Jimmy Kachulis

Professor
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Jimmy Kachulis teaches songwriting and lyric writing at Berklee, conducts clinics nationwide, and has helped thousands of songwriters develop and maximize their skills. Look through the bios of some of today's best songwriters, and his name comes up again and again; his students' works have earned Grammy nominations, and been recorded by a vast range of artists on major and independent labels. An accomplished composer, arranger and conductor, he has worked with legendary artists such as George Coleman, Jon Hendricks, John Lewis and Martha Reeves, and his compositions have been featured on scores from The Sopranos to Touched By an Angel. Kachulis's songs and arrangements for "Island Breeze," by legendary guitarist, Eric Gale, have been re-released and distributed worldwide under the Warner Brothers label.

  • Career Highlights
    • Arranger and composer or conductor for Eric Gale, Stuff, George Coleman, Jon Hendricks, Frank Foster, Martha Reeves, John Lewis, Empire Brass Quintet, and String Fever
    • Guitarist for Eric Gale, Stuff, A Chorus Line, and Pe De Boi
    • Papers delivered include "Ewe Polyphony" and "Ewe Bell Improvisation" at the Society for Ethnomusicology conferences
    • Listed in Who's Who of American Teachers
  • Education
    • B.S., Hunter College
    • M.A., Tufts University

In Their Own Words

"There are no other songwriting majors in the world. We're the only show in town. If you want to study songwriting full time, you have to come to Berklee College of Music. If anybody else teaches songwriting, they usually teach the business of songwriting, the publishing side. A couple places that I'm aware of have a songwriting course and a course in how to write lyrics. Lyrics are something that most people can relate to because a lot of them have either read or written poetry or short stories. Most of them have written some lyrics before they've come into class. So it's not that big of a leap to become a better lyric writer. But a lot of people don't really know what's going on musically in a song."

"It's been a real challenge for us to find a curriculum that works. That's why I wrote these books and online courses, which are basically very interactive exercises that I've designed. It's a fantastic resource. We've expanded the time that students can spend on a topic. Students in class only see me for two hours a week; the online students can interact with those exercises 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anytime they feel like it."

"I wrote the books and courses to give writers the same sort of daily training that instrumentalists get. Instrumentalists practice their instrument every day; if there's a day that goes by they feel the difference. So I wrote these dozens and dozens of little exercises to give people the skills that they can practice on a daily basis."