City Music attends the Berklee Global Summit

Berklee City Music traveled to Valencia, Spain to participate in the Berklee Global Summit. Hosted by Berklee’s Global Initiatives department, the department that organizes Berklee’s International Programs, City Music participated as a department in the college with a domestic network of education partners that offer music education to pre-college youth. Many of the global partners also offer youth programming and are interested in learning more about the City Music methods and Berklee PULSE.

 

BCM Panel
Berklee City Music Panel at Berklee Global Summit

In addition to Dr. Krystal Banfield and Amanda Lacanilao representing Berklee, Charyn Harris of A Place Called Home and Regina Nixon of Phoenix Conservatory of Music also attended and spoke about their programs and their experience with the Berklee City Music Network. Their reflections are included below:

Charyn Harris, A Place Called Home & Project MuzEd

Inspiring, Impactful and Innovative.  This is what comes to mind in reflecting on my experience of attending the Berklee Global Summit in Valencia, Spain.  It was inspiring to meet so many dynamic and brilliant minds from around the world who have such a strong connection with Berklee. The threads of passion, learning and educating were woven into a beautiful tapestry, swirling deeply into exploring global connections and blended pathways to benefit students beyond their musical development.  We were impacted by unearthing and comparing our universal commonalities challenges, resources and access. In sharing our overview of The Berklee City Music Network, there were many questions of how we leveraged our BCMN partnerships and how the BCMN could expand globally. This brings us to the innovation that Berklee maintains as a creative and caring global thought leader.

As a side note, I’ve been fortunate to have several synergistic connections with the Valencia campus  Three of my students from Los Angeles: Brielle Blount, Heidi Jauregui and Nile Seabrooks have attended the campus.  Brielle also attended the Valencia campus for the graduate program. I am currently hosting a fantastic intern in Los Angeles from Valencia, Paula Piñero Quesada, who is a talented aspiring drummer and educator.  I’d be remiss if I neglected to mention the history and the beautiful aesthetics of the city with its blend of cultures and music. The experience is transformational. We provide a unique model of stepping outside of normal boundaries with the intention of creating a connective and sustainable framework of excellence.  Imagine how this mindset empowers students to be not only highly competent musicians, but global and progressive thought leaders. This is important and sacred work, and there’s so much more ahead. Stay tuned…

Regina Nixon, Phoenix Conservatory of Music

As a Berklee City Music Site, we were completely honored to be a part of the 2017 Berklee Global Summit!  It was an amazing experience to be in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain, tour the Berklee Valencia campus, connect with friends and colleagues, and meet new people changing the landscape of music education the globe over.   In our role at the summit, we were there to bring awareness to the tools that the City Music Network brings (professional development, teacher training and PULSE (among others) and to learn about alternate pathways that our students can use to make a post high school education possible.

For me, it was about starting relationships to make those pathways available to our students and increasing my organization’s visibility. But the real impact was about creating opportunities for more Berklee Partners to learn about the magic of the Berklee City Music Network, and help them to envision ways that the tools the network provides can enhance their programs.  It was an excellent opportunity to reflect on what makes this network so special.  From leveraging brand, creating strategic partnerships and collaborations, utilizing the resources of Berklee College of Music, taking our place as a local and national thought leader, and being part of a paradigm shift in music education, and the community of like-minded thinkers; the benefits of being a Berklee City Music Network member are unparalleled.   We were proud to represent and be a part of this fantastic experience of fellowship and join in the global mission of creating quality music education experiences all around the world.

Phoenix Conservatory of Music Awarded National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award

Berklee City Music is pleased to announce that on the evening of November 9, 2017, the Phoenix Conservatory of Music — a longstanding partner of Berklee City Music Network and PULSE — was granted the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program (NAHYP) Award in Washington D.C.

PCM students Marcus Wolf (16), Lourde Childs (13), and Michael Rodriguez (15) were representatives of Phoenix Conservatory of Music at the event, travelling from Arizona to the Nation’s Capital to find out that their organization’s College Prep Program is an awardee for the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.  Childs and Rodriguez gave a stunning performance of Man In The Mirror recorded by Michael Jackson on live TV, which was observed by the Phoenix community at a viewing party that evening.

The NAHYP Award is the highest honor in the country that can be given to an out of school arts program.  There were only 12 awardees chosen from a pool of 350 nominations from 46 states.  Recipients of this award are recognized as the most outstanding programs in the country for providing creative youth development programs, exemplifying how arts and humanities outside of school enrich the lives of young people by teaching new skills, nurturing creativity, and building self-confidence.

