Berklee Student

Robert DeBruyn

Berklee Student
"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery" -- Mark van Doren 
Member since 2010

About Me

My interest in music started in the fifth grade, when I picked up saxophone as a part of the elementary band program in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Over the next seven years, I threw myself into every musical opportunity I could find, including (in addition to keeping up with saxophone lessons from Berklee professor Jeff Harrington) taking piano lessons, playing mellophone in a DCI champion drum corps, playing marimba in a WGI champion percussion ensemble, singing in the choir, playing in a university wind ensemble, and even substituting as the church organist for over a month. I was lucky enough to receive instruction through a Berklee alum in the areas of harmony and ear training, and as a result, wrote a number of jazz tunes my senior year of high school. The huge variety of experiences I encountered as a student set me up for a successful application and audition at Berklee College of Music.

Here at Berklee, I have been studying music education, and applying my knowledge in outside work. I am currently working as a tutor in the Berklee Learning Center, assisting fellow students in the areas of ear training, jazz and traditional harmony, and arranging. I also provide private instruction on saxophone to a number of students.

As of late, my main focus has been on looking into the psychology of creativity and applying it to music education, especially the work of Dr. Beth A. Hennessey and her colleagues at Wellesley College. In a (very) brief explanation, extrinsic motivators (expected evaluation, surveillance, competition) have been found to severely hinder a person’s creative abilities while intrinsic motivators have been found to nurture and enhance creativity. I hope to utilize a huge assortment of resources in developing new methods of teaching music (or any subject matter) in such a way that students’ motivations are intrinsic rather than extrinsic, allowing for full creativity.

My Websites

Experience & Education


  • Tutor for Berklee College of Music Learning Center
    January 2011 to Present (over 8 years)

    I teach weekly hour long sessions to students in need of assistance in their harmony, ear training, arranging and traditional harmony courses.

  • Woodwind Instructor for Self Employed
    September 2010 to Present (over 9 years)

    I offer private woodwind instruction to students of all ages and abilities.


  • Teachers Aid for Mansfield High School
    September 2008 to May 2009 (8 months)

    I acted as a teacher's to a general music/music theory class, with the opportunity to teach the class with my own lesson plans. Students were in grades 9-12.

  • Teachers Aid for Qualters Middle School
    September 2008 to May 2009 (8 months)

    I had the opportunity of assisting in the direction of the Qualters Middle School Jazz Band, Concert Band, Concert Choir and Percussion Ensemble. Students were in grades 6-8.


  • BA in Music Education at Berklee College of Music
    2009 to 2013 (4 years)