Tyler Berg | Instructor Bio

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  • What is your teaching philosophy?
    My teaching philosophy is rooted in the virtue of patience, and a deep respect for each students unique learning process. Most importantly, I want my students to experience music lessons as a fun, engaging, and rewarding experience. 

    How long have you been teaching music? At YMP?
    I have been teaching music in Chicago for the past decade and am excited to be newly relocated to Portland. My first term with YMP begins in January 2017.

    What is your favorite thing about teaching music?
    My favorite thing about teaching music is sharing and supporting the students through the highs and lows of the journey, and of course the “ah-ha” breakthrough moments that happen throughout the learning process. 

  • What do you expect of your students in classes/lessons? 
    I expect my students to come to classes/lessons with a positive attitude, as prepared as possible, try their best, and treat everyone involved with respect.

    What do you expect of student’s parents?
    I expect parents to be supportive of their kids musical study, encourage practice around the house, and be communicative about things outside of YMP that may be affecting their kids behavior or performance inside the classroom.

    When did you first start playing music?

    I began playing music at the age of 8 on piano.

    What is your educational background?  Did you study music in school and/or privately?
    I received my BA in Jazz Studies from Columbia College Chicago in 2010 and have received formal training on piano, guitar, bass, trumpet, violin, percussion, and voice.

    Do you play in any bands / perform in the Portland area?
    As a recent transplant I am still building connections for freelance performance work. For now you can catch me around town playing with the Blue Wave wedding band, and hopefully in the near future playing Jazz and other original music. 
    What is the first song you learned how to play and how old were you?
    The first song I learned to play was the theme to Peter Gunn from the Blues Brothers movie when I was 7 or 8. 
    How do you handle mistakes while practicing or during a performance?
    Mistakes made in the practice room and while on stage are two very different things. My personal goal when practicing is to work on things I am not good at- if most people heard my practice they would think I’m an amateur because of how many mistakes I am constantly making! Mistakes made while performing are of course less ideal, but once a student realizes that they are inevitable and every musician makes them, it’s easier to keep on playing as if nothing happened. 

    Describe a skill on your instrument that was a challenge and you’ve had to work very hard to achieve. 

    Playing with physical and mental relaxation yet musical intensity has been a personal crux, and is something I’m constantly working on. Practicing yoga, meditation, and cultivating mindfulness has been of great asset in this pursuit. 

    Who are your musical influences?
    Aside from everyone, ever, I must give a shout out to Baby Dodds for being the first person to play a drum set in a configuration similar to what we see today. 
    What do you feel when you play music?
    I try to let the music and whatever else I may be processing internally dictate how I feel when playing at any certain time. For me it’s important to approach playing music with an openness to exploration and respect for the moment. 

    If you had the chance to study and/or perform with any musician, living or deceased, who would it be?
    That’s a tough one- the shortlist would include: J Dilla, John Coltrane, Fela Kuti, and Erik Satie.
    When did you know you wanted to be musician?
    I knew I wanted to pursue music professionally when I was first introduced to Coltrane’s album “A Love Supreme” in high school.

    If you weren’t a musician/teacher what might you be?
    In another life, I might have been some sort of biologist fighting for global warming awareness.