"What's great about Berklee is everyone comes from very different backgrounds and very different points of view. We all learn so much from each other. I like to create a cooperative atmosphere in the classroom. Very often I'll have students break off in small groups and work with one another. I enjoy watching the relationships grow among these students who were total strangers. By the end of class they'll be collaborating on songs or forming bands together. I encourage students to think about the connections they make with each other, because that may be one of the most important things that they get out of being here.
"I want to open up more possibilities for my students, more doors for their creativity. The first few weeks of counterpoint seems totally the opposite of that. It's very typical to hear complaints about how there are too many rules. But the result of experiencing that kind of discipline while creating music—having to be creative within a very narrow set of parameters—is that later on when you're free to do whatever you want, you still have this very disciplined method to apply to it.
"I want everything that I teach to have some practicality in the real world. Counterpoint students might think, 'What do parallel fifths have to do with getting a gig?' And I admit it seems like some of what we teach is far from the day-to-day world of the performer, the producer, but I think that kind of discipline—creating in a small box—has tremendous value. And I'm constantly trying to relate it to the real world. I love to bring in contemporary music that exemplifies principles we're talking about that seemed to only apply to music in the 1600s."
- B.M., Drake University
- M.M., University of Michigan
- D.M.A., University of North Texas
- Former faculty member of University of North Texas and Western Oregon University
- Cellist with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony, and Rhode Island Philharmonic
- Coproducer, Marty Studios
- Composition commissions from the Cleveland Duo and James Umble, ExtensionWorks, and the University of North Texas Dance Department
- Master classes and lectures at the University of Hawaii, Baylor University, Tufts University, and Longy School of Music