Christine Fawson

In Their Own Words

"I'm learning as much or more as a teacher than I did as a student here. I'm in a different place. I think a lot of people will say when they first start teaching that it really teaches them a lot about themselves and how they learn. You have to explain things that you just did before. Students are coming from all different perspectives, so they're asking questions about things I never even thought about. It makes me look at things deeper and be more honest with myself. I'm practicing things that I want to be able to explain to my students, because you can't be a hypocrite. You're totally responsible for what you're saying."

"I'm a very busy performer—I'm playing every weekend—and I think that teaching and performing are very connected. It's important to keep that perspective. Even as far as fundamentals go, you're always applying what you're practicing on a gig. Students are doing gigs, too, and I'm interested in what they're doing. We're learning from each other."

"I have them sing a lot; that's a big deal with brass players. We have to be able to hear. I say, 'Sing this pitch' before they play. It helps them identify the pitch and get a better sound quality because they already produced it in their head. I never think about singing and playing trumpet as being separated. I try to do what I do vocally, on the trumpet. They're totally connected."

"I always want to keep learning and growing. I look at my position here at Berklee as a great way to do that, and to encourage other people to do the same. I want to always have an open mind about music, to always listen to different things and play different things and keep getting better. Hopefully with that attitude I can encourage other people to do the same."