The American Roots Music Program Country Blues Residencies

The American Roots Music Program has an ongoing Country Blues residency with the talented guitarists Woody Mann and Paul Rishell. Private lessons are available to all current Berklee guitarists who are interested!

San Francisco Chronicles


Nashville Notes


While much of the Northeast was shoveling snow during the holiday season, Nashville residents were treated to our characteristic wintry gray skies and cold rain. But despite the weather, we still know how to celebrate the holidays. With the help of SESAC member and Berklee alumna Amanda Williams '99, the Berklee Nashville Alumni Chapter hosted its first alumni holiday party on December 16 at the SESAC building on Music Row. More than 60 alumni attended to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and celebrate the holiday season together.

L.A. Newsbriefs

Peter Gordon


As we begin a new decade, it's worth reflecting on the extensive growth of the SoCal Berklee alumni community over the past 10 years. Every year the number of graduates who launch their careers in Los Angeles increases, and despite the recent challenges facing the music industry and the economy at large, the success stories keep on coming.

Congratulations to the 23 alumni who garnered 25 Grammy Award nominations for their work in 2009. Good luck on January 31.

Alumni Beat

Karen Bell


I want to begin my first column of the new decade by wishing you all the best for 2010 and by taking a moment to review the highlights of late 2009. In December 2009, we held holiday parties in 11 of our alumni chapters. Thanks go to our dedicated chapter leaders for helping to create these great events. Below we've featured some pictures from various events. To view additional photos posted by members of the Berklee community, visit

Alumni Profile: Dave Pierce '92

Mark Small


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The 8th Annual Business of Hip-Hop/Urban Music Symposium: A Rap with Talib Kweli

The Business of Hip-Hop/Urban Music Symposium, presented by the Berklee Music Business/Management department, features a celebration of one of the most influential genres of music in today's record industry. This event will include a panel discussion with several prominent hip-hop/urban music industry executives and showcase performances by selected hip-hop/urban artists. The event will include a rap with Talib Kweli (interviewed by faculty member Brian "Raydar" Ellis). Sponsored by the Professional Education Division and Office for Diversity and Inclusion. 

The Woodshed: Scatting Without Fear

In my 35 years of teaching vocal improvisation, I've never encountered a student who, with some basic training, was truly incapable of scat singing. When faced with the prospect of using their voice to improvise, many students express unfounded feelings of fear and intimidation. Overcoming this psychological barrier adds another dimension of challenge to teaching improvisation. With that in mind, here are some simple, non-intimidating vocal exercises that I use to teach novice improvisers.

The Original Musical Instrument