Five-Week Summer Performance Program
Join musicians from more than 70 countries for the summer of a lifetime. The focus is on you and what you want to say with your music in an environment that is pure performance. Immerse yourself in your chosen style and study with world-class faculty and visiting artists in state-of-the-art facilities. You’ll play in ensembles, develop improvisational and reading skills, and improve your technique in weekly private lessons.
|Program length:||Five weeks|
|Program dates:||Saturday, July 11, 2015 to Friday, August 14, 2015|
|Age range:||15 years and older|
The Five-Week program is a pre-college course ideally suited to high school students but is open to all eligible applicants. The program takes place on the Berklee campus, located in Boston's business, retail, and arts district. The campus is located on and around the busy intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street. It is close to Symphony Hall, Northeastern and Boston universities, New England and Boston conservatories, Fenway Park, and the Christian Science Center. Classes include one-on-one private instruction, core classes with roughly 18 students, and larger lecture-style classes. Parents and guardians must determine if this urban college setting is appropriate for their son or daughter. While there is limited supervision for on-campus residents, students will receive an individualized schedule and will ultimately be responsible for attending all assigned courses and abiding by Berklee policies.
You must be at least 15 years old by the start of the program and have been playing your instrument (or singing) for a minimum of six months to attend the Five-Week Program. Most students who attend this program are of high school and college age.
For students who are also interested in enrolling at Berklee full-time, there are several benefits to attending Five-Week:
- Audition for scholarships to Berklee during the program. Roughly $7 million in scholarships are awarded to Five-Week students auditioning for full-time enrollment.
- Find out what it takes to succeed in music and at Berklee.
- Study with Berklee faculty.
- Learn about admission, audition, and scholarship requirements.
- Gain access to Berklee facilities (library, concert halls, rehearsal and practice rooms, etc.)
- Get a head start on your full-time studies.
- Get to know Boston, New England's hub of culture and academia.
During Five-Week, you will be immersed in all aspects of performance. Your classes, workshops, and ensembles will focus on this important side of your musicianship. You will play in a band, develop improvisational and reading skills, improve your instrumental craft in weekly private lessons, and participate in classes and demonstrations by well-known faculty and visiting artists.
Five-Week emphasizes the mastery of playing or singing performance skills in your chosen style of contemporary music: jazz, pop, rock, funk, fusion, R&B, country, musical theater, bluegrass, etc. Learn and develop your skills through your individual studies and work with other musicians of similar training and ability. Whether you are an experienced performer or someone who has never been in front of an audience, you can improve your performance skills by attending Five-Week. The focus is on you and what you want to say and do through your music, in an environment that is all about performance.
You can choose to study from the following styles:
- Jazz—Repertoire will focus on music drawn from jazz standards, the Great American Songbook, blues, Latin, and modal jazz compositions by a wide range of important jazz artists, including John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Wes Montgomery, Horace Silver, Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, Christian Scott, and others.
- Pop/rock—Repertoire will focus on music drawn from important performers, including Eric Clapton, Adele, Lady Gaga, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Green Day, Carrie Underwood, Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Black Keys, Mumford and Sons, Taylor Swift, U2, and more.
- Funk/fusion (instrumentalists only)—Repertoire will focus on music drawn from important performers and groups such as Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, the Chick Corea Elektric Band, the Pat Metheny Group, John Scofield, Medeski Martin & Wood, and others.
- Pop/R&B (vocalists only)—Repertoire will focus on music drawn from important performers such as Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Usher, Robert Glasper Experiment, John Legend, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Christina Aguilera, and others.
In all styles, ensemble performance will be driven by the specific interests of the students involved.
Five-Week students who receive a grade of B or higher in FWTH-010 Theory in Performance, FWMU-010 Musicianship, FWPI-0X0 Private Instruction, and at least one section of FWEN-010 Five-Week Ensemble will receive credit for a three-credit undergraduate level course, MUS-P101 Fundamentals of Musicianship, which will count as three general elective credits upon admission to Berklee College of Music. The credits will transfer to other colleges at their discretion. If you qualify, you will receive an unofficial transcript in addition to a grading report.
International students are required to obtain a valid Form I-20 and F-1 student visa to enroll in this program. You may not participate in the program on a tourist visa. Participants traveling from abroad should visit the International Student Information page for important visa requirements.
Musical Preparation and Placement
Each student attending the Five-Week Performance Program is required to audition and take a theory and musicianship assessment upon arrival to Boston. Audition and assessment times will be communicated to you after you have been accepted into the program.
How should I prepare for the placement audition?
