Mike Mason


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Career Highlights
  • Administrative Fellow, Harvard University
  • B.A., Loyola University, Maryland
  • M.Ed., Boston College
  • Ph.D., Boston College
In Their Own Words

"Everyone can learn, but we all learn differently. So in class I try to incorporate many different ways of learning. I teach English primarily, so we use a lot of text, whether it be novels, short stories, or essays, but I also use media. Film is an effective tool, because it allows students to see the person speaking and hear the intent of the message. Also I have students do a lot of collaborative work in small groups, because hearing other people's ideas and perspectives can better inform their own ideas or they can gain a perspective different from their own. In addition, I also ask students to engage in a great deal of personal reflection. For the final project last semester I asked students to give a presentation on what it means to be a musician. I provided some guiding questions-their musical background, who are their influences, why they wanted to come to Berklee, what they have learned over the course of the semester. I had many transfer students and international students in the class, so it was interesting for us all to hear their perspectives on Berklee and how they connected with people. The project also provided cultural context for other students in the class, and for me, regarding music and its role in societies other than our own."

"My goal is to make the class interesting and use contexts that are related to music and the arts. But it's not just about music-there's philosophy, painting, sculpture, and mathematics. I try to help students connect the dots along the way and help them make those connections between all of the disciplines. My hope is that we're planting seeds. By helping students consciously make those connections in class, hopefully that will carry over so as they're out in the world, they will make connections between different parts of their lives. Everything is interrelated and interconnected…everything from family life to music to school to career."

"I think that the most important aspect of a Berklee student's education is that liberal arts doesn't stand apart from the music curriculum. We infuse the liberal arts with music and music with liberal arts. So, for example, students learn in a history class about where a certain music originated, but they also learn about the social and historical contexts of that place, what was going on, who were the people that lived there, and what influenced the music. Another example might be in a music criticism class, where music is played but students are taught to analyze it through a certain social or political lens. So in class, students are not only using their skills as musicians, but they're also using their skills as writers and critical thinkers as well. We try to combine very different disciplines in a very natural way."