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Charlie Christenson

Position
Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments
Faculty Bio E-Mail

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Dr. Charlie Christenson is an associate professor of music in Berklee College of Music's Voice Department. As a vocalist, keyboardist, and songwriter, he has continually challenged the status quo and forged his own aesthetic path. He is equally at home playing, singing, and improvising in a wide array of contemporary styles, particularly rock, R&B, folk, and jazz (all of which are represented in the working bands which he has led in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Miami, Florida; and New York, New York). His recordings can be found on Spotify and Apple Music, released independently and through the New York–based label Biophilia Records.

Prior to joining the Berklee faculty, Christenson taught at the University of Southern Maine, the University of Miami, and for six years served as the head of the Voice Department and director of the graduate program at the McNally Smith College of Music. His doctoral project, "A Study of Vocal Technique Through the Development of Four Advanced Études for Jazz and Contemporary Vocalists," was completed in spring 2020, and the first expanded collection of original voice études derived from this research is nearing completion for publication.

Education
  • D.M.A., University of Miami
  • M.M., Manhattan School of Music
  • B.M., Lawrence University
     
In Their Own Words

"My primary goal in mentoring students is to inspire, empower, and challenge them to manifest in the world the music they hear in their heads. I believe that by genuinely venturing to know my students (their music, their voice, etc.), they will in turn more deeply understand themselves. In the classroom or private studio setting, my students discover how and why they learn, their strengths, limitations, motivations, aspirations, and assumptions. With this knowledge they can accomplish anything."

I grew up during the advent of the 'do it yourself' revolution in the arts. From the very beginning, my music career has compelled me on a daily basis to participate in a broad spectrum of activities, including leading bands, creating artwork for album covers and posters, composing and arranging, developing websites, filming and editing video, teaching, booking tours, curating showcases, writing grant proposals, starting nonprofits, and on and on and on."

"As it turns out, my real expertise is in figuring things out and developing new aptitudes. I absolutely love to learn and am always open to trying new things. This approach has opened up a staggering amount of creative and entrepreneurial opportunities for me in my career, and it is these experiences and methods that I aspire to bring to my teaching each and every day."

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