Mike Pope

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments
Faculty Bio E-Mail

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Bassist Mike Pope is also a pianist, composer, and educator who has entered the academic world well into a fulfilling career as a player. His playing credits include a variety of styles on both electric and acoustic bass. With parents who are classical pianists, piano has been a central part of Pope's musical life and as such, it plays an important role in his teaching.

Career Highlights
  • Performances with Chick Corea Elektric Band, Randy Brecker, David Sanborn, Al DiMeola, and the Manhattan Transfer
  • Recordings include Mike Pope, Cold Truth, Warm HeartThe Lay of the Land, and Walk Your Dogma; Al DiMeola, Speak a Volcano; and Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group, Signing 
  • Appointed visiting professor of jazz by the Zhuhai Contemporary Music Institute Golden Jazz, China, in 2017
  • M.M., Towson University
  • B.M., University of North Texas
In Their Own Words

"As a doubler, I am a big believer in the idiomatic applications of the acoustic and electric bass, but also an open-minded proponent of crossing idioms and genres. As the music industry evolves, the lines that define styles are becoming more and more blurred. While style and genre is important, especially to session players, I think they should be seen as guidelines more than parameters or limitations. Everything has its practical historical place, and creativity inspires us to reach yet further."  

"As a pianist, harmony plays a big role in how and what I teach, and I spend significant time working on that. I believe that technique is a result of music and that it should be taught that way. So I encourage the use of exercises that address technical problems, which limit your ability to get the result you want. Very often, technical problems are as much mental as they are physical, and I address both aspects in my teaching. To the greatest degree possible, I aim to use what the student already has as a foundation on which to build, so as to mold students into better versions of themselves."

"I've played in a wide variety of musical situations, both low and high profile, and have experienced first-hand the challenges being versatile presents. I feel that both my successes and failures afford me the ability to help a student cultivate the skills necessary to succeed and the savvy to avoid making poor decisions."