Five-Week Summer Performance Program
Join us and musicians from more than 70 countries for the summer of a lifetime. The focus is on you and what you want to say with your music in an environment that is pure performance, and this year marks the program's 30th anniversary.
Come immerse yourself in your chosen style and study with world-class faculty and visiting artists in state-of-the-art facilities. You’ll play in ensembles, develop improvisational and reading skills, and improve your technique in weekly private lessons.
2016 Visiting Artists
|Program length:||Five weeks|
|Program dates:||Saturday, July 9, 2016 - Friday, August 12, 2016|
|Move in starting:||Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 8:30 a.m.|
|Move out by:||Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.|
|Age range:||15 years and older|
*Nonrefundable and nontransferable. Program information subject to change.
The Five-Week program is a pre-college course ideally suited to high school students but open to all eligible applicants. The program takes place on the Berklee campus, located in Boston's business, retail, and arts district. The campus is located on and around the busy intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street. It is close to Symphony Hall, Northeastern and Boston universities, New England and Boston conservatories, Fenway Park, and the Christian Science Center. Classes include one-on-one private instruction, core classes with roughly 18 students, and larger lecture-style classes. Parents and guardians must determine if this urban college setting is appropriate for their son or daughter. While there is limited supervision for on-campus residents, students will receive an individualized schedule and will ultimately be responsible for attending all assigned courses and abiding by Berklee policies.
You must be at least 15-years-old by the start of the program and have been playing your instrument (or singing) for a minimum of six months to attend the Five-Week Program. Most students who attend this program are of high school and college age.
For students who are also interested in enrolling at Berklee full-time, there are several benefits to attending Five-Week:
- Audition for scholarships to Berklee during the program. Roughly $7 million in scholarships are awarded to Five-Week students auditioning for full-time enrollment.
- Find out what it takes to succeed in music and at Berklee.
- Study with Berklee faculty.
- Learn about admission, audition, and scholarship requirements.
- Gain access to Berklee facilities (library, concert halls, rehearsal and practice rooms, etc.)
- Get a head start on your full-time studies.
- Get to know Boston, New England's hub of culture and academia.
During Five-Week, you will be immersed in all aspects of performance. Your classes, workshops, and ensembles will focus on this important side of your musicianship. You will play in a band, develop improvisational and reading skills, improve your instrumental craft in weekly private lessons, and participate in classes and demonstrations by well-known faculty and visiting artists.
Five-Week emphasizes the mastery of playing or singing performance skills in your chosen style of contemporary music: jazz, pop, rock, funk, fusion, R&B, country, musical theater, bluegrass, etc. Learn and develop your skills through your individual studies and work with other musicians of similar training and ability. Whether you are an experienced performer or someone who has never been in front of an audience, you can improve your performance skills by attending Five-Week. The focus is on you and what you want to say and do through your music, in an environment that is all about performance.
You can choose to study from the following styles:
- Jazz—Repertoire will focus on music drawn from jazz standards, the Great American Songbook, blues, Latin, and modal jazz compositions by a wide range of important jazz artists, including John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Wes Montgomery, Horace Silver, Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, Christian Scott, and others.
- Pop/rock—Repertoire will focus on music drawn from important performers, including Eric Clapton, Adele, Lady Gaga, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Green Day, Carrie Underwood, Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Black Keys, Mumford and Sons, Taylor Swift, U2, and more.
- Funk/fusion (instrumentalists only)—Repertoire will focus on music drawn from important performers and groups such as Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, the Chick Corea Elektric Band, the Pat Metheny Group, John Scofield, Medeski Martin & Wood, and others.
- Pop/R&B (vocalists only)—Repertoire will focus on music drawn from important performers such as Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Usher, Robert Glasper Experiment, John Legend, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Christina Aguilera, and others.
In all styles, ensemble performance will be driven by the specific interests of the students involved.
What to Bring
Housing: Bedding, including pillows, sheets, blankets, etc. Beds are extra-long twin size: 36 inches by 80 inches. Towels and toiletries.
Music Equipment: Unless you are a piano player or drummer, you are expected to bring your instrument.
Vocalists are encouraged to provide their own low-impedance microphone and cord. There are a number of microphone models available, such as Shure, Blue, and Audio Technica, for around $99.
Drummers need only bring practice pads, sticks, and brushes. Students are welcome to bring their own cymbals, but there are cymbals available for them here.
Guitarists and bassists should bring cables and foot petals, etc. Amplifiers will be supplied in ensemble and lab rooms. You may wish to bring a small practice amplifier (with headphones) for individual practice rooms.
Keyboardists who wish to bring a synthesizer for ensemble purposes may do so. Piano/keyboard principals will take their private lesson on acoustic piano.
Only acoustic bassists may use storage lockers on campus, if available. Unfortunately, Berklee cannot accommodate storage for any other type of instrument.
Five-Week students who receive a grade of B or higher in FWTH-010 Theory in Performance, FWMU-010 Musicianship, FWPI-0X0 Private Instruction, and at least one section of FWEN-010 Five-Week Ensemble have the opportunity to earn up to two three-credit undergraduate level courses - one per year: MUS-P101 Fundamentals of Musicianship in year 1; and MUS-P201 Fundamentals of Musicianship - Advanced in year 2. Each course will count as three general elective credits upon admission to Berklee College of Music. The credits will transfer to other colleges at their discretion. If you qualify, you will receive an unofficial transcript in addition to a grading report.
International students are required to obtain a valid Form I-20 and F-1 student visa to enroll in this program. You may not participate in the program on a tourist visa. Participants traveling from abroad should visit the International Student Information page for important visa requirements.
