"My dad was my first influence as a kid; he played and sang classic standard tunes every night after work. As a child I was always listening, always trying to imitate, and was actually training my ears without knowing it. That shaped my learning style; I'm always processing music by ear. I often get ideas listening to others perform, both at Berklee and outside the college."
"I encourage my students to go with their own learning styles rather than adopting someone else's. And I say, never be discouraged by someone better than you; just put in the time to develop yourself without fighting it. In my private lessons, I try to get inside my students' heads to find out what they're hearing and understanding, to see what they can play, and then help them take it to the next step."
"How to inspire a student—or whether I'm even supposed to inspire—is always a mystery. Sometimes I just play for them and that gets them excited. I also try to go hear my students perform, and go out of my way to give them positive feedback, because we're all our own harshest critics."
"I want my students to enjoy what they're doing. I try to get them to show me that joy, and to bring in a piece of music they want to play. It's not that I don't want them to play classics, but success really comes when you're working on things you're passionate about. And I want my students to take what they enjoy doing and do it better."