Stan Strickland

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Career Highlights
  • Vocalist, saxophonist, and flutist
  • Leader of Stan Strickland & Ascension, and the Stan Strickland Trio
  • Member, the Bob Moses-Stan Strickland Duo, the Laszlo Gardony-Stan Strickland Duo, Mama Tongue, and the Phil Argyris Quintet
  • Performances with the Boston Pops, Take Six, Herbie Mann, Marlena Shaw, Pharaoh Sanders, Danilo Perez, and Yusef Lateef
  • Recordings with Stan Strickland and Ascension, Bob Moses, Brute Force, and others
In Their Own Words

"I'm teaching two unusual classes. One is called Musical Independence, which is basically a class for singers to develop some piano self-accompanying skills and to think about putting a song together. Then I have a liberal arts class called Sound, Body, and Performance. It's a very comprehensive class, looking at a holistic approach to performing. We do a lot of hand drumming, movement, meditating, and breathing. It fulfills a science requirement, so there's a lot of reading."

"I also teach Classical Rhythm Section Blues, which is a way for singers to learn how to communicate with the band: what key you're in, what the feel is, what is the language that instrumentalists use among themselves. I've had people who can't find notes on the keyboard or don't know how to spell chords. If you're a singer, you don't need much to create something. You could tap on the table and get something going with your voice, so you could use a minimum amount of technique. But I try to emphasize that you're going to have to learn your scales and your chords, so this is a chance to see what are some of those holes that you may have."

"When I came to Boston I did a lot of accompanying dance classes. So when I went to grad school, I studied expressive arts therapy. That led to doing a lot of workshops in voice and movement therapy. I sort of developed a way of thinking of music as a whole body experience. My other job is with Express Yourself. We're funded mostly by the Department of Mental Health. We do a huge performance at the Citi Performing Arts Theater every year, with 100 kids and different guest artists: Blue Man Group or Stomp or Keith Lockhart from the Pops. We use the arts and music to destigmatize mental illness and create a context where kids can have a positive, strong expressive experience as opposed to acting out."