Program Description

As a brass player majoring in performance, you will learn the skills, concepts, and methodology required to demonstrate professional-level proficiency on your principal instrument. You'll achieve this through private lessons, which include proficiency-based final exams, instrumental or vocal labs, and performance studies classes.

You will complete a performance portfolio, including a senior recital, that typifies current professional performance standards. This is supported by four recital preparation lessons, the jury, and extracurricular and cocurricular concert performances. Each performance major participates in ensembles and public performances in the college's recital halls and the Berklee Performance Center.

As a performance major, you’ll take specialized courses in ear training and harmonic applications designed to develop your improvisational skills; you’ll also participate in classes given by visiting master performers. Through these activities and interactions, you will develop an aesthetic and critical understanding of the meaning of quality performance, and you’ll be able both to define quality using technical and interpretive musical criteria and to apply those criteria to your own work and to that of others.

Additional activities available through the ensemble program may include recording sessions and on- and off-campus concerts, festivals, and tours. You will develop a sufficient theoretical, conceptual, and philosophical background in the area of musical performance to be able to cope with and adjust to changes in the professional music environment.

 

Lessons and Instruction

The brass private lesson program for performance majors helps you develop your voice style. To help challenge and improve your skills, you will be encouraged to experience other styles that interest you. Brass Department instruction emphasizes a solid foundation in the standard technical challenges of professional performance. This includes the basics—breathing, embouchure, articulation, and valve or slide technique—as well as theoretical studies involving scales, chords, arpeggios, and repertoire.

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Ear for the Past, Voice of the Future

Whether it's classical, jazz, or a variety of other styles, you'll find expert faculty in the Berklee Brass Department that will meet you where you are and help you cultivate your own voice. You'll learn to steep yourself in tradition as well as use your own story as a way to discover a fresh, new sound.

Program at a Glance

 

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