After twenty years on the jazz voice faculty of the Manhattan School of Music (many as the chair of the jazz voice department), Peter was asked to join the faculty at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.. At Berklee Peter teaches songwriting, arranging and a performance class in repertoire of the Great American Songbook, besides ongoing private lessons. Last year Peter was also asked to be ‘artist in residence’ at Western Michigan University, working with the vocal students there on composition, performance, musicianship and interpretation. Peter is also regularly asked to give masterclasses and concerts at various schools around the world, and has conducted a number of All State Vocal Jazz groups. He is regularly in demand for workshops and masterclasses both domestically and internationally, in topics ranging from vocal technique and song interpretation to songwriting and arranging.
Songwriting Workshop -
Peter loves to work with songwriters, from beginners to established composers (in all variety of styles) and this workshop helps songwriters strengthen their craft through various means such as class exercises, impromptu performances, and song analyzation. Topics include the art of editing (holding on to what feels absolutely vital to a particular song and letting go of what may not serve it), as well as the use of language, playing with harmonic and melodic elements, changing a basic component (rhythm, tonality, etc) to bring out something stronger, as well as the concept of less rhyming. Songwriting is obviously an extremely personal thing and Peter is respectful of that, while at the same time trying to inspire his students to go a little deeper.
Before and After /
the Art of Song Reinvention
- in this workshop, Peter and students take well-established jazz, pop or soul tunes and ‘reinvent’ them - taking the essence of the song and turning it upside down (harmonically, rhythmically, structurally, lyrically) to bring about a new ‘life’ or a different meaning or intention to the tune. It’s a fun ‘lab’ of sorts, with contributions by all members of the worksop. A mix of arranging and performing with a very personalized slant.
The Duos Workshop
- Peter will join together with individual vocalists on the art of THE DUO, the joy of collaboration, of what can happen when two voices and a piano come together and find something organic and specific to their particular sound and aesthetic. The repertoire in the duo setting is all over the map stylistically. It all really depends on what kind of vocalist Peter is joining forces with. The Duo setting is an intimate experience with very little to hide behind, so honesty and vulnerability can shine through.
The Vocal Group Workshop - Peter spends time with a pre-existing vocal jazz choir, classical choir or even a new collection of singers and, through working on repertoire as well as group exercises, works on the issues of sound, blend, phrasing, rhythm, feel, lyric interpretation as a collective, stylistic integrity, emotional connection to the music, and the inherent joy of harmony singing.
Solo Interpretation Workshop
- Peter works one-on-one with vocalists in a masterclass setting, helping each one find the real essence of their particular voice and tune - all the various elements of good singing and performance are addressed - quality of sound, lyric interpretation and naturalness in phrasing, finding their own ‘voice’ and not just imitating, rhythmic focus, vibrato versus straight tone, sound and color of the voice, mixing, and stage presence. The goal of this workshop is to help the singer find what’s special and unique about their own sound and how to develop it.
Residential workshops: Perugia
...Remarkable poetry, beauty, charm and depth to spare.