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Richard Mendelson is a senior faculty member in the Music Production and Engineering Department at Berklee College of Music. A longtime educator, Mendelson specializes in mixing and recording. His former students include many Grammy Award–winning mixing and recording engineers.
Mendelson's work has been featured in recordings by artists such as Rihanna, Nicole Scherzinger, Fergie, and Garbage, and he is a first-call mix-down engineer in the Boston area. Mendelson is an expert in digital sampling, and has created more than 10 international bestselling sample products for Big Fish Audio and East/West Communications.
"My experience is that the more you distance yourself from your students, the worse the result. You have to realize that teaching, at its more fundamental level, is communication. Communication of information, yes, but also on a personal level, it's about connecting with people."
"The more you can really relate to your students and what they're going through—the challenges that they face, the fears that they may have, both about school and their professional lives afterward—the more that you can understand them and be understood by them."
"I've really found that teaching causes you to look far more deeply at what you're doing, and it helps you get better when you continue to work professionally in the field. When you're working in a studio with an artist, the artist is not focused on the process, unlike a student. Students will challenge you, and make you really think about all your choices: why are you using this microphone, this technique?"
"There's such a spirit of excitement, enthusiasm, and interest from the students, and it causes you to look very carefully and deeply into what you're doing. And in so doing, you get better at both roles. When I'm a teacher, I'm also a recording engineer. I'm not one or the other. I find that those different roles—as an engineer and a mixer and a producer, as well as a teacher—they really feed one another."