Profile - Sam Bergstrom

Sam Bergstrom teaching with guitar

Instructor Profile

Meet Sam Bergstrom
Instructor of Music

Master of Arts (MA) in Music Education, University of St. Thomas; Bachelor of Music (BM) in Music Education, Augsburg College

Question and Answer

  • Question

    Would you list some recent accomplishments?



    • Currently serving on the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) board as the guitar and alternative ensembles chair.
    • Presented sessions at the MMEA clinic, including bringing the ARCC guitar ensemble to perform.
    • Invited to several schools in Minnesota as a clinician, guest director, and soloist at various festivals, honor bands, and concerts.


    • Two articles published on jazz education on the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) website.
  • Question

    What is your approach to teaching?


    I believe in creating a positive atmosphere in the classroom and rehearsal where students feel free to express themselves creatively and be an active part of the learning process.

  • Question

    What inspires you as a teacher?


    I am inspired when students show that extra effort and excitement for the subject. It is that excitement that reminds me of when I was in their shoes, and I want to do whatever I can to help that student reach their goals.

    Some of my heroes and influential figures are various guitarists, such as Wes Montgomery, Baden Powell, Jimi Hendrix and Joe Pass.

  • Question

    How would you describe what happens during one of your most successful classes?


    As much as I like to be organized and have a plan, some of my most successful (and fun) classes have been when the plans have changed as a result of interesting questions brought up by students. I don’t mind if a class becomes a little derailed because of an interesting discussion, especially when it is student-led.

  • Question

    What are some ways that you help students succeed when they need extra help?


    I, first of all, try to make a connection with students so that they feel comfortable talking and expressing their struggles to me. I also strongly encourage those students to either make regular appointments to see me for help or just stop by my office when I am around. My door is always open. I feel that it is also important for students to interact and work in small groups in these situations, which we often do in my classes. Sometimes their peers can help explain concepts in a different way that resonates with that particular student. Lastly, I try to introduce our wonderful music tutors to my classes toward the beginning of each semester so that my students are aware of this option for help as well.

Fun Facts

  • Fun Fact #1

    Before coming to Anoka-Ramsey, I taught music (band) at a high school for 10 years.

  • Fun Fact #2

    I play the guitar and enjoy performing in various groups and in several different styles (classical, jazz and rock).

  • Fun Fact #3

    I enjoy fine dining.

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