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"More than anything I want students to get to the point—not sometime in the future, not sometime at the end of the week or the semester or their time at Berklee, but even in that moment—to allow themselves to play, not constantly editing it and judging it and controlling it. There's a place for that when we're practicing and learning, but there's got to be a moment where you let yourself play, and I try to have that time in every lesson."
"I use a sports analogy all the time. Let's take a great baseball player, Kevin Youkilis. You rarely see him disappoint anybody. But just think of how many times he gets up and practices batting. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of times. What does he do before the game, even when the season's in full swing? He goes to batting practice. Now it's the game. We're in the bottom of the ninth, there are two outs, bases are loaded. Kevin Youkilis comes up. The last thing he wants to think about is his swing. He has to just stand there and trust all of that preparation, that he can react creatively to the next pitch. And that's kind of how we have to play. We have to practice and practice and practice and practice, and now in the moment we have to let everything go and just play."
"I graduated from Berklee in '81. I taught here from '86 to '90. Then I taught at a school in Los Angeles for about 10 years. There is no other place that I've experienced where contemporary music is the curriculum. I've been back in Boston for two years now, and the first thing I did was try to find a way to get back into the Berklee community. I was fortunate that last semester they called me and asked me to start teaching in the Bass Department. The college has changed radically, dramatically. The two most obvious things are just the acquirement of property and technology. It used to be just Mass. Ave and the Boylston Street building, now it keeps on extending Berklee tentacles: the Uchida building, Cafe 939.... And we're on the cutting edge of technology. A lot of schools are not there at all."
"I crave playing. I would play seven nights a week if I were called to do it. Last Thursday I was called to do an 11-piece soul band in Providence: four horn players, three singers, and a four-piece rhythm section, bass, drums, guitar, and keyboard. They had two books that were like phone books for charts. Every note was written, which is very challenging for a bass player, to have to read that kind of music on the spot all night long. The next day, I taught a reading lab, and I said to them, 'Don't think this is just an extra credit. This isn't just something you need to do to graduate Berklee. I can guarantee you the better you read the more hirable you are as a bass player.' And I used that night as an example. And because I was able to read, not only will they call me back, but all the guys wanted my card, and they will then call or recommend me. That's just how it works."