Wayne Berman, '87 (BardCorps)
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Helene Tieger '85
Wayne came to Bard when he was twenty five years old. He remembers Leon Botstein's advice at orientation, which would inform not only his mode of thinking as a student, but his approach to learning throughout his life. Leon charged the freshmen to take another class every time they thought that they had too much on their plate. These words resonated with Wayne, who states: "I live my life that way. I've found that your plate just keeps growing—if you take on more, your plate grows." Wayne also learned to 'talk to the texts,' to interact, not just accept what was written. He believes that these two strategies have allowed him to absorb more knowledge than he would have ever thought possible.
Wayne describes the music scene at Bard in the eighties as a time when students would cover each other's songs rather than the ones that were popular. His moderation show, which he describes as "almost a cabaret," combined his association with 'Robbins Readings' with his ever-growing appreciation of music. His senior project was called "Knee Bends of a Puppet," an enormous production that utilized film, slides, a theater troupe, dancers, and an extraordinary range of musicians.
He also describes Professor Ben Boretz as a mentor who changed his world and challenged his way of thinking. Ben's 'Open Space' classes were a way of making sound together that were not exclusive based on some skill set, ie: jazz, classical, or rock.
Wayne's senior project prepared him well for his work at Wayne Berman Music Studios in Florida, where he is able to compose music, direct plays, and teach children and people of all ages. He also discusses his philosophy of teaching, first learned at Bard, which he calls "invitational education," finding a balance between three things that he believes to be profoundly different: instruction, teaching, and education.
Sarah Lawrence, Bennington, Language and Thinking Program, Leon Botstein, Gary Mosca, Robbins Readings, Pat Ryan, Cultural Events Club, Bard Makes Noise, Rhinecliff Hotel, Annandale House, Benjamin Boretz, Brook House, Cruger Island, Blithewood, Cruger Village, Graveyard, Robbins, Catskills, Wagner, John Cage
BardCorps Trailer, Main Campus
Berman, Wayne, "Wayne Berman, '87 (BardCorps)" (2014). All Oral Histories. 31.
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