James Ross Ramsay, faculty in the Piano Department at Berklee College of Music, has been teaching piano for 25 years, and has been included in the "Who's Who List of American Teachers" several times. He composes and produces music for local and national television, radio, cable, and video programs, and has been a featured soloist on piano and keyboards with various artists touring throughout the United States and Europe.
Ramsay is a product specialist and clinician for Yamaha Corporation of America in digital musical instruments in the company's Pro Audio Division. He received a Bachelor of Music from Berklee in 1986.
"I want students to have an understanding of how they can attain whatever they want, to leave feeling prepared to be their own teacher. I want them to have enough foundational knowledge with technique and harmony and all the different things that we talk about that even if they're faced with something completely different from what we were doing, they'll have enough understanding that they can be intelligent about the way they do it."
"Our students run the gamut from a 17-year-old right out of high school who's played in rock bands to someone who already has a master's degree in music and is a tremendous player in one style and comes here to learn another. It's the most extreme place I think that you can teach because of the variety of styles and the variety of students. I had a student who was 65 from Japan who just retired and decided that he wanted to come back to school and learn music."
"At least initially, you get a lot of people who are from another country and kids who are very young and away from home for the first time, and their private lesson teachers are about the only one-on-one people that they have to talk to. We're the ones they know they can email or go see and get some advice."
"At Berklee you get the range of studying classical music, jazz, pop, turntable, hip-hop, just every type of music available to you. If you don't know that it's there, how do you know if it's something you want to do or not? When you come here, everywhere you turn you're going to have something else that you haven't heard that may be really eye-opening to you. Because of all the different influences and all the different styles and all the students from all over the world, you're definitely exposed to many, many things."