Yes, Vicente Hansen Atria is an incredible composer-drummer, able to blend elements of incredibly different traditions into one coherent story. But, perhaps more importantly, Vicente is a good person. He genuinely listens to every student in class to hear about their experiences and their goals as young musicians. He is able to ask students to think more deeply about sensitive topics in music, like cultural appropriation or music as political art, while still caring deeply about each students' long term growth.

-James Pecore (Columbia College composition student)

Vicente was a great teacher to have in a small committee classroom. He pushed me and my peers to continually expand our compositional ideas while providing guidance and support to write music we were proud of showcasing. His pointed questions and discussions helped me focus my writing and not be afraid to get out of my comfort zone. Highly recommend!

-Esther Ollivier (Columbia College composition student)

Vicente is one of the greatest mentors that I have had in my career as a composer. Not only is he versed in multiple styles of music, displaying a deep knowledge of both music theory and practice, but he also manages to bring forward and explain the essence of each piece that he listens to with astounding detail. It is my strong belief that any aspiring composer will greatly benefit from having Vicente as a teacher, improving the student's understanding of his/her own work and motivating him/her to reach new artistic heights.

-Keith Daniels (professional composer and saxophone player)

Before I took lessons with Vicente, I was still struggling to make sense of a lot of concepts and ideas I was having as a beginner composer. Having studied with him for around a year now, I feel much more comfortable around scores, and have developed my ears at different levels, especially structure, sound and harmony. I highly recommend him as a teacher for young musicians.

-Felipe Castro (professional composer and producer)


When I first started composing in high school, I spent a summer taking lessons with Phillip Golub. He not only helped me initiate, develop, and refine my compositional practice, but introduced me to the work of some of the coolest avant-garde composers, who I still listen to today. He's an amazing jazz and classical theory teacher, and taught me some piano too! He's an incredible teacher, musician, and mentor.

-Isaac Pross (high school composition student)

We highly recommend Phillip, who taught composition to our son Leo when he was in high school. Phillip is a gifted composer and pianist who shares his extensive knowledge and passion for music. He is very professional, organised and inspiring with excellent communication skills. Under Phillip’s guidance, Leo made great progress and was later accepted in the Sanders Composer Fellowship Program at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. We are grateful that Leo had the opportunity to be his student!

-Pascale Vaquette & Les Major (parents of high school composition student)

For half a year, Phillip taught me composition, improv, and performance. Phillip is an incredibly talented, knowledgeable musician. In teaching, he demonstrated a strong intuition for distilling his experience into what I needed most at any given time. In his guidance, Phillip managed to strike a balance between technical & theoretical rigor and an openness to different ways to think about creativity and composition. More than anything else, it was clear that Phillip truly cared about me and my creative journey—he has stayed in touch with me and even brought me to see performances!

-Daniel Giebisch (Harvard student in creative music course)

As my first composition teacher, Phillip opened my eyes to a broad world of contemporary classical composers & provided me with the tools needed to conceive and execute concert pieces. Phillip provided tailored feedback on my compositions that challenged me while allowing me to develop my personal voice. Many of the scores we studied remain as part of the bedrock of the music I write today & I couldn't recommend him more as a composition professor for high school aged students!

-Leo Major (high school composition student)

During my time in college, I was fortunate to have Phillip as a teaching fellow for two courses taught by Professor Vijay Iyer. His contributions as a teacher and musician and his depth of knowledge about Jazz, Creative Music, and composition were central to my experience in both classes. He taught lessons during sectionals that he'd designed himself, and through active listening, discussion questions, transcription activities and more I always understand the course materials from an entirely new perspective. He was also always incredibly attentive to what students were working on musically, and was never hesitant to workshop our music with us even outside of class hours. Phillip is clearly engaged and committed as an instructor, and anyone interested in deepening and broadening their knowledge of music would be lucky to be his student!

-Miranda Agnew (Harvard student in creative music course)

I got to work with Phillip Golub when he was a teaching fellow with Vijay Iyer’s creative music composition workshop at Harvard. It was only my second semester at the college, but Phillip immediately made me feel like I fit right in with the other students, some of whom were much older. His teaching style allowed him to impart lots of helpful information to us without ever establishing a feeling of enforced hierarchy. I always left class feeling like I learned something, that he had pushed me to explore new avenues of thought regarding creative music as well as the course materials. For the final project, we ended up collaborating on a piece together along with my classmate Miranda. It was amazing to have the teaching fellow working alongside us to create a new piece; I still have the recording of our final performance. I’m grateful to Phillip for his rigorous attention to detail in creating a comfortable and constructive learning environment in the classroom and beyond.

-Julian Miltenberger (Harvard student in creative music course)