Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: Faculty (Page 2 of 4)


Faculty Focus: Nancy Morris

Post authored by Erin Gernon, marketing assistant for Summer Programs.

A few of us are lucky enough to find a place that clicks, and for Nancy Morris, Berklee College of Music seems to be that place.

A talented singer, songwriter, and pianist, Morris has been a Berklee faculty member for 14 years in the Ensemble Department. She returned to Berklee after attending as an undergraduate in the late 1970’s. She currently teaches Songwriting, in addition to ensemble courses.

“If I was going to teach somewhere, I can’t imagine teaching anywhere else,” she said.

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Remembering Steve Prosser

Last week, Berklee lost an incredible educator, musician, and friend with the death of Steve Prosser. Like most, I learned of Steve’s passing late Wednesday night when students, fellow instructors, and friends of Steve began flooding facebook with their memories of Steve and also their sorrow at his passing. The huge outpouring of love for Steve that I’ve seen on social media is a testament to Steve’s excellence as a musician and professor at Berklee, but also of his character and larger than life personality.

While I only took one semester of ear training with Steve, I consider that time in his class an honor. Steve Prosser has been a legend at Berklee for quite some time now, and all my upper-semester friends insisted that I take ear training with him when given the chance. And sure enough,I found Steve to be just as humorous, passionate about teaching, and genuinely invested in his students as everyone had raved he would be.

Of all his attributes, I was probably most fond of Steve’s desire that his students be more than just skilled musicians, but concerned individuals about the world around us. Almost every class we would talk about the current news of the day, Berklee or otherwise, and I’ll never forget his voracious appetite for knowledge and his interest in learning more about all his students and the different cultural backgrounds we all came from. Even when we practiced dictations, Steve would pick music in a foreign language, frequently from scores to foreign language films, to help our class broaden our musical palettes. Of course, Steve is well-known for his humor too, and his anecdotes about Steve Jobs, the Fens in the 80’s, and well, everything in the 80’s, are still some of my fondest memories from his class.

Like many students, I knew Steve Prosser wasn’t well, as he had to cancel many of our classes due to health issues. But I was encouraged when I saw him on the sidewalk near the 150 building not even two weeks ago, looking healthy as ever and walking with an elderly man down Boylston Street. I can’t think of a better memory of Steve as my last than him selflessly assisting his fellow man and taking his time to enjoy every second of his conversation with his companion on a chilly Boston day.

Because the news of his passing and the collective memory of Steve has only been shared through closed social media platforms, Berklee-Blogs would like to invite the Berklee community to share their memories of Steve here for us all to mourn his passing together and also cherish the life he lived.

Rest in peace, Steve. Rest in peace.

– Elisa Rice


Post script — Kristine Adams, Steve Prosser’s ex-wife and fellow Berklee faculty member, has been gracious enough to share some unpublished photos of Steve.

Steve Prosser and his mother, Betty, at his marriage to Kristine Adams. Kristine writes “He loved his mother very much and I know he would want to have her be part of any memorial.”


Steve Prosser and Berklee faculty member Paul Del Nero playing at concert directed by Ken Pullig in Boston.


Steve Prosser and his Jazz Choir (including current Berklee faculty Charlie Sorrento, Gaye Tolan Hatfield, and Kristine Adams and Berklee alumnae Camille Schmidt, Randy Crenshaw, and Bill “Orange” Lyons) at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in 1982 for Ted Kennedy’s 50th birthday party.

Building A Home And Community In New Orleans

Well, I’ve been back in Boston for a few days now, and I admit I’ve not yet fully digested the emotions and experiences of volunteering with New Orleans Habitat for Humanity through Berklee’s Gracenotes trip. Having never been to the “Birthplace of Jazz”, I made the journey with few preconceived expectations. The culture, local attractions, cuisine, and condition of the city after the 2005 hurricane and the rebuilding that followed…I was completely in the dark. The only thing I knew with certainty was that I’d hear lots of diverse, amazing music. And I was not disappointed!

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Berklee City Music Teacher Feature: Winston Maccow

We sat down recently with Berklee professor, and Berklee City Music teacher Winston Maccow. He shared his experience and methods of teaching.

What did you study when you were a student at Berklee?
My major at Berklee was Jazz Composition and Arranging. I did a lot of writing. It was really helpful.

What are the age ranges of your students?
I teach high school students from 14 to 16, and Berklee students anywhere from 17 to 27.

What are some of the highlights of working with Berklee City Music students?
One of the highlights of working with City Music Students is watching them grow and watching them perform with guest artists.

How do you keep the students motivated?
One way of keeping them motivated is to find out their own interests. As a teacher I can provide materials, and I can have a structure of doing things, but sometimes the students are not up to doing what the teacher asks. So, I always find out what music they enjoy. I always ask, “What are you into? How can I work with you?” Or, I might ask them to teach me something. There’s always a way to keep them motivated and challenged.

Watch the rest of the interview with Winston…

Andrea Pejrolo: iPad in the Classroom

Contemporary writing and production assistant chair Andrea Pejrolo led a session about using iPads in the classroom at this year’s Berklee Teachers on Teaching (BTOT) faculty development conference. In this post, he gives and overview of the presentation.

We just finished our BTOT session entitled “iPad in the Classroom: New Solutions for Curriculum Development and Delivery.” The panel that Jerry Smith and I put together featured (in addition to Jerry and me) a diverse group of excellent educators and professionals: Dr. Richard Boulanger (EPD), Suzanne Clark (Harmony), Loudon Stearns (CWP), Michael Sweet (Film Scoring), and Stephen Webber (MP&E).

The idea to have a dedicated group in charge of exploring the possibilities that this new tool brings to the classroom started two years ago, right after the launch of the iPad 1 from a visionary initiative that Jerry Smith started. Last year we presented at BTOT with a smaller group and this year we grew considerably, covering most of the areas of the college.

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