This course prepares performers for studio recording and music production. As artists master basic recording and production concepts, they also engage in discussions about themselves as artists to determine which processes most effectively support their goals. Artists learn to make informed decisions to facilitate successful and productive recording sessions as well as creative performances while also saving time and reducing expenses. Students master terms, concepts, protocols, and decisions that lead to successful finished productions. Students learn the basics of studio listening, preparing for a session, budgeting, file delivery, file formats, transfers, rehearsal and recording techniques and editing. They also explore various mastering concerns. Through this course, students learn the roles each participant has to play in the recording process: the musicians, tracking engineer, mixing engineer, mastering engineer, and producer. Additionally, students evaluate when to record in a home studio, a professional studio or both.
The course prepares and informs performing musicians for a livelihood in music. Students explore the anatomy of the music business, the intellectual property monies that will sustain a player’s career, and the paperwork that is part of business. Students especially focus on three areas: recording agreements and practices, songwriter agreements and practices, and the live music trade. Through the course, students learn about the business needs of U.S. and international musicians.
This course prepares artists to build sustainable careers. Students learn to be innovative in the way they promote, distribute and monetize their own creative products. In this project-based course, students develop of a wide set of business-related skills. Students focus on their own professional projects in order to develop knowledge and skills in three essential areas: 1) project management and finance, 2) contract management and negotiation, and 3) social media management. Through this project-focus, students learn the connections between the creative and business aspects of the music industry. They also enhance their ability to manage projects and to manage their careers.
In this seminar and performance-based course, students learn interdisciplinary approaches to music-making and explore concepts of aesthetics, with a focus on developing their own aesthetic philosophy. Students perform and analyze original music projects; they learn to evaluate and critique each other; and they learn to respond to feedback and advice. Students collaborate with classmates, guest lecturers and artists-in-residence. They synthesize rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic vocabulary from a variety of musical styles. Additionally, they complete weekly directed studies with artists-in-residence, focusing especially on their own artistic projects.
In this seminar and performance-based course, students learn interdisciplinary approaches to music-making and explore concepts of aesthetics, with a focus on developing their own aesthetic philosophy and artistic identity. Students perform and analyze their own music projects; they learn to evaluate and critique each other; and they learn to respond to feedback and advice. Students collaborate with classmates, guest lecturers and visiting artists from a variety of diverse styles and backgrounds: performers, producers and educators, among others. They synthesize rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic vocabulary from a variety of musical styles.
In this course, students explore different topics in improvisation in various musical styles, including rock, pop, blues, and more. Students will explore the melodic styles and content of improvised solos through history, listening, ear training, shared student transcriptions and analyses, practice assignments, and creative performance projects. Students increase their knowledge of the musical choices, issues, and possibilities they face as improvisers. They learn the historical context of their own original work. Students will improve their musical ear and the connections among their musical imagination (inner hearing), aural perception, musical notation, and instrumental performance. They will develop their skills in transcription and analysis, with the goal of gaining a greater command of musical materials for use in their own music. They will experience ways in which the work of improvisers in the past can inspire their contemporary creative work in the present. The titles of individual sections of PS-621 identify the theme of that section. Individual course descriptions are available to registering students at https://www.berklee.edu/graduate-studies/graduate-topics-courses.
PS-622 continues the learning that began in PS-619 Masters Performance Forum: Production. In this seminar and performance-based course, students continue to learn interdisciplinary approaches to music-making and explore concepts of aesthetics, with a focus on developing their own aesthetic philosophy and artistic identity. Students perform and analyze their own music projects; they learn to evaluate and critique each other; and they learn to respond to feedback and advice. Students collaborate with classmates, guest lecturers and visiting artists from a variety of diverse styles and backgrounds: performers, producers and educators, among others. They synthesize rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic vocabulary from a variety of musical styles.
This course provides a structured approach to the many aspects of record production. Through project-based, experiential learning exercises, designed to arm students with powerful tools and strategies in music production, this course enables students to create a recording that may serve as an essential piece of their culminating experience. Students gain first-hand experience in the preproduction, recording and mixing process. Recording sessions take place in a variety of venues, from professional recording studios with a large-format console, to project studios, to home recording set ups. Students further explore how the recording process best serves their individual artistic and professional goals, as they collaborate with musicians, technologists, and stakeholders involved in developing material for record company release.
In this workshop, vocalists and instrumentalists develop and perfect the skills necessary for live performance. They explore the concept that good performances involve not only excellent musicianship but also a high level of stage presence and audience interaction. Students explore the different kinds of stage performance techniques that are appropriate in different settings. They investigate concepts of musical and artistic interaction with the audience, and explore different kinds of audiences. They also explore performance as communication. They evaluate strategies to communicate musically through their music and their body. Additionally, students synthesize concepts of acting and persona creation that are part of every performance. In-class performances will be recorded and critiqued for effectiveness in movement, presentation, and overall performance. Students learn skills and strategies for microphone and rehearsal techniques, lead sheet preparation, stage presence, programming, audience interaction, persona development, and more. Students also learn strategies for effective auditioning. Students will give special consideration to the technical aspects of performance (e.g. acoustics, achieving an appropriate mix for the venue, and recording live performances). At the end of the semester, the class will hold a recital.
Through this course, advanced instrumentalists and vocalists learn effective teaching and clinical skills. Students learn to analyze group and individual skills; structure lessons, clinics, and rehearsals; and assess student progress. Students also model teaching scenarios with peers and engage in active professor-moderated feedback. As they apply models of music instruction, students explore educational philosophies, objectives and methods. Students master principles of educational psychology, models of music pedagogy, and various teaching techniques, with special emphasis on jazz pedagogy (jazz harmony, improvisation, jazz styles, etc.). Throughout the course, students explore motivational concepts, lesson planning, technology-based instruction, administrative organization, the student/instructor relationship, and mentorship. Students also learn strategies for working with diverse groups. This course is highly recommended for students who would like to transfer their performance skills into applied teaching knowledge using basic pedagogy principles.
In this hands-on seminar, students enrich their musical vocabulary by exploring alternatives to traditional improvisational techniques (i.e., playing inside the changes). Through analysis and performance exercises, students learn to improvise a free melodic line over structured harmonic continuity. Instruction focuses on the triad—major, minor, augmented, and diminished—as the building block for fluid, nonrepetitive chromatic lines. Students also learn to transcribe improvisations in an extended tonal context.
In this continuation of PS-633, students advance their musical vocabulary by exploring alternatives to traditional improvisational techniques. Building on their skills with major and minor triads, students move on to augmented and diminished triads to create fluid, nonrepetitive chromatic lines. Students combine all forms of triads to practice increasingly advanced methods of improvisation as well as advanced transcription skills.