Experience a week in the life of a Berklee guitar student in this musically diverse program. Designed to provide you with inspiring performance opportunities and technical training, this program will place you in ensembles with guitarists of similar experience, stylistic interest, and ability. Your faculty comprises 35 internationally recognized players from Berklee's Guitar Department who are experts in a diverse range of styles.
2021 Program Information
|Program dates:||Monday, August 16–Friday, August 20, 2021|
|Payment Deadline:||July 1, 2021|
|Move in:||8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. on Monday, August 16|
|Move out:||Friday, August 20, 2021, by 7:00 p.m.|
|Age range:||15 years and older|
What is the curriculum like?
Guitar Sessions offers ensembles, classes, and clinics in the styles of blues, metal, classical, jam band, funk/fusion, classic rock, contemporary rock, jazz, fingerstyle, and performing songwriter. You'll select one style to study in your ensemble, with the ability to branch out in different styles through clinics and jams.
Every participant's schedule will include a class in each of the following:
- Fretboard Harmony: Learn music theory and how it applies to the guitar. The class includes scales, modes, chord voicings, and chord inversions.
- Style: Focus on the specifics in the style of your choosing, and explore related concepts and applied theory.
- Ensemble: Rehearse with other instrumentalists and perform in concert with your group on the last day of the program. Friends and family will not want to miss these performances.
- Visiting Artist Clinics: Guitar Sessions will host several visiting artists and clinicians during the week. Past programs have included John Abercrombie, J. Geils, Wayne Krantz, John Petrucci, Vernon Reid, and Tommy Emmanuel.
What is the schedule?
Below is a sample of a typical day in the program.
|9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.||Breakfast|
|10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.||Fretboard Harmony and Styles, or Ensemble|
|12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.||Clinic|
|1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.||Lunch|
|2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.||Fretboard Harmony and Styles, or Ensemble|
|4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.||Clinic|
|5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.||Dinner|
|7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.||Concert|
|9:00 p.m.–10:15 p.m.||Jam Sessions|
Schedule subject to change
What are the performance opportunities?
Students have the ability to participate in open jam sessions each evening. There will be multiple jam sessions happening simultaneously, focusing on different styles.
The program will culminate with master class performances on Friday. Students will perform the repertoire they have been rehearsing in their ensembles and will receive feedback from faculty.
What are the requirements to attend?
All students 15 and older with six months of playing experience are welcome to attend. The program curriculum focuses on guitar technique and proficiency.
Upon arrival, participants are required to perform a placement audition. Be prepared to play a short piece of music no more than two minutes long. Your audition piece will help the audition team measure your ability in the style you wish to study for the week. You do not need to read music, but if you do, you will be asked to demonstrate your skills in this area.
Please note: This program has limited capacity. Submission of registration materials alone does not guarantee participation in the program. You will secure your spot by paying in full. When the program capacity has been reached, registrants who have not paid in full will be placed on a waitlist.
What do I need to bring?
Students should bring their guitars, quarter-inch cable, tuners, and, if applicable, pickups. We provide amplifiers for all participants to use in our ensembles for rehearsal and final performances. No amplifiers are provided for use in practice rooms, so you may elect to bring a set of practice headphones and a small practice amplifier. Students should bring a notebook and pens/pencils.
If you intend to stay in the Berklee residence halls while participating in the program, please also review what to bring for your room on the housing page.