For you, music is not a hobby; it is going to be your career.
Many of today's most successful woodwind players began their careers at Berklee, including Richie Cole, Donald Harrison, Pat LaBarbera, Joe Lovano, Eric Marienthal, Donny McCaslin, Ralph Moore, Greg Osby, Bill Pierce, and Ernie Watts.
They came to Berklee because of who we are: the world's largest independent music school and the premier institution for the study of today's music.
The Woodwind Department at Berklee offers the most comprehensive woodwind education you'll find anywhere. We provide individualized instruction in:
…allowing you to choose any of these as your principal instrument. You can also choose to study multiple instruments as a woodwind prinicipal. We offer you professional faculty who specialize in each of these disciplines, 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 respect it deserves. Woodwinds are versatile instruments that can be effective in any musical style. Studying at a college that offers you all those musical styles is the best way to turn your playing into a career.
Studying Woodwinds 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 experiment with 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. Woodwind Department instruction emphasizes a solid foundation in the standard technical challenges of professional performance. This includes the basics—breathing, embouchure, articulation—as well as theoretical studies involving scales, chords, arpeggios, and repertoire. In addition, advanced styles, improvisation, and interpretation are studied.
In your first week at Berklee, you will be auditioned by the woodwind faculty and placed with an instructor best suited to your level of ability and your needs for private instruction. You will take at least four semesters of private lessons and must 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 woodwind players of similar skill levels and provide training in specific aspects of woodwind performance. Many of the teaching materials used in these labs are created by the very Berklee faculty who will be teaching you. In addition to required lab subjects such as sight-reading and section playing, the elective labs include:
- (Classical) Clarinet Choir
- Flute Choir
- Jazz Flute Lab
- Saxophone Quartet
- Woodwind Doubling Labs (for flute, clarinet, saxophone, and MIDI wind controller)
The courses at Berklee are continually reviewed and evaluated to be sure they consistently reflect today's musical needs. In classes such as Survey of Woodwind Styles, 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 will help you broaden your stylistic range, expand your network of musical friends and colleagues, and give you experience playing with a variety of groups.
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 270 ensembles rehearse weekly at Berklee. The range of these ensembles reflects the full range of musical styles:
- Advanced Woodwind Ensemble (woodwind quartet and quintet)
- Art Blakey Ensemble
- Avant-garde Ensemble
- Berklee Recording Orchestra
- Buddy Rich Ensemble
- Cannonball Adderley Ensemble
- Chord Scale Madness Ensemble
- Commercial pop/rock recording ensembles
- Contemporary Wind Ensemble (cutting-edge repertoire played with film, dancers, and more)
- Count Basie Ensemble
- 8– and 9–piece jazz ensembles
- Flute Choir (classical)
- Funk bands
- Jazz Flute Ensemble
- Jazz, funk, rock, and fusion ensembles
- Latin ensembles
- Saxophone quartets
- Symphonic Orchestra
- Trombone ensembles
- Wayne Shorter Ensemble
- Wind Ensemble
- Woody Herman 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 woodwind professionals have included Michael Brecker, Nick Brignola '66, Claude DeLangle, Buddy DeFranco, Bill Evans, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano '72, Bob Mintzer, James Moody, Greg Osby '83, Sam Rivers, Chris Vadala, Jim Walker, Ernie Watts '66, and Phil Woods.
The Woodwind Department has more than 10 rehearsal rooms for private or small ensemble instruction. Audiotapes are used extensively for listening/analysis classes and for "play along" purposes. Woodwind Department performances and recitals are often videotaped for subsequent faculty and student analysis.
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 work intensively with men and women who have been living that career already. Berklee's woodwind faculty are innovative educators as well as experienced professional musicians. Their expertise in contemporary woodwind techniques and technology makes them invaluable teachers.
Berklee also boasts one of the largest woodwind faculties in the world. 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 Woodwind and Brass 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 and the Woodwind Department have to offer.
Summer Saxophone Weekend
In addition to Berklee's full-time program and other summer programs, we also feature the Summer Saxophone Weekend, held in June.
For Further Information
For further information about the Woodwind Department, contact Chair Bill Pierce at 617 747-2437 or email@example.com. You may also direct questions to faculty member and student advisor Jim Odgren at 617 747-2563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com
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.