Bill Thompson

  • Career Highlights
    • Performances with U.S. Air Force and Arlington Philharmonic
    • Former instructor at Elma Lewis School
  • Education
    • B.M., Berklee College of Music

In Their Own Words

"As a teacher, I'm flexible, but goal oriented. I give sincere support to Berklee's ear training system and its objectives, while at the same time trying to come up with creative ideas for presenting the material—and maintaining a sense of humor."

"I try to maintain fairness and establish mutual respect between student and teacher. I offer encouragement, perseverance, and consistency, and refuse to accept a negative self-image. Class participation and study groups are important to me."

"Some students may know a great deal about harmony and be adept at hearing and identifying chords, yet they cannot read a note of music. Some are great performers and can sing with great persuasion, yet they can't read a note. For these students, formal ear training at Berklee introduces them to general facts and musical situations they've never encountered before. It helps them understand the make-up of music's mathematical systems, like note values and time durations, as well as the whole idea of connecting rhythms and melodies to make up a complete musical thought or phrase."

"Ear training takes practice, but practice that has restrictions. Students can't just practice what pleases them. Discipline and consistency are things I strive to help them develop, because the material gets more complex as it goes along. If they don't keep up, they'll get run over."