Forum Recap: Getting Ready for Five-Week

The City Music Network Forum is a monthly webinar attended by members of the Berklee City Music Network. This month’s guests, Kasey Cox and Madison Denbrock, spoke about getting ready to send students to the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program as a Berklee City Music Summer Scholar.

Dates to remember
Decisions Emails Sent Out: May 9th
Student’s Enrollment Paperwork Deadline: June 1st
Site’s Payment Deadline: Priority, June 1st, City Music June 15th

Program Dates: July 7th – August 10th
The First Week:
Saturday, July 7th: Check in to housing, program and orientation
Sunday, July 8th: Placement – ensemble & theory/musicianship
Monday, July 9th: Academic Orientations – Theory, Musicianship, Instrumental Department and Performance Perspectives
Tuesday, July 10th: Pick-up schedules
– City Music Tuesday Meetings at 1pm
Tuesday, August 7th: City Music Scholarship Concert

Prepare your students for a college experience. Their individual schedules will be similar to that of a Berklee College student, with specific class times and breaks in between. Learning how to manage their free time is new and important to understand for many students. They can utilize that free time to use practice rooms, or attend activities hosted by the Student Activities Center. Additionally, the college has a number of resources (counseling, etc.) available to the students who should be encouraged to seek them out.

College Credit. Students who earn a “B” in their courses can earn 3 college credits from Berklee. Students who go on to complete a second year at Five-Week can earn an additional 3 courses upon earning a “B” the second year. Up to six (6) total credits can be awarded to high school students who attend Five-Week. Encourage your students to be aware of this opportunity.

Auditions. Sunday,  July 8th – students will have a placement audition to determine what courses and ensembles they will be put into. Although students are always nervous, remind them this is just for placement; they’ve already auditioned and earned their summer scholarship!
 A second audition opportunity is available from Berklee during five week, hosted by the Admissions office. Students can use this to practice their audition skills, but they also have the opportunity to earn scholarships to Five-Week next summer or to Berklee College

Quick Tips:

  • Ask for help
  • Manage your time well
  • Try-out for opportunities – this is a time to explore!
  • Build relationships 


Madison and other students with her site director, Regina Nixon, of Phoenix Conservatory of Music during Five-Week

Madison, a five-week alum and now Berklee student, joined us to share her tips about Five-Week as a City Music student. Her advice is listed below:

Key things to bring:

  • Ethernet cable

  • Computer, adapter

  • Fan (you may not bring that but you’ll probably want to buy one)

  • Portable phone charger

  • Extra XLR and/or ¼” cable

  • Only what you can carry! Don’t overpack

Don’t bring:

  • Multiple instruments
  • Amps

 You’re going to spend more than you think you will

  • Plan for trips on the T (subway)
  • Extra shows in Boston
  • Eating with friends

Preventing Burnout. 

Almost everyone gets sick during week 3; bring Emergen-C or similar
 to boost your immune system. Know your body. If you need more sleep to function well, make sure you take the time and get what you need. There will be late nights, and there is always something going on but make sure you take the time to care for yourself so you can make the most of your experience

Don’t talk about ratings. Everyone receives a rating from their audition; it’s tacky and difficult to talk about them. They’re only used to place you in an ensemble and as a starting place – not a determination of how “good” you are.

Auditions and Anxiety. If you’re well prepared, they will likely ask you to improv over songs you’re already familiar with
. Remember that everyone is scared, it’s “pointless” to worry. Auditioning is part of being a musician

Dealing with being far away from home

  • Travel in packs
  • Talk to your family/support group about how to stay safe
  • Stay busy to combat homesickness
  • Seek advice/support from City Music staff, and utilize the campus counseling resources

Dean’s Set List: Kiersten Kelly, Ciara Ventura, and Corinne Savage

This month’s episode of the Dean’s Set List features three young ladies from our member Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in Midland, Pennsylvania. Kiersten Kelly, Ciara Ventura, and Corinne Savage were all City Music Summer Scholars during the summer of 2013.  Ciara Venture and Corrine Savage were recently graduated high school seniors at the time, and received a full-tuition scholarship from Berklee City Music to attend Berklee College of Music and are currently in their first year at Berklee.

Kiersten Kelly, a junior in high school last summer, has become a YouTube sensation with her version of “Cup Song” from the movie Pitch Perfect.  It has been viewed over 550,000 times.  You can watch it by clicking here.  What makes her version particularly impressive is that she performs it one-handed.  She was born without a right forearm but has overcome her disability through music, even launching an anti-bullying campaign.

Please enjoy these talented young ladies version of “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall.  To learn more about the Dean’s Set List please visit our previous posts featuring earlier episodes: Episode 1Episode 2Episode 3Episode 4, and Episode 5.

Dean’s Set List: Quinton Monteiro, Isaiah Hill, and Larry Baeder

This month’s episode of the Dean’s Set List features Quinton Monteiro from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in Midland, PA, Isaiah Hill from Little Five Points Music Center in Atlanta, GA, and Larry Baeder from Bahama Village Music Program in Key West, FL.  Quinton and Isaiah are students who were City Music Summer Scholars in 2013 and attended the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program.  Larry Baeder is a faculty and board member at his Berklee City Music Network site who attended the PULSE Training Institute that took place during our summer programming.  They are performing Stephanie Mills’ “Home.”

To learn more about the Dean’s Set List please visit our previous post.

Quinton Monteiro performing at the Berklee City Music Scholarship Concert.

Through the Summer Scholars’ Lens

Check out our Instagram poster of photos taken by Berklee City Music Summer Scholars throughout their experience at the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram @BerkleeCMN as we will be taking our own pictures and micro-vidoes of the Summer Scholars at the Berklee City Music Scholarship Concert tonight at 7:30pm Eastern.

We hope you are able to tune in and see the Summer Scholars perform through our live stream: