to all the possibilities, to be able to make quick decisions and do something on the spur of the moment."

Jackie Santos

Professor, Percussion
jsantos@berklee.edu | 617 747-8487

"I always tell my students, 'You have to ask yourself two questions.' You have to look in the mirror and say, 'Do I have the talent to succeed?' The second question, which is the most important, is, 'Am I willing to work hard to succeed?'"

Casey Scheuerell

Professor, Percussion

"The real job is to try to inspire the students, because if they're inspired, then they're going to work."

Thomas Schmidt

Instructor, Percussion
tschmidt2@berklee.edu | 617 747-6422

"Mastering the notes of a particular solo or excerpt is critical; yet equally critical is understanding the style, orchestration, and history of the music played."

Neal Smith

Associate Professor, Percussion
nsmith1@berklee.edu | 617 747-3064

"Reality for me is half academic, half university of the streets. But university of the streets dominates."

Tony "Thunder" Smith

Professor, Percussion
ttsmith@berklee.edu | 617 747-2709

"I thrive on passion, and that's the whole thing. Everything's got to be exciting. I'm looking for a student to say 'What if I did this?'."

Bob Tamagni

Professor, Percussion
btamagni@berklee.edu | 617 747-8376

"I want my students to approach the drums as musically as a piano, or flute, or saxophone—to learn how to articulate and to phrase with the same expression as any other musician."

Mark Walker

Professor, Percussion
Also affiliated with:: Berklee Online (available courses)
mwalker@berklee.edu | 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!"

Steve Wilkes

Professor, Percussion
swilkes@berklee.edu | 617 747-8399

"The priority with me is ensuring that all my students feel like they have an endless horizon, like there is no end to their own potential in the music business. A lot of good things come from believing this."

Nancy Zeltsman

Professor, Percussion
nzeltsman@berklee.edu | 617 747-8420

"I want students to arrange music they dig, as opposed to just having to play what somebody else deems 'marimba music.' Their pieces become a personal mark that reflects their taste."

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