Berklee in Los Angeles: Contemporary Performance Program


Announcement: Students who complete both programs, Berklee in Los Angeles: It's All in the Song and Berklee in Los Angeles: Contemporary Performance Program, will receive a $100 rebate.

What's the program like?

The contemporary musician: What are the stylistic considerations? Why should all instrumentalists—drummers, guitarists, bassists, pianists, wind players, string players—and vocalists, strive to be well-rounded artists? These questions will be our guide in this workshop for all musicians—from classical to pop and rock to jazz, and more—interested in learning to be the best they can in the contemporary music styles. Classes will be in lecture and master class formats on topics such as instrumental technique, improvisation, and harmony.  Students will then apply these skills in ensembles and special lectures.

What's the schedule?

Classes will generally run from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and concerts and jam sessions will take place in the late afternoon and evening. Class topics and schedule are subject to change.

Harmony and Chord Scales:  This lecture will demonstrate how to use contemporary harmony and chord scales to enhance your performance, improvisation, comping, and writing skills.

Instrumental Technique: You will participate in classes covering instrumental technique specific to your instrument. Insights into practicing and improvisation will be presented.

Ensembles:  You will be assigned an ensemble in order to apply the skills you are learning in your lecture classes. All students will perform in a final concert at the end of the program.

Special Lectures: Faculty and special guest artists will present master classes on the topics of composition, arranging, and songwriting. You will work in a helpful, non-critical environment with faculty who are world renowned for their knowledge, teaching skills, and empathy with students.

Evening Jams: Participants will be given the opportunity to play with other musicians in jam sessions.  Times will be announced prior to the program.


Please review the items next to your instrument to prepare appropriately for the program. You must bring your instruments and be prepared to play in class.

Bass (Electric and Acoustic): Bring your patch cable and tuner.

Brass: Bring any accessories needed to keep your instrument in working order.

Drum Set: Bring sticks and stick bags (including brushes and mallets), drum key, and your cymbals (if you have a set).

Guitar: Bring extra sets of strings, patch cable, tuner, and any accessories needed to keep your instrument in working order.

Hand Percussion: Feel free to bring your instruments.

Timbales: Bring your sticks, and also feel free to bring your timbales.

Piano: Instruments will be provided.

Strings: Bring any accessories needed to keep your instrument in working order.

Voice: (Optional) Bring your microphone and microphone cable.

Woodwinds: Bring any accessories needed to keep your instrument in working order.

Where will I eat and sleep?

You are responsible for researching and booking your own lodging. There are a number of lodging options within walking distance to the event location. You are encouraged to research these options online. Lunch will be included as part of the program. You are responsible for your own breakfast and dinner.

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