Services for Students with Disabilities
The Berklee Five-Week Performance Program offers a special course on assistive music technology for blind students. The course explores digital audio workstations, notation software, and Braille music.
Musical Preparation and Placement
Each student attending the Five-Week Performance Program is required to audition and take a theory and musicianship assessment upon arrival to Boston. Audition and assessment times will be communicated to you after you have enrolled in the program.
How should I prepare for the placement audition?
The placement audition determines the style and level of ensemble and instrumental/vocal labs. It typically lasts five to ten minutes. During the audition, you are asked to 1) perform a prepared song or piece in a style you want to study (please bring a backing track and/or lead sheets), 2) demonstrate your ability to improvise (not required), and 3) demonstrate your level of music reading (not required).
How should I prepare for the theory and musicianship assessment?
The theory assessment determines your placement in a theory and performance class. The assessment covers topics including clefs, intervals, scales, modes, intervals, chord spelling, tensions and rhythm. The musicianship assessment determines your placement in a musicianship class. It tests your ability to identify intervals, chord types, and melodic and rhythmic phrases.
Your education at Five-Week is provided by Berklee's world-class faculty. Classes generally take place between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Some classes and activities may meet in the evening. All participants will be given individual student schedules during the first week of the program.
Performance is the centerpiece of Five-Week. During the five weeks, you will have many opportunities to put your coursework into action. Additional performance opportunities available to you include:
- Jam sessions—Tuesday and Thursday night jam sessions are open to all. This is a great way to get to know other students and explore your own potential in informal group situations.
- Recording studio sessions—Selected ensembles can record in one of Berklee's 10 state-of-the-art recording studios.
- Recording sessions for vocalists—Vocalists will have the opportunity to record a song in a professional recording studio, singing with prerecorded tracks or with their own accompaniment.
By-audition performance opportunities:
- Performing Songwriter Showcase—Auditions are open to all students. You may perform an original or co-written song by signing up to audition in the Student Activities Center during registration. A panel of Berklee faculty will select students to perform their songs in a series of showcases scheduled during the fourth week of the program in the Berklee Performance Center and Cafe 939.
- Singers Showcase—Vocalists may audition during the first week of the program to be one of 10 featured vocalists; five soloists and five background vocalists will perform in the Berklee Performance Center during the fifth week of the program. Students will perform arrangements written especially for them and performed with a band of selected Berklee students.
- Instrumental Showcase—Instrumentalists may audition during the first week of the program for an opportunity to perform in one of three all-star instrumental groups. These groups will perform in the Berklee Performance Center under the direction of Berklee instrumental faculty during the fifth week of the program.
- Musical Theater Showcase—Auditions for the Musical Theater Showcase are open to all students during the first week of the program. Vocalists may audition for lead and supporting roles. Instrumentalists may audition for a chair in the Musical Theater Ensemble. Students selected for the Musical Theater Showcase will perform in the Berklee Performance Center during the final week of the program.
The Student Activities Center, in collaboration with the Five-Week office, welcomes you to Berklee and to Boston with a dynamic two-day orientation program complete with student performances, jam sessions, introductions to Berklee resources, and community-building social events. Over the course of the Five-Week program, the Student Activities Center organizes a host of activities meant to connect the Five-Week community and encourage students to take advantage of the student experience that Berklee and the city of Boston have to offer.
Past activities include group outings to movies and concerts, trips to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and hikes on local trails. Planned ongoing events have included caf shows (concerts in the Berklee dining hall run by students for students), game nights, and dance parties. Students are bound to find something of interest and meet a few friends along the way. While the specific offerings may change from year to year, the Student Activities Center promises there will be plenty to do. We recommend that all Five-Week students stop by the Student Activities Center to hang out, watch television, play games, or learn about getting involved. For more information about Student Activities at Berklee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Berklee offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships to the Five-Week Summer Performance Program. Generally, most scholarships awarded range from $1,000 to $3,000. A limited number of full-tuition scholarships are available (housing not included), with preference given to students enrolled in high school or secondary school. There is no federal aid for this program.
Please note: You must be registered for a program in order to be considered for a scholarship.
If you have any questions about scholarships for the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, please email email@example.com or you can reach the office by phone at 617-747-8681.
Students and families can pay by logging into the student's account at apply.berklee.edu
Completing all program forms and paying the registration fee is the first step to signing up to attend the Five-Week Summer Performance Program. Registration fee payment also secures a housing reservation for those who have indicated they would like to stay on Berklee's campus.
To secure your place in the program full tuition payments, and housing if applicable, are due by June 1. We encourage all participants to pay in full as soon as possible since the Five-Week Summer Performance Program has limited capacity and can fill up quickly. If program capicity is reached, priority to attend will be given to students who have paid in full and all others will be placed on a waiting list.
All refund requests must be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. The last day to request a full refund, not including non-refundable registration fee, is April 15.
Have Payment Questions?
Contact the Office of the Bursar at email@example.com or by calling 617-747-2610 (U.S. only). International callers, please dial +1 617-747-2165.
Tuition and fees are subject to change.
Withdrawing from Summer Programs
Any student withdrawing from a summer program must complete an exit interview with the program director. Students under the age of 18 who wish to withdraw from the program must obtain written permission from their parents or legal guardians.
Students withdrawing during the first two weeks of the Five-Week Summer Performance Program are eligible for a tuition (and housing charges, if applicable) credit according to the following schedule:
Withdrawal during the first week of class: 66 percent credit
Withdrawal during the second week of class: 33 percent credit
Withdrawal after the second week of class: No credit