BIN Faculty of the Year Brings Wisdom, Grooves to Campus
For Brazilian jazz trumpeter Daniel D’Alcantara, who was recently named the Berklee International Network (BIN) 2016 Faculty of the Year, teaching music and being a musician are the same thing. An accomplished performer and musician, D’Alcantara has been teaching for 20 years, and currently works with students at Conservatório Musical Souza Lima in São Paulo, Brazil, a BIN member. “I love to mix my teaching and performing careers,” he says. “I advise my students to do that. You need to be a musician—need a love for art and music.”
D'Alcantara was one of many BIN-partner-school teachers nominated throughout the world. To help commemorate his award, the BIN team brought D’Alcantara to Berklee's Boston campus to conduct a series of master classes over a three-day period, which concluded with a concert in the David Friend Recital Hall on October 14. Sam Skau, assistant director for BIN, wanted D’Alcantara’s visit to be more than just a concert where an audience could only observe. As he said about the interactive master classes, “There’s an education component, a cultural ambassadorship component, and also a social aspect. The students get to see these teachers and interact and share their ideas with each other. It’s a multifaceted, mutually beneficial kind of idea.”
After conducting one of his master classes, D’Alcantara took the time to answer questions about his award, his teaching, and his career as an artist. Excerpts from that conversation are below.
On receiving the BIN award:
“I’m very honored. It’s a good feeling to know I’m doing the right thing with my students in Brazil. My main concern for my students is to help them with thinking artistically, so this award came at a good time for me.”
On his first visit to Berklee:
“When you come to Berklee, you need to play better. These students have everything here. They need to understand that, and I think they do, otherwise they wouldn’t be here.”
“Before I arrived I was a little bit scared because Berklee is so famous around the world, and I think, ‘What would I say there? They have everything!’ It’s a challenge for me, but I feel good about it and I hope I can help it even more. I have good expectations for the future of a relationship with Berklee.”
On teaching at Conservatório Musical Souza Lima:
“Each person is completely different from each other, so you need to be patient to understand the students. So when I teach the student, I try to understand how the student understood me. It’s difficult, because everybody has their own problems, but I think it’s a good way to think and conduct their studying.”
“At Souza Lima, the students are very rock-oriented, but they never forget their [Brazilian] roots. I have the opportunity to teach two kinds of classes—the ensembles [Brazilian and hard bop] and private trumpet lessons. Sometimes students want to study improvisation with me. I use this class to practice with the students. I bring stuff to class that I love to play and I share it with them.”
"When the teacher plays with the students, you become a kind of reference for the student. So they can copy you, or try to emulate. It’s a good start for them."
"I always bring a kind of humor to the class. I don’t like to feel like, ‘Oh, I am the professor, and you are the student.’ For me, you are a human being. I try to treat them like I would want someone to treat me."