The placement audition determines the style and level of ensemble and instrumental/vocal labs. It typically lasts five to ten minutes. During the audition, you are asked to 1) perform a prepared song or piece in a style you want to study (please bring a backing track and/or lead sheets), 2) demonstrate your ability to improvise (not required), and 3) demonstrate your level of music reading (not required).
How should I prepare for the theory and musicianship assessment?
The theory assessment determines your placement in a theory and performance class. The assessment covers topics including clefs, intervals, scales, modes, intervals, chord spelling, tensions and rhythm. The musicianship assessment determines your placement in a musicianship class. It tests your ability to identify intervals, chord types, and melodic and rhythmic phrases.
Your education at Five-Week is provided by Berklee's world-class faculty. Classes generally take place between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Some classes and activities may meet in the evening. All participants will be given individual student schedules during the first week of the program.
Your classes will include:
- Private instruction—A half-hour lesson each week on your principal instrument.
- Instrumental labs—Three hours each week of instrument-specific courses to develop instrumental craft, style, and technique.
- Ensembles—Two hours each week, including instrumental and vocal groups performing in jazz, hip-hop, rock, funk, pop, fusion, R&B, musical theater, country, and other contemporary styles such as bluegrass, Afro-Cuban, salsa, and world music.
- Musicianship—Four hours each week to develop your musical ear, performance, reading skills, and musicianship.
- Theory in performance—Three hours each week studying the rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic elements of music and how they relate to your instrument (including voice).
- Performance perspectives—Two hours each week; performances and clinics that will introduce important career and performance instruction, information, and insight from some of the finest performers and songwriters in the music industry. Notable artists who have recently visited the Five-Week Program include John Mayer, the Bad Plus, John Blackwell, Terence Blanchard, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Billy Bragg, Guthrie Govan, Paula Cole, Larry Carlton, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ron Carter, Larry Coryell, Lalah Hathaway, Richie Havens, Lettuce, Wyclef Jean, Patty Larkin, Christian McBride, Lewis Nash, Patrice Rushen, John Scofield, T.M. Stevens (Shocka Zooloo), Susan Tedeschi, and many more.
- Final week concerts—All students will perform this week before members of the Berklee community, faculty, fellow students, and any guests you invite. Final week concerts are scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 10 and conclude at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 15. More than 300 student ensembles, led by Berklee faculty, perform in concerts during the final week. Students will know when and where they will perform by the second week of the program. All of these concerts are open to the public; family and friends are welcome to attend. Final week concerts will take place in one of the college's performance venues, including the recital halls, Cafe 939 and the 1,220-seat, world-class Berklee Performance Center. Berklee Performance Center concerts are scheduled for the evenings of August 11, 12, 13, and 14.
- Visiting artists—Lectures and demonstrations by performers, songwriters, film composers, music business experts, and music professionals from every sector of the industry. Notable artists who have recently visited Berklee include Amanda Palmer, Livingston Taylor, Jane Ira Bloom, George Duke, Melissa Ferrick, Dawaun Parker, Trina Hamlin, Will Kennedy, Dave Liebman, Bob Mintzer, Bernard Purdy, Noel Redding, Derek Trucks, and many more. Visiting artist clinics are open to all students. The visiting artists are announced at the start of the program.
You will be asked to choose one of the following two-hour lecture classes:
- Groove Essentials for All Instruments—Examine many of the essential grooves that continue to define contemporary music. The styles examined may include funk, hip-hop, and music from Brazil and Cuba. Music examples and scores will be examined to analyze the rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic components of each style. Documentaries will be shown to support the historical and social aspects of these styles with an emphasis on the innovators who made them popular.
- Electronic Production and Design—An introduction to the world of music technology, geared to the needs of today’s professional musician. The course topics will give an overview of all aspects of the current tools, technology, and techniques for desktop music production, including basic sequencing techniques, MIDI editing, introduction to virtual instruments, sample manipulation, and industry-leading DAWs.
- Exploring the Artist Within—This class, designed for vocalists, songwriters, instrumentalists, and composers, will help you get in touch with your artistic identity. A series of innovative exercises will allow you to discover your true musical voice and to find your own style. No matter your voice or instrument, this class will help you hear your world and embrace your place in it!
- Jazz Composition and Arranging—This lecture class will introduce you to composing and arranging techniques used by important jazz artists. Topics include the process of creating and harmonizing melodies, orchestration, song and arrangement form and music analysis.
- Music Business—This course will provide an introduction to the music business. Students will gain an understanding of how their creative works are protected by U.S. copyright law and promoted by publishers. The contractual relationship between artists and record labels will also be reviewed. Artists' management and their relationship with the recording artist will be explored. Students will also learn why touring is the holy grail of the music business, showing how artists and promoters budget for a successful outcome!
