Recently, I had the honor of conducting a masterclass, along with keyboard synth pioneer and Johns Hopkins University Professor Thomas Dolby, on the rhythm section at Oxford University. My lecture examined questions such as: What is time? What is rhythm? How do we define a rhythm section and what are the roles or functions that the individual members play in it? What does it mean to groove?
Joo Won Park (www.joowonpark.net) graduated in 2001 as a dual major of Music Synthesis and Contemporary Writing & Production. He is now working as a Visiting Assistant Professor of computer music at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio. Joo Won is also a performing electronic musician.
Name: Joo Won Park Major(s): Music Synthesis, Contemporary Writing & Production Hometown: Seoul, Korea Current City: Oberlin, OH
How does your degree play a role in your current career path?
I am currently teaching computer music at the Oberlin Conservatory. Many teaching jobs at the universities require that you have Master’s degree or higher. Berklee has given me right training and experience to pursue masters and PhD in music. I also have been in contact with my Berklee professors for 12 years. They have helped and supported my through my graduate school years and beyond as a mentor and role model.
Stephanie Solomonoff Reich is a professor of Liberal Arts who teaches in the music and society and social sciences concentrations. Her specialties/interests are in the research of diverse cultures that inspire and reflect musical creativity, with a teaching focus on urban studies and American southern cultures. Prior to teaching, Reich worked in government and public policy. At Berklee, she has returned to her roots in music (violin and voice) and as a Berklee Fellowship recipient, is presently documenting the works and life of the great jazz artist, Paul Nero.
Ah, New England winter, you have clobbered us with monumental drifts, ice dams, frozen pipes, wrecked transit, and space saver wars. At Berklee, these past weeks have wreaked havoc on both faculty and students. Trying to hold class online or at the very least communicate with students has been challenging, but I was grateful to have the technology available.
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.