Susan Hagen

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Career Highlights
  • Plays double bass
  • Extra player with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops/Pops Esplanade Orchestra
  • Has performed with Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra, Boston Ballet Orchestra, Boston Classical Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Plymouth Philharmonic, Winsor Music, Radius Ensemble, and Chameleon Arts
  • Recordings on BMOP Sound, Canteloupe, Arsis, Boston Symphony live with James Levine, Boston Pops live at Christmas, and more
  • B.M., Boston University School of Music, music performance, double bass
  • M.M., Boston University School of Music, music performance, double bass
In Their Own Words

"I like to give positive reinforcement and make my students to feel good but also inspire them to practice. I’d like them to come away with the ability to play upright bass in a manner that they’re not going to ever have to deal with injuries from playing. You’ve got to be careful sometimes."

"(I try to emphasize) really being aware of what you’re doing. A lot of times we form habits without even knowing it, and trying to point out to everyone little things they might not have known they were doing and ways they can improve them to be more efficient. I love being able to practice efficiently; I don’t ask my kids to practice three to four hours a day just for me, knowing they have other things to do." 

"I’ve had a pretty successful career, so hopefully I’m able to convince people by the way my career has gone; if you try this, it’s going to work, you’re going to sound great, and you’re never going to get hurt."

"I’ve taken ideas from all different people and sort of personalized it for me, and I do that for my students. I tell him or her how I do it, but we’re not all strung together the same way, so I individualize what I do and tweak it for each student."

"Basically what I’m doing is technique. So in a way it’s at first removed from any style of playing, it’s more like set-up, then I show them: this is how you can use it if you’re playing Bach, this is how you can use it if you’re playing in the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, this is how you can use it if you’re playing jazz or blues. You still have to hold it the same way and use your hands the same way."