The Phoenix Conservatory of Music offers a high quality music education to hundreds of students each year, with programs ranging from introductory-level music to advanced private lessons and the most prestigious College Prep Program for contemporary music education in the Arizona — the Berklee College of Music’s City Music and PULSE programs.  The affordable and accessible program has provided a path for students to achieve their dreams in music since its outset in 2010.  Students in grades 4-12 are provided with weekly private lessons, music theory classes, and Popular Music Ensembles. PCM has a graduation rate of 95% (compared to 86% in the local community and 77% in the state), and a 71% rate of students who go to a college or university. 43% of those students go on to study music professionally.

Network Lunch at NAMM!

Hello from NAMM!  NAMM is a trade show that stands for National Association of Music Merchants. Every year it is held in Anaheim, California at the Convention Center with upwards of 100,000 people in attendance. For the past three years, Berklee City Music staff have attended in order to meet with industry partners that can help benefit our City Music Network Members and School Districts.

 

Every year that we have gone to NAMM, City Music has hosted an annual lunch for Network Members. This year, five members where represented: Phoenix Conservatory of Music, A Placed Called Home, RYTMO, The Roots of Music and Notes for Notes.

The lunch is always a great opportunity for everyone to connect and give updates on new projects and initiatives they are working on.  It is also a place to start collaboration, as many conversations at the lunch, much like at the Berklee City Music Summit, have lead to cross member projects.

img_4315
L to R: Joey Arreguin (RYTMO), Lee Whitmore (Berklee City Music), Regina Nixon (Phoenix Conservatory of Music), Charyn Harris (A Place Called Home), Raymond Jacobs (Notes for Notes), Alex Kies (Notes for Notes), Clint Valladares (Berklee India Exchange), Arin Canbolat (Berklee City Music), John Bigus (Berklee PULSE), Morgan Steward (The Roots of Music), Mike Anderson (RYTMO) and Angela Han (Berklee City Music)

At this year’s lunch we received updates from our Vice President for Education Outreach, Lee Whitmore, on the Grammy Music Education Coalition, The Boston Conservatory and Berklee merger and news on our online music resources, the Berklee PULSE Music Method, that is now open to the public and will be translated into Spanish in the coming year.

We also heard from each Member on news from their organization.

  • Phoenix Conservatory recently moved locations to a larger facility that will better accommodate their growing student population and program offerings.
  • RYTMO recently launched a new partnership with Learn 4 Life charter school in Anaheim where they are teaching course levels 1 and 2 and will soon be implementing levels 3 and 4.
  • The night before A Placed Called Home and Charyn Harris were honored with the She Rocks Motivator Award from the Women’s International Music Network. Charyn is the conductor of the Music Program at APCH.
  • Note for Notes has recently opened three new studios with their partners at Boys and Girls Clubs in Cleveland, Memphis and New Orleans and plan to open another five new locations in 2017.
  • The Roots of Music is also looking at expanding their program with moving into a new location and creating an arts campus in New Orleans with other partners, including another Network member in New Orleans, Tipitina’s Foundation.

And what lunch would be complete without a traditional selfie?  Check out our Instagram to see it.

img_4316
L to R: Charyn Harris (A Place Called Home), Sandy Jordan (Casio), Angela Han (Berklee City Music), Regina Nixon (Phoenix Conservatory of Music), Joey Arreguin (RYTMO), Stephen Schmidt (Casio), Arin Canbolat (Berklee City Music), Clint Valladares (Berklee India Exchange), Morgan Stewart (The Roots of Music), Lee Whitmore (Berklee City Music), and Bev Tryon (Berklee College of Music)

After lunch we headed from the Marriott to the Convention Center to say hello and thank you to our friends and partners at Casio. The Casio Musical Instruments Division has been a fantastic partner over the past two years, donating more than 150 keyboards to Network Members, including those who attended the lunch.

If you plan to attend NAMM next year in 2018, please make sure we know so we can see you at the lunch and connect!

PULSE Teacher Spotlight: Ed Sublett

me_bass3
About Ed Sublett:
Ed Sublett wears a lot of hats. He is a husband and father of three; a musician, composer and audio engineer; and a school administrator and teacher. A native of Boston, MA he relocated to Knoxville,TN with his family in 2012 and began working at The Joy of Music School shortly after arriving. His primary instrument is upright bass. He performs live with a variety of local musicians and lends his skills in the studio as well. He teaches private lessons on bass and guitar.

