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"I took formal lessons in high school and played in a folk rock band at Brown, but I didn't get a background in jazz theory and arranging until I went to Berklee at age 25, when I finally knew that I wanted to try for a career in music."
"In Writing Skills, my challenge is to help freshmen appreciate the importance of really understanding the fundamentals. They should be secure enough with the material that they can teach it to someone else. I am very invested in my students' success, so I insist that they come to see me if they are struggling with the material."
"What I teach, my students need for everything that comes after. Musicians need to be able to communicate with each other verbally, musically, and on the written page. Understanding the conventions makes everyone's life easier: people will read your music more accurately and have a more enjoyable time doing it."
"Everything we do in Writing Skills is tied to our ears, which is where it has its musical meaning. You can tell someone what something is called, but if you can't sing it or clap it or tap it, it doesn't have a whole lot of meaning. I tell students that the ability to hear clearly is probably the most important skill for a musician."
"Every class, I bring several recordings to listen to, spanning classical music to music of Latin and South America, to '60s R&B hits, to contemporary pop. I bring in things that I love, so that my students can see what musically excites me. Being a teacher is terrifically satisfying work, and getting to teach music to young musicians is great."