- Scoring for Visual Media—This course will provide an introduction to the exciting world of scoring for today’s visual media. Using a wide variety of examples from film, video games, television, and commercials, this class will give the student a behind-the-scenes look at the process of composing and producing musical underscore—from traditional linear scoring to the cutting-edge nonlinear techniques used in current-generation video games and interactive media. Students will be provided the option to try scoring techniques on sample clips (provided), and even to produce their own trailer!
- Songwriting—This lecture class will examine song form, strategies for creating melodies, and effective use of harmony to create forward motion in songs. Lyric writing as well as tips to help the creative process will be discussed with the instructor and guest lecturers. Because technology has allowed the easy exchange of ideas and files, strategies and tools for improving both your songwriting and production values through collaboration will be demonstrated. Lastly, an overview of how songs are currently used in film and TV (and other visual media) will be discussed, along with the tools you’ll need to place your songs and start earning royalties in this growing area of opportunity for songwriters.
- Survey of Production Styles—This course will explore how a modern song is taken from inception to full mix. It includes discussion of song form, songwriting, and how to invoke the best performances from players "on the spot." This course also addresses the creative use of modern microphone and recording techniques, the use of outboard and computer processing such as reverb, equalizers and compressors and basic mixing techniques. Strong interpersonal skills are needed. An open mind and active participation are required.
The following classes are in addition to the electives above. Optional electives meet in the evening. Seating is limited.
- Five-Week Chorus—All levels of singers are welcome in this chorus, which features part-singing in styles ranging from pop/R&B to folk and jazz. The Monday and Thursday rehearsals lead up to a final performance at the Berklee Performance Center.
- Movement for Musicians—This course is designed to increase students’ awareness of their technical and creative abilities through investigating movement and how it relates to their stage performance. Students will be encouraged to explore their own capacity and range of movement, realizing its aesthetic, physical, and visual possibilities. The technique portions of the class will emphasize increasing the body’s flexibility, strength, control, and awareness. Choreographic exploration will concentrate upon the use of space, dimension, time, rhythm, energy, and contrast through improvisation and development of movement phrases.
- Musical Theater Workshop—This workshop will focus on large and small ensemble Musical Theater literature. Strong emphasis will be placed on vocal technique, ensemble singing and lyric delivery. Students will prepare, rehearse and perform Broadway-style selections from a variety of productions leading to a performance at the end of the program. Please note: this is a vocal ensemble with piano accompaniment.
- Open Drum Circle—Drum circles are available to percussionists and nonpercussionists alike. This weekly workshop provides an opportunity to develop skills using various percussion instruments from around the world.
- Poetry Slam and Performance—This workshop is dedicated to the art of poetry slam and spoken word. Great for songwriters, poets, hip-hop artists—and anyone wanting to amp up their stage presence and work past performance fears. With equal emphasis on writing and performing, this high-energy class features special guest artists, writing and editing prompts, vocal exercises, and stage movement techniques designed to emphasize your own unique style.
- Singer-Songwriter Workshop—This class will provide an opportunity for singer-songwriters to write and perform their own songs and to learn the tools of the trade. The class will focus on the song, how it's created and how it is used to express and communicate the songwriter's feelings and stories to the audience. You will develop the tools and techniques used by songwriters today and participate in facilitated song critiques with your classmates. The class will culminate in a live performance.
- Song Demo Production—The Song Demo Production lab will be a hands-on course with state-of-the-art DAWs (ProTools, Logic, and Digital Performer) along with keyboards, mics, and interconnectivity to all 12 stations to allow easy collaboration among students. The course will help students improve the overall production quality of their song demos and learn established tricks of the trade to facilitate worldwide collaboration.
- Studio Performance—This class allows students to hear themselves with the ear of an experienced producer. The first time in a professional studio can be frightening or daunting, to say the least. Get suggestions and advice, and explore the subtle nuances of the voice and instrument. There is a difference between live shows and the studio. In a quality studio environment, there is no place to hide and nothing slips by. It is essential that musicians enter the professional music world knowing some basic studio etiquette.
- Turntable Technique—Students will develop a basic skill set of turntable techniques including: cueing, mixing, beat matching, cutting, and scratching. By tracing the transformation of the turntable into a musical instrument, students will learn of its development as a major expression of hip-hop culture and understand its prominence in contemporary music. The class will culminate in each student performing a DJ set by week five.
