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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: How was it to be a teacher at Berklee?
Category: Teaching
From: berklee commencement address 97 (usa)

How was it to be a teacher at Berklee?

Pat’s Answer:

having grown up in the small town of lee's summit, missouri, at the time i moved to boston, (i was 19 at the time) i had never really lived on the east coast in an urban environment. although i had had quite bit of playing experience by that time, in kansas city and then later in miami, i had certainly never seen so many good players all in one place like here in boston. the level of musicianship of the students and teachers around berklee then, like now, was quite inspiring and really amazing for me coming from this little town in missouri like i did. i think the first few years i was in boston was probably the time that whatever style i have developed as a player crystallized and this was largely due to the incredibly stimulating musical environment that was boston at that time. honestly, though, looking back on it now, i was far from a great teacher, and i guess to my credit, i realized this pretty quickly, had no delusions about it and actually didn't teach very long, just a couple semesters. at the time, i was totally involved in trying to figure out a way of doing things with my instrument musically that would fit the ideas that i had in my head, and i was deep in the zone of practicing almost constantly. when i was actually teaching, most of my lessons consisted of me relating whatever thing i was working on myself right then to the guy who happened to get assigned to me. whatever i had figured out by that time, i tried to show to everyone else. in retrospect, that's probably not the most advanced way of being a teacher, but i was trying hard to do as good as i could do.