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"I want students to have the conviction that their accomplishments and "artistic voice" is the result of "being their own teacher," that the "storytelling" aspect of their artistic journey comes from their lives. It's great to have teachers, mentors and influences, but they should celebrate primarily their individual efforts, explorations, and vision!"
"I came here right out of high school; my parents told me to get in the car with a suitcase. They basically dropped me off in the lobby and left. They said, 'This is your graduation present!' I had already been enrolled in another college in upstate New York for the following year. But, having spent seven weeks here, as soon as I got to the other college I knew it was the wrong place for me. The next September I was back at Berklee!"
"I've always had a passion for teaching that's equal to performing, being published, and recording. If I'm not excited about it, why would anybody else be?"
"There has to be give and take; there has to be tolerance. People always want to play with people who are more experienced than them, but in order to do that, those who are more experienced have to have an appreciation that nobody knows everything, and that they can learn something from somebody who's been playing for a shorter time. In order for this to work, we have to give each person their due and all be supportive."
"I tell students to try to have a long-range goal of five years, a shorter-range goal of a year, and then we start breaking it down to what we want to do by next week. And of course, what are we going to do today? Then we can jot down some short notes, and look at it every few weeks and evaluate. The plan can always be altered over time. I always tell them that if they more than double their age, I'm still older than they are, so they have so much time on this planet! Don't worry about the time pressure. Things need to cook at their own rate. As long as you're enjoying the moment—that's it, stop there. Have a generalized plan, but you can reevaluate at any point. Take the pressure off. Enjoy what you're doing."
"I still feel like it's 1974 and I'm walking down the street as a student. I don't ever want to lose that. That gives me motivation to come in and look forward to the day. When I teach, we both learn!"