About the The Joy of Music School:
The Joy of Music School is a nonprofit organization providing free music lessons for children who cannot afford them. All teachers are volunteers. The school provides instruments, music, and supplies at no cost to students, ages ranging from 6-18 years old. Their mission is to provide a quality music education for financially disadvantaged, at-risk youth. Among their many guiding values are to put the students first, transform lives through mentorship, help develop minds, and build character through music. They set high standards that reward commitment, respect and accountability, providing challenges that foster discipline and self esteem.

What are some of your favorite resources on the PULSE site?
The Study Room is extremely comprehensive. It provides a lot of building blocks and is a great way to establish a baseline of knowledge with a class comprised of students who come in with different levels of knowledge and aptitude.

I’ve used the Jam Room quite a bit with my private bass students. The Jam Room reminds me of when I was 14 with my first electric bass. I used to sit in front of my boom box, press play, and jam along to all my favorite bands. Of course, you can do quite a bit more using PULSE’s Notation Mixer.

I take advantage of a lot of the Practice Room resources as well. I’ve practically worn out the Beginning Scales and Arpeggios book with my students.

I also have found a variety of uses for Noteflight. Everything from helping my students transcribe to creating my own unique exercises that I can share as homework with my students.
PULSE is great to use on a smart board. I hope to expand our PULSE usage this year by offering a PULSE Theory Lab for our teenage students.

How are your classrooms set up for technology use?
We have a large conference room with a laptop and smart board that is used for most of our group classes. We have a small lab for our MPET (Multimedia Production and Engineering for Teens) which is set up with six DAW workstations.We have a small compliment of laptops which teachers can use by request in the lesson studios. Each studio is equipped with a pair of powered computer speakers for use with laptops, tablets, or smartphones.

Learn more about PULSE, and follow @BerkleePULSE.

Black History Month: PULSE and Take Me To The River

In celebration of Black History Month, we’re highlighting special content in PULSE that was created based on the award-winning film Take Me To The River, with curriculum developed by Dru Davison, Ph.D., Fine Arts Advisor for Shelby County Schools, Memphis, TN.

The PULSE team spoke with Cynthia DeJesus, an instructor at the Berklee City Music Boston Preparatory Academy, about how she uses the Take Me To The River content in her classroom:

How did you introduce the TMTTR elective?
My objective for this lesson was to bring cultural awareness of music from the south and study how music has transformed over time. I introduced Take Me To The River to my students with discussions on the history of Rock and Roll and Blues. PULSE provided enough resources and information to allow me to teach these lessons to the class.

How did you share this theme of cultural and generational collaboration with your students?
My students listened to different arrangements of famous tunes in the documentary such as “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers, and learned about the history and influences behind the songs. We had discussions on the TMTTR videos, listened to related music in the Jam Room, analyzed the form and instrumentation, and talked about how the tunes were arranged by Stax.

What did your students think about the TMTTR content?
Overall my students were very engaged from the beginning until the end, and enjoyed watching the musicians recording in the studio. They were very interested to know more about Stax Records, and the fact that Terrence Howard was the narrator of the documentary sparked their attention even more. In learning about the background and history of Stax Records, they recognized the significance of Stax Records occurring at the same time as the Civil Rights Movement.

Were you able to utilize any of the Teacher Guide lesson plans Dr. Dru Davison provided?
Dr. Dru provided significant resources to assist me with my lesson planning.  I found his instructional activity projects to be very helpful.  By the end of the lesson the students worked in groups, listening to existing pieces of music and discussing different ways they might arrange it regarding style and instrumentation from what they’ve learned throughout our TMTTR studies.

About the teacher: Cynthia DeJesus
Cynthia DeJesus is a vocalist and recent graduate of Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Business and a concentration in entrepreneurship. While enrolled as a voice major at the Boston Arts Academy, Cynthia participated in the Berklee City Music High School Academy and Berklee’s 5-Week Summer Performance Program on a City Music unnamed-1.jpgSummer Scholarship. In an interview, Cynthia mentions that the City Music program prepared her for college at Berklee and provided her with the opportunity to take Berklee courses while still attending high school. She currently teaches PULSE classes, assists the ensemble teachers, and works with the vocal students at the Berklee City Music Preparatory Academy.  Her weekly PULSE classes are 30 minutes long; her students range from 4th-8th grade, and represent a large variety of experience, instrumentation, and age in the same class, which challenges her to develop creative solutions in order to fulfill each student’s needs.

About the site:
Berklee City Music Boston—the founding site of the City Music Network—provides music education programs and scholarship opportunities to 1,400 underserved students annually throughout Greater Boston. With year-round instruction, expert faculty, and a comprehensive curriculum based around Berklee PULSE, City Music Boston gives students the tools and support they need to reach their full potential.