For you, music is not a hobby; it is going to be your career.
Many of today's most successful brass players began their careers at Berklee, including Wayne Andre, Hal Crook, Stanton Davis, Roy Hargrove, Ingrid Jensen, Nick Lane, Tiger Okoshi, Claudio Roditi, Jack Walrath, and Dennis Wilson.
They came to Berklee because of who we are: the world's largest independent music school and the premier institution for the study of contemporary music.
The Brass Department at Berklee offers the most comprehensive brass education you'll find anywhere. We provide individualized instruction in trumpet, trombone, French horn, tuba, and euphonium, allowing you to choose any of these as your principal instrument. We offer you professional faculty who specialize in each of these instruments, course work specifically designed to enhance your abilities, and abundant playing opportunities.
We respect the classical traditions that you may have established in your studies. We also know how your instrument fits in today's music world, and we give it the attention and respect it deserves. Brass instruments are versatile and can be effective in any musical style. Studying at a college that offers you all those styles is the most important way for you to turn your playing into a career.
Studying Brass at Berklee
At Berklee, you will find your own voice and develop your own style. You won't be limited to one direction. We encourage you to experience other styles that interest you, so that you can challenge yourself and improve your skills.
Berklee prepares you for today's music by building on traditional aspects of learning. Brass Department instruction emphasizes a solid foundation in the standard technical challenges of professional performance. This includes the basics—breathing, embouchure, articulation, valve or slide technique—as well as theoretical studies involving scales, chords, arpeggios, and repertoire.
In your first week at Berklee, you will be auditioned by the brass faculty and placed with an instructor best suited to your level and your needs for private instruction. You will take at least four semesters of private lessons and be expected to pass a final exam at the end of each semester on the skills you have learned. (Music Education and Professional Music majors will take six semesters; Performance majors will take eight semesters, with extra Recital Preparation lessons before their senior jury and recital.)
These group lessons bring together brass players of similar skill levels and provide training in specific aspects of brass performance, such as reading, section playing, and improvisation. Most of the teaching materials used in these labs are created by the very Berklee faculty who will be teaching you.
The courses at Berklee are continually reviewed and evaluated so that they consistently reflect today's musical expectations. In classes such as Survey of Brass Styles and Jazz Improvisational Techniques, you will learn the history of your instrument and analyze its present-day challenges, and pursue an in-depth study of styles and techniques.
Through ensembles, you will hone essential performance skills and
techniques. They help you broaden your stylistic range, give you experience playing with a variety of groups, and expand your network of musical friends and colleagues.
Ensembles are offered in multiple sections with varying levels of ability. You choose the group and style that appeal to you. Your eligibility is determined by ongoing auditions that measure your growth as a performer. This system enables you to move into more advanced ensembles as you develop your skills.
More than 350 faculty-supervised ensembles rehearse weekly at Berklee. These ensembles reflect a full range of musical styles:
- Cannonball Adderley Ensemble
- Avant-garde Ensemble
- Count Basie Ensemble
- Berklee Rainbow Band
- Berklee Recording Orchestra
- Art Blakey Ensemble
- Brass Choir
- Chord Scale Madness Ensemble
- commercial pop/rock recording ensembles
- eight- and nine-piece jazz ensembles
- funk bands
- Woody Herman Ensemble
- Jazz/Rock Ensemble
- Latin ensembles
- Buddy Rich Ensemble
- Wayne Shorter Ensemble
- Symphonic Orchestra
- trombone ensembles
- Wind Ensemble
Through our Visiting Artist Series, you will receive valuable firsthand career insight from some of the finest performers, songwriters, film composers, music business experts, and music professionals from every sector of the industry. Visiting brass professionals have included Ray Anderson, Ron Barron, Bill Berry '58, Abbie Conant, Stanton Davis, Stu Dempster, Curtis Fuller, Tim Hagans '69, Ingrid Jensen '89, Howard Johnson, J.J. Johnson, George Lewis, Wynton Marsalis, Dick Nash, Harvey Phillips, Claudio Roditi '70, Red Rodney, Bobby Shew, Lew Soloff, Marvin Stamm, and Roger Voisin. Urbie Green, Slide Hampton, Nicholas Payton, Anthony Plog, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Taylor, Clark Terry, Steve Turre, and Allen Vizzutti are some notables who have very recently presented major residencies, including master classes and concerts.
The Brass Department has five studios for private instruction, equipped with keyboards and audio equipment for listening and play-along purposes. The department also offers a digital technology course in which students get training and hands-on experience with digital sound processing equipment. Emphasis is placed on the real-time use of this new technology in performance situations. The equipment currently includes a Yamaha SPX900 multi-effects processor, a Yamaha D5000 digital delay, a Lexicon Jam Man looper, and a Lexicon MPX 1 multi-effects processor, plus supporting equipment.
One-on-one faculty-student interaction is a crucial element of your Berklee education. As preparation for a career in the music industry, it is essential that you be exposed to men and women who have been living that career. Berklee's brass faculty are innovative educators as well as experienced professional musicians. Their expertise in contemporary brass techniques and technology makes them invaluable teachers.
