Terence Fletcher

Terence Fletcher

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... in New York City. There he’s able to balance his career as a jazz teacher while still occasionally performing in the city.

Profession... jazz musician, conductor, and teacher at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory. Fletcher lives and breathes jazz music, and he channels most of his musical energy into the elite studio band he conducts at Shaffer. They perform at a high level competitively, and Fletcher expects perfection every time they play – even in rehearsal.  

Interests... jazz music, mentorship, and perfection. Fletcher is constantly chasing musical precision. He’s a connoisseur of jazz, and he can detect when even the smallest detail is wrong. When first-year drummer Andrew Neiman is off by a millisecond, Fletcher repeatedly berates him by sharply noting, “Not my tempo.” Fletcher knows he won’t be remembered by history as an all-time great musician, so he’s determined to mentor someone who will be.

Relationship Status... single. Fletcher’s demanding profession and his harsh temperament don’t make it easy for him to make personal connections with his colleagues or his students. Or anyone else, for that matter.

Challenge... bringing out greatness in his students, or at least a few of them. Though many question his abusive methods, Fletcher feels his harsh leadership style helps thin the herd of lesser artists and inspire those with true talent to become even better. Because of that he always feels totally justified in his actions – whether he’s throwing chairs at his students, calling them offensive slurs, or playing on their deepest fears. He once informed a member of his studio band, “Now either you are deliberately playing out of tune and sabotaging my band... or you don't know you're out of tune, which I'm afraid is even worse.”

Personality... manipulative, controlling, abusive, callous, and vindictive, but charming when he wants to be. While in his (sometimes twisted) mind Fletcher thinks his harsh tactics help his students, it’s also clear that he enjoys the power he wields over them. He’ll often make his students audition for hours on end or publically shame them in class just to prove he’s in control of his band. But when he needs or wants to be, Fletcher is also quite the charmer. It’s another tool he uses to lure his students into a false sense of security before he pushes them past their breaking points.


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