Sometimes a simple search on the Internet can lead to the summer of a lifetime, which is exactly what happened to high school senior Dom Delore. He was looking up Berklee College of Music’s Summer Programs and “in a heartbeat” signed up for the Guitar Sessions.
“The best musical experience I had ever been a part of,” Delore said of that first summer. “I learned so much in one week, theory-wise especially, but also in techniques and just music in general.”
Delore is senior from Agawam, MA who has been playing the guitar for eight years.
Guitar Sessions was such a positive experience for Delore that he decided to enroll in it again the next summer, in addition to Berklee’s Songwriting Workshop.
“The Songwriting Workshop is where I faced some challenges,” Delore conceded. “It was information overload. My head was spinning. I was pushed in theory and analyzing songs and sound. It was truly incredible.”
Berklee College of Music hosts an array of summer programs each year that caters to musicians of varying instrument, skill, and style. Students are exposed to Berklee faculty and the Berklee lifestyle.
“I was drawn to Berklee because it is one of the few places that allow people to study anything in music,” Delore said. “Classical, jazz, contemporary. I myself am more of a contemporary guy, especially the music that I write, and I know that Berklee can teach me and help me in that area.”
With rigorous instruction, private lessons, and peer collaborations, students gain insight into what studying means at the college level and at Berklee specifically. But the summer programs aren’t solely about work.
“One night during the program, a bunch of us gathered in a piano room and all played and sang songs for hours,” Delore recalls fondly. “Some people played guitars and mandolins, everything. It was just musician heaven.”
Another night he remembers that several students borrowed his amplifier, and then he helped them record a solo track on a song they were writing.
“This is what I loved most of all,” he said, “meeting all these great, talented (very talented) people from all backgrounds and nationalities and musical backgrounds and skills.”
The social aspect of the summer programs was a big draw for Delore. Berklee marked his first venture from home on his own, and he admits that he was not sure what to expect, but quickly made friends.
“What blew me away was that there were people from all over the world, not just the country,” he marveled. “My roommate…was from Baltimore, and we became friends with a guy from California and another from Connecticut. In the practice rooms, I met a guy from Madagascar and a girl from England.”
Berklee’s programs attract a large diversity of students from around the country and around the globe. Delore expressed his excitement at meeting such different people with a common calling.
“It’s so mind-blowing that we are all there for the same reason, and that is to do music and play guitar and to learn and to collaborate.”
Not only did Berklee’s Summer Programs provide Delore with valuable musical instruction and a collegiate experience at Berklee, but the program also confirmed his decision to study to be a musician.
“I learned to be a better musician and a much better person,” he said. “Going to the Berklee Summer Programs and living on campus for a few weeks is what helped me decide, or truly let me know that I want to make music my career.” Delore applied to Berklee College of Music as an undergraduate for the fall and recently received a letter that he has been accepted into the class of 2017.
“I want to write songs and compose music. I want to be in a studio working the desk and controls. I want to be up on stage with other musicians playing great songs and having fun. I want to learn and to study too. I want to be challenged and have to work at it. Music doesn’t always come easy to me, but the fun is in the effort. It’s what feels good.”