Performance is the centerpiece of Five-Week. During the five weeks, you will have many opportunities to put your course work into action. Additional performance opportunities available to you include:
- Jam sessions—Tuesday and Thursday night jam sessions are open to all. This is a great way to get to know other students and explore your own potential in informal group situations.
- Recording studio sessions—For selected ensembles to record in one of Berklee's 10 state-of-the-art recording studios.
- Recording sessions for vocalists—Vocalists will have the opportunity to record a song in a professional recording studio, singing with prerecorded tracks or with their own accompaniment.
By-audition performance opportunities:
- Performing Songwriter Showcase—Auditions are open to all students. You may perform an original or cowritten song by signing up to audition in the Student Activities Center during registration. A panel of Berklee faculty will select students to perform their songs in a series of showcases scheduled during the fourth week of the program in the Berklee Performance Center and Cafe 939.
- Singers Showcase—Vocalists may audition during the first week of the program to be one of 10 featured vocalists: five soloists and five background vocalists who will perform in the Berklee Performance Center during the fifth week of the program. Students will perform arrangements written especially for them and performed with a band of selected Berklee students.
- Instrumental Showcase—Instrumentalists may audition during the first week of the program for an opportunity to perform in one of three all-star instrumental groups. These groups will perform in the Berklee Performance Center under the direction of Berklee instrumental faculty during the fifth week of the program.
- Musical Theater Showcase—Auditions for the Musical Theater Showcase are open to all students during the first week of the program. Vocalists may audition for lead and supporting roles. Instrumentalists may audition for a chair in the Musical Theater Ensemble. Students selected for the Musical Theater Showcase will perform in the Berklee Performance Center during the final week of the program.
- Student Activities—The Student Activities Center, in collaboration with the Five-Week office, welcomes you to Berklee and to Boston with a dynamic two-day orientation program complete with student performances, jam sessions, introductions to Berklee resources, and community-building social events. Over the course of the Five-Week program, the Student Activities Center organizes a host of activities meant to connect the Five-Week community and encourage students to take advantage of the student experience that Berklee and the city of Boston have to offer. Past activities include group outings to movies and concerts, trips to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and hikes on local trails. Planned ongoing events have included caf shows (concerts in the Berklee dining hall run by students for students), game nights, and dance parties. Students are bound to find something of interest and meet a few friends along the way. While the specific offerings may change from year to year, the Student Activities Center promises there will be plenty to do. We recommend that all Five-Week students stop by the Student Activities Center to hang out, watch television, play games, or learn about getting involved. For more information about Student Activities at Berklee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Five-Week Scholarship
- Rock Workshop Scholarship
- Jazz Workshop Scholarship
- Arif Mardin Music Fellowship
Berklee offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships to the Five-Week Summer Performance Program. Students seeking financial assistance must create an account here, register for the program, and submit links of a maximum of three video performances (uploaded to YouTube) as well as a short essay highlighting their musical and academic achievements in the “My Summer Program Forms” section of their account.
Generally, most scholarships awarded range from $1,000 to $3,000 with a limited number of full-tuition scholarships available (housing not included).
The deadline to apply for scholarship consideration to the Five-Week Summer Performance Program is March 1. Scholarship decisions are issued by April 15 via email.
The scholarship selection committee will award scholarships to music students who are most likely to benefit from the program based on their demonstrated talent and potential, with preference given to students enrolled in high school or secondary school. There is no federal aid available for this program.
Scholarship applicants are required to submit three video links (uploaded to YouTube) consisting of two performance pieces and one technical exercise.
For all video performances:
- The recording can be a home, live, or studio recording. Recording quality is not a factor in the evaluation. However, be sure to listen to your recordings to ensure they are audible before submitting your video links. It is not necessary to submit a professionally produced recording, but the sound quality should be very good in order for us to evaluate your submission.
- Recordings of the performances should be recent (within the last year).
- Choose pieces that demonstrate your versatility.
- Editing your performance or over-dubbing of any kind is not permissible.
- Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.
For the two videos of performance pieces:
- They should be similar in style with contrasting tempos.
- The length should be three to five minutes.
- Vocalists: A piano or guitar accompaniment, or a karaoke track, is strongly suggested.
- Instrumentalists: Accompaniment is strongly suggested. You can use a live band or play to a track. However, you should not use a track that includes your instrument. For example, drummers should not play to a track that includes the original drum track.
When selecting two performances pieces, we suggest the following:
- A song (tune) from a well-known artist or band demonstrating the style choice you select to focus on during the program (jazz, pop, rock, funk, fusion)
- A standard song or jazz tune (which may include blues and rhythm changes) with your own improvisation
- A blues piece
- A composition from the instrumental/voice repertoire or a movement, sonata, concerto, or etude
- A transcription of a well-known artist's solo
- An original song or composition. If composing or songwriting is your primary focus, you may choose to play an original piece that showcases your individual style as one of your performances pieces, but you may not submit two originals. If you are submit one original, the second piece must be something else from the above listing.
