"I focus on harmonic concepts. I like for each student to know exactly what the harmony is and what the chords are. I really think that this is very important for both vocalists and pianists to know where they are in the form. So I'm very picky on that aspect."
"I like to start with a new tune that they have never heard or worked on to introduce a new technique. Sometimes for vocalists it's hard to work on their own tunes because they are used to singing them in a certain way—it's very hard for them to adjust or to improvise on the melody. Improvisation is a very important aspect of singing and playing, and I like to work on that with each student during private lessons."
"I work a lot as a leader and also as a side player, so I'm trying to teach students how to be a leader and how to be a side player. If I'm performing with my own group, I decide what to play. This is challenging in a way, because you have to think which tunes to put in your set list and how to organize a set that is not boring for the audience. At the same time, as a side player, you need to try to understand what the leader wants you to play. Even if you don't have the melody written, you need to try to use voicings that don't interfere with the melody. Don't play too much. Try to be more respectful of the leader. If you are playing for a vocalist, also try not to interfere with the melody or play too many fields that may distract the melody—give it more space."
"The Voice Department, like all the departments that I've been working with, has the privilege of having a variety of students that come from different countries. I feel that there is a really open-minded approach; everyone is open to hearing something different, from India, from China, from Japan, from Russia. I feel like this is unique at Berklee."