Berklee also boasts one of the largest brass faculties of any music college. The diversity of styles and experience of our faculty means you will be exposed to the best education possible. You need not be restricted to one teacher throughout your education. You can work with any number of faculty during your time at Berklee, giving you the ultimate educational experience.
Berklee College of Music
Berklee was founded on two revolutionary ideas: that musicianship could be taught through the music of the time; and that our students need practical, professional skills for successful, sustainable music careers. While our bedrock philosophy has not changed, the music around us has and requires that we evolve with it.
For over half a century, we've demonstrated our commitment to this approach by wholeheartedly embracing change. We update our curriculum and technology to make them more relevant, and attract diverse students who reflect the multiplicity of influences in today's music. We prepare our students for a lifetime of professional and personal growth through the study of the arts, sciences, and humanities. And we are developing new initiatives to reach and influence an ever-widening audience.
More than a college, Berklee has become the world's singular learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow. We are a microcosm of the music world, reflecting the interplay between music and culture; an environment where aspiring music professionals learn how to integrate new ideas, adapt to changing musical genres, and showcase their distinctive skills in an evolving community. We are at the center of a widening network of industry professionals who use their openness, virtuosity, and versatility to take music in surprising new directions.
The Berklee Performance Center, our largest facility, seats more than 1,200 and is constantly alive with student and faculty concerts sponsored by the college or professional performances sponsored by independent music producers. In addition, Berklee maintains four professional-quality recital halls for smaller concerts and gatherings. All in all, more than 600 performances take place each year at Berklee. As you progress musically, you are sure to be part of many of them.
The Stan Getz Library offers an extensive collection of printed materials, audio and video recordings, and other instructional media for student use.
The Career Development Center provides counselors to help students identify and assess their skills, locate information about specific music careers, expand and develop their career network, explore graduate school options, prepare a resumé and professional cover letter, discuss job search strategies, learn or refine interview and audition skills, and generally create a plan for mapping out their own unique career path.
The Learning Center offers small-to-large group instruction rooms with Apple computer workstations. As a complement to the training sessions, the software is further discussed in ongoing forums that cover popular software and hardware topics and are led by faculty, Learning Center staff, upper-semester students, and software company representatives.
Studio and Lab Facilities
To prepare for careers in music, students work in studios, labs, and classrooms that emulate the conditions found in professional environments Students learn the fundamental and enduring qualities shared by great music and explore music technology applications in the most up-to-date educational facilities possible in contemporary music education.
The Recording Studio Complex consists of 13 professional production facilities, which include multitrack digital and analog recording capability, automated mixdown, digital audio editing, video postproduction, 5.1 multichannel surround mixing, and comprehensive signal processing equipment.
The Synthesis Labs feature more than 250 different types of synthesizers, standard and alternate controllers, effects processors, recorders, mixers, and software. Students receive hand-on instruction and supervised development time in areas of synthesizer programming, electronic composition/production, audio for visual media (games, film, television, interactive), sound design, software design, and performance.
The Performance Division Technology Lab is a five-station lab designed to support students' study of new electronic instrumental controller techniques. Featuring Apple/Macintosh computers, various synthesizer modules, and the latest in guitar, bass, keyboard, percussion, and woodwind, and brass MIDI controllers, the lab enables students to learn to adapt traditional playing techniques to complex electronic setup and control environments.
The Professional Writing Division Technology Lab consists of 12 digital audio/MIDI workstations.
The Film Scoring Labs offer students the opportunity for hands-on study in the areas of film music composition, conducting, MIDI sequencing, and digital music editing, with two lab/classrooms, a self-contained scoring-studio complex, a 40-seat theater/classroom, and two DAW/screening rooms.
Coming to Berklee
Besides the regular activities and musical events that occur daily, once a year Berklee sets aside a time to showcase each instrumental department. Winds Day, sponsored by the Brass and Woodwind Departments, is filled with industry exhibits, equipment demonstrations, visiting artist clinics, and major concert events. This may be an excellent time for you to come and take a look at what Berklee's Brass Department has to offer.
For Further Information
For further information about the Brass Department, contact Chair Thomas Plsek at 617 747-2291 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact the Brass Department advisor, Tiger Okoshi, at 617 747-8327 or email@example.com.
Complete application information can be found in the Berklee prospectus. Also available is information on the many scholarships available to outstanding student instrumentalists and vocalists. For a copy of the Berklee prospectus, or for further information about Berklee College of Music, contact the Office of Admissions at 800 BERKLEE (toll-free within the U.S. and Canada) or 617 747-2222.
Write to us at:
Office of Admissions
Berklee College of Music
1140 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02215-3693
Visit Admissions at:
921 Boylston Street, Suite 600
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Berklee College of Music does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in employment or in admission to and participation in any of its programs and activities. Any inquiries or grievances may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, Berklee College of Music, 1140 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02215-3693, 617 747-2231, or to the Regional Director, Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Boston, Massachusetts.