Hui Weng

Music Instructor in Guzheng


As a faculty member both at the New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, I'm passionate about exploring the intersection of music improvisation/composition, intercultural exchange, and pedagogy. I encourage students to draw on their unique cultural backgrounds to inspire creative and vibrant performing environments. Beyond performance, improvisational skills and the ability to work across boundaries are valuable assets in any field. My work has been recognized with an Emerging Artist Award from the St. Boltoph Foundation, and I have collaborated with the Silk Road Music Ensemble through their fellowship program. As the director of the Chinese Music Ensemble at NEC and Global String Ensemble at Berklee, I introduce Western classical music students to traditional Chinese music practices and encourage improvisation and composition using the repertoire and techniques studied. As an associate professor at Berklee College of Music and a faculty member at the New England Conservatory, my academic activities and research interests revolve around exploring pedagogy and creativity in music improvisation and composition, intercultural exchange, and educational behavior. I strongly believe that each individual possesses a unique music-making sensibility based on their cultural upbringing, and that our cultural origins should be used to inspire vibrant and creative performing environments. My work involves introducing traditional Chinese music practice to Western classical music students through the directorship of NEC's Chinese Music Ensemble. I encourage students to use the repertoire and techniques they learn as a point of departure for their creative work in improvisation and composition. My research interests also include exploring how improvisational skills, the ability to work across boundaries, and our unique cultural backgrounds can be valuable assets on problem-solving teams in all fields. My recent collaborations with the Silk Road Music Ensemble and my award from the St. Boltoph Foundation for expanding Guzheng repertoire highlight my commitment to exploring intercultural exchange through music.

My teaching philosophy centers around inspiring students to cultivate their unique music-making sensibility by drawing from their cultural origins. I encourage my students to use their improvisational skills and cultural background to inspire vibrant and creative performing environments. I believe in developing well-rounded musicianship by emphasizing the importance of analyzing smaller elements to create an overall musical structure, understanding appropriate musical styles, and realizing the roles that individual parts contribute to a piece. As a teacher, I strive to help students maximize the quality of their practice by teaching efficient and effective techniques. In addition to individual lessons, I offer studio classes where students can practice performing and communicating with an audience. I am particularly interested in finding effective ways to help students with limited time to devote to practicing. I also have a plan of opening ensemble course in Wellesley, where students are exposed to traditional Chinese music and encouraged to use the repertoire and techniques they study as a point of departure for their creative work in improvisation and composition.

In addition to my teaching and research activities, I have a strong interest in community outreach and engagement through music. I have participated in numerous programs aimed at promoting music education in underserved communities, and I regularly collaborate with some Chinese music institute to provide music education opportunities for students. I am also involved in organizing and performing at benefit concerts to support various charitable causes, including those related to social justice, healthcare, and environmental issues. Finally, I am a strong advocate for the importance of cross-cultural exchange and regularly participate in international music festivals and collaborations to promote understanding and appreciation of diverse musical traditions.