Back to Berklee Spring 2021 Bass Department Information


Letter from the Chairs

Dear entering and returning bass students,

Welcome to the Berklee Bass Department! You are now a part of, or returning to, the largest and deepest bass department in the world. 

As the entire world is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to making your learning experience conform to our already high Berklee standards. In fact, given that we were entirely online/remote in fall 2020, we are confident that there are actually pearls hidden in our challenges, and they are emerging as new teaching modalities, enhanced technology skill sets, and other factors that lead to your journey to become a well-rounded global musician. But we also understand that “what’s in the books” is only part of the Berklee experience, so we have focused on the on-campus experience as well, making things possible that were never on our radar prior to the dramatic world developments, always with your safety as our highest priority 

I know that you have probably heard from a lot of other current and former students already, and probably have a lot of information to process…so I will make this as simple as I can.

We have over 20 of the greatest bass faculty in the world (including resident artists John Patitucci and Victor Wooten) covering myriad playing and teaching styles. Based on your audition and preference, you will be assigned a teacher for your first semester. Starting in your second semester you will be able to make your own choices during your registration period. Please take a look at our faculty, and if you have a preference, make that known at your entering student placement audition during orientation week. If not, your instructor this semester will be assigned based on your musical preferences and ensemble rating scores (i.e., what the placement audition will determine).  

Visit the Bass Department website and start absorbing the vast amount of important information that is there. Probably the most important document for you to read is the Bass Department Handbook—almost every question you have is answered there. 

We will also be opening up some events to you featuring the legendary Ron Carter, Snarky Puppy, Lee Sklar, Victor Wooten, and John Patitucci. Please email us at bass@berklee.edu if you want to be on that guest list. 

If you are a Global Partners student or a transfer student with more than 20 credits, and plan on declaring performance as your major, please email Steve Bailey (srbailey@berklee.edu) and copy Sandro Scoccia (sscoccia@berklee.edu) as soon as possible so that we can get your major sorted out (only if you are planning on declaring performance as your major). New students will find major-related questions answered in the handbook.  

If you have questions after you have searched our handbook, please address them to Sandro Scoccia (sscoccia@berklee.eduand always be sure to include your student ID number. We are very quick to respond to emails meeting those two important criteria.

Email is vitally important to the quality of your Berklee experience. This is how we will communicate the many special clinics, master classes, and concerts from our performance scholars, Victor Wooten and John Patitucci, and other special guests and visiting artists, along with department updates and other valuable information. Get used to checking your email multiple times per day. Many opportunities are lost to those that don’t. 

During orientation week, you will receive an email announcing a “Get to Know Us” meeting during the first week of classes. It is very important that you be at this meeting—if you don’t have another class or lesson scheduled. 

We will be sending out some thoughts and suggestions that will hopefully help your transition into college, and particularly one as unique as Berklee. It can be overwhelming! And remember that most answers are in the handbook—if you can’t find what you need there, come talk to Sandro or me. 

I also want you to check out our Berklee Bass Department Facebook Group. Skim through that and you will get an idea of the energy of the Bass Department and see some of the things that we are doing. Again, feel free to email Steve Bailey (srbailey@berklee.edu) and copy Sandro Scoccia (sscoccia@berklee.edu) if you have any questions. I look forward to getting to know you all in the spring!     

See you soon,

Steve, Sandro, and the entire Berklee Bass Department faculty 

Steve Bailey
Chair, Bass Department

Sandro Scoccia
Assistant Chair, Bass Department

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