Berklee / Independent
"My teaching style comes from life experience. The number one aspect of playing music is feel and time. You have to have great feel and great time; great touch, finesse, and interpretation. And you have to have good hands to impact what you do on a kit. So I make sure that their hands are cool. I'm not saying you have to have hands like Buddy Rich, but you have to have good enough technique to able to play a great beat. When you get out there in real world, it's nothing about chops. What gets you the gig is feel and time. It's how comfortable can you make this music sound and feel.
"I always tell my students, 'You have to ask yourself two questions.' You have to look in the mirror and say, 'Do I have the talent to succeed?' The second question, which is the most important, is, 'Am I willing to work hard to succeed?'
"At Berklee, no one can tell me that you can't practice two hours a day. Not quantity, but quality. If you did that, how good would you be at the end of a semester? How about at the end of the year? How about at the end of four years? If you do that, and you've got a great attitude and work ethic, you'll make it, because there's room for everyone at the top.
"I'll give my students three or four songs to learn in the course of the week, and I'll tell them, 'When you come in this office, think of me as Quincy Jones, or a high-profile producer, and you've got to play it down in one take. If I don't have to get up, then you've played it letter perfect. If I have to get up, then you've got to repeat it. So the ideal thing to do is practice.'
"I teach a lot of early semester students. I can really guide them. I like taking kids and just nurturing that seed and just watching them blossom as the semester goes on."