David Newsam

Assistant Professor
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  • Career Highlights


    • B.M., Berklee College of Music
    • Performances with Jack Jones, Mitzi Gaynor, the Fifth Dimension, Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, Alan Dawson, Joe Williams, Buddy DeFranco, Dave McKenna, and John Raitt
    • Coauthor of Making Money Teaching Music, Writer's Digest Books
    • Extensive show, theater, concert, and club performances


In Their Own Words

"In my course called The Private Studio Teacher, I try to give my students the sense that they can avoid having to make a choice between music and a full-time job; this is a viable alternative. I try to bring in former students who are now doing just that—some even have their own business and have made teaching a full-time career."

"A lot of my private lessons and labs focus on nylon string classical guitar. Since I'm able to balance electric and classical guitar, I can help my students understand the technical issues with classical guitar and how they differ from electric guitar. There's always a performance at the end of each semester, even if it's just a small informal recital. It doesn't matter if it's for four or five classmates, or 400 or 500 people in the Performance Center; it's the same process, and I think it's really valuable to students to experience it."

"To walk out of school and have professional opportunities—that's what I want for my students. If I can recommend any of my students for performances I can't accept, then I've succeeded. The students who go above and beyond what is asked of them are the students I end up performing with or who have successful teaching businesses. They're the ones who possess that inspiration to go well beyond what I gave them. In a concert I just did, two of the four other performers were former students of mine, and both of them are successful performers and teachers."

"I also want my students to have a joy for what they're doing. One of the things I always tell them as they head into spring break or summer vacation is to get back to why they are doing this in the first place. I think it's easy for students to lose that passion for music as they're struggling to get this project done or practice that scale. I really hope they maintain that passion for what brought them to Berklee in the first place."

"To be able to spend my whole life just doing music is really rewarding. I am fortunate in being one of those people that never really had to do anything else in my life except music. It may not be the most financially rewarding career that I could have chosen, but it really is a great thing to be able to go off to work every day looking forward to what I'm about to do."