For the one video of a technical exercise:
- You should play major/minor scales, arpeggios, or an etude.
- The length should be two to three minutes, and the exercise should demonstrate your technical facility on your instrument or voice.
- Vocalists should use a starting pitch but should not use any accompaniment on the technical exercises.
The Rock Workshop is a program designed for students interested in studying and performing rock music at the highest level. Berklee seeks to recruit the most talented young rock instrumentalists and vocalists in the world for this workshop. Students selected for this workshop are awarded a scholarship covering tuition as well as providing room and board, comprehensive fee, and registration fee. This workshop is led by artistic director Marty Walsh, who has performed and recorded with such notables as John Fogerty, Supertramp, Eddie Money, and LeAnn Rimes. The Rock Workshop gives some of our most talented students an opportunity to gain valuable insight into the world of rock music and performance. The curriculum focuses on ensemble and performance skills, stylistic vocabulary, and a historical perspective on contemporary rock music.
Rock Workshop scholarship applicants are required to submit links of a minimum of three video performances (uploaded to YouTube) and a short essay highlighting their musical and academic achievements in the “My Summer Program Forms” section of their account.
- Vocalists, provide examples of your skills on a slow rock ballad, a mid-tempo rock piece, and an up-tempo piece. All three should focus on groove, vocal range, and projection.
- Drummers, bassists, and keyboardists, provide examples demonstrating rhythm skills on a slow tempo, a medium tempo, and an up-tempo song, each focusing on consistent time, groove, and feel.
- Guitarists, provide examples of your skills playing a rock guitar solo, playing electric rhythm guitar, and playing another song demonstrating your acoustic guitar playing.
The deadline to submit for scholarship consideration to the Rock Workshop is March 1. Students selected for the Rock Workshop will be contacted directly and invited to participate by April 1. Students are required to confirm their acceptance into the program by April 7. Candidates who are not chosen for the Rock Workshop will be automatically considered for scholarship towards the Five-Week Summer Performance Program and will receive a decision by April 15 via email.
The Jazz Workshop is a program designed for students interested in studying and performing jazz music at the highest level. Berklee seeks to recruit the most talented young jazz students in the world for this workshop. Students selected for this workshop are awarded a scholarship covering tuition as well as providing room and board, comprehensive fee, and registration fee. This workshop is led by two-time Grammy Award–winning drummer/composer/producer Terri Lyne Carrington, who has performed with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Stan Getz, John Scofield, Roy Hargrove, Esperanza Spaulding, and countless other important jazz musicians.
Jazz Workshop scholarship applicants are required to submit links of a maximum of three video performances (uploaded to YouTube) and a short essay highlighting their musical and academic achievements in the “My Summer Program Forms” section of their account. We recommend that the web postings include an up-tempo song with a swing feel; a medium-tempo, swing feel tune (MM between 110 and 130); and an odd-meter piece with an even eighth-note feel. Each example should be about three minutes in length and be performed with a band (as opposed to a solo performance).
The deadline to submit for scholarship consideration to the Jazz Workshop is March 1. Students selected for the Jazz Workshop will be contacted directly and invited to participate by April 1. Students are required to confirm their acceptance into the program by April 7. Candidates who are not chosen for the Jazz Workshop will be automatically considered for a partial scholarship towards the Five-Week Summer Performance Program and will receive a decision by April 15 via email.
In memory of Berklee alumnus Arif Mardin '61, the American Turkish Society donates funds to support one fellowship for a student to attend the Five-Week Summer Performance Program. Individuals of Turkish descent or nationality are eligible to apply. The scholarship committee will award one student a fellowship covering tuition, room and board, comprehensive fee, and registration fee, along with a $500 stipend.
To apply for the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship, students must create an account here, register for the program, and submit links of a maximum of three video performances (uploaded to YouTube) as well as a short essay highlighting their musical and academic achievements in the “My Summer Program Forms” section of their account.
The deadline to apply for the Arif Mardin Fellowship is March 1. The Arif Mardin Fellow will be selected and notified by April 15 via email. Candidates who are not chosen for the Arif Mardin Fellowship will be automatically considered for scholarship to the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, and will receive a decision by April 15 via email.
If you have any questions about scholarships to our Five-Week Summer Performance Program, please contact the Scholarship Office directly at email@example.com or 617 747-8681.