Dennis Cecere

  • Career Highlights
    • Independent producer in the pop and rock recording market
    • Concerts on piano with the Silver Bullet Swing Orchestra
    • Performances with the Boston Big Band, Full House, Big Dig, Hip Pocket Orchestra, and Timelight
    • Back-up for the Shangra-Las, the Platters, the Drifters, the Coasters, the Marvelettes, Johnny Preston, and Lou Christie
    • Musical director, sound engineer, and arranger for Big Dig
    • Performer and arranger for numerous record labels
    • Composer of radio jingles for local and national clients, including Chevrolet and Toyota
  • Education
    • Alumnus, Berklee College of Music

In Their Own Words

"I'm one of the few who teach in both the Writing and Performance divisions. I teach Hammond Techniques, Organ Grooves Ensemble, Tech Tools, Basic Keyboard 1 and 2, an organ course for pianists, a Hammond B-3 class, song demo production in the recording studio, and Tech Tools. And I'm again teaching a course I wrote in the '70s, the Commercial Band Workshop. It's a course on how to play and run various types of functions like weddings and bar mitzvahs—it's been labeled the 'survival kit' course."

"I also teach the ensemble that plays for the Song Demo Production class. Their goal for the semester is to sound like a band that's played together their whole life, from the first note to the last, the first time through. I don't allow them to see any of the music until they walk into the studio. I set it up like this: If you're going to become a studio musician, this is how it's going to happen, and this is how you're going to have to deal with it."

"I've studied a lot of books and taken seminars on positive thinking, and that has had a huge influence on how I teach. In piano classes, I teach how to use visualization during practice. A handful of students take it seriously and excel quickly because of it. Usually one or two students get more on a personal level with me about it, because they want to work on refining those skills once they find that it does help."

"When I first started teaching, I think I was more the 'professor' guy than someone the students could relate to. I've found through the years how important it is for students to relate to you; they learn and absorb more, and it's a better environment for them. When I started to get more into the positive thinking and attitude, that made a big difference. Now I'm more 'me' in the classroom."