Songwriting Faculty

Jon Aldrich

Associate Professor, Songwriting | 617-747-8101

"A hit song is actually somewhat formulaic—the repetitiveness, the rousing section that leads us to that ever-so-hooky thing that we call a chorus—those things seem to happen over and over in hit songs, whether we like to admit it or not."

Erin Barra

Associate Professor, Songwriting | 617-747-6913

"My teaching style is engaging. I like to make things fun and get everyone involved in the learning experience."

Sarah Brindell

Associate Professor, Songwriting
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617-747-2745

"I want my students to understand how important it is to throw themselves into the fire, to build the confidence to go up to other musicians and say, 'Hey, I'm good; you should play with me.'"

Ben Camp

Assistant Professor, Songwriting | 617-747-6883

"Each student has unique needs in order to wrap their minds around fresh new concepts. My job is to find out what those needs are and meet them for each and every student." 

Daniel Cantor

Assistant Professor, Songwriting | 617-747-6235

"It matters not what technology you use or whether you use technology at all. All that matters is that you arrive at a recording that has the sonic and emotional impact that enhances the song."

Susan Kean Cattaneo

Associate Professor, Songwriting | 617-747-8125

"If you want fame, that's great; that's the icing on the cake. But you really should be writing songs and making your music because you want to finesse your craft, because you have a message to deliver to the world as a songwriter."

Brian "Raydar" Ellis

Assistant Professor, Songwriting
Also affiliated with: Ensemble | 617-747-2845

"Initially in class, musicians will be trying to show off everything they know, but hip-hop is more a process of finding that groove and locking it in, playing your role. It's really more a test of restraint."

Melissa Ferrick

Associate Professor, Songwriting | 617-747-6975

"I want to make sure that the next 17-year-old girl who doesn't know who she is yet and is terrified and is writing these songs in her bedroom, saving her own life, has a place she can go where someone’s going to say, this is exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. And you’re great. Yes, play that song live for us."

Brad Hatfield

Associate Professor, Songwriting
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617-747-8043

"Whether you are a vocalist, instrumentalist, lyricist, producer, accompanist, or orchestrator, it’s about identifying what you need to do to make something the best it can be, then doing it and delivering on time with a smile on your face!"

Bonnie Hayes | 617-747-6311

What I figured out is that every kind of music has something awesome about it. You just have to find it and embrace it.

Jimmy Kachulis

Professor, Songwriting
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617-747-8240

An accomplished composer, arranger, and conductor, Kachulis has worked with legendary artists such as George Coleman, Jon Hendricks, John Lewis and Martha Reeves.

Scarlet Keys

Associate Professor, Songwriting | 617-747-8455

"I create an environment in the classroom that is relaxed, fun, and creative because although craft is an intellectual pursuit, creativity needs to run rampant."

Jack Perricone

Professor, Songwriting | 617-747-2385

"My hope is that the graduating songwriting major leaves Berklee with a portfolio of songs that he or she can be proud to show to anyone in the music industry."

Ivan Sever

Associate Professor, Songwriting | 617-747-2393

"As long as musicians try to communicate well with those beyond the walls of their own room, there'll always be a need for music recording mentors. Even for the ones that remember the dinosaurs."

Mark Simos

Associate Professor, Songwriting | 617-747-3129

"I feel that the best teaching and learning come out of the practice of reflecting on one's own work."

Stan Swiniarski

Assistant Professor, Songwriting

"I'm big into collaboration and cowriting. Nashville is a cowriter's town—you write with two, three people all the time—so I really want to have that same kind of environment in the classroom. You cowrite for many reasons. Number one, it's faster. Number two, if you're bankrupt in the idea department, you have another writer or two in the room who has got something to bring to the party. Another reason you do it is a business reason. If three of us create a hit song, we turn our song in to our respective song pluggers or publishers, and we have three times the coverage on Music Row. And the other reason is just because it's fun."