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

#5to5week Ensemble Director: Marty Walsh

As we count down to Five Week, Berklee City Music is interviewing our Five Week City Music ensemble directors. Today, we’re featuring Marty Walsh, director of the Five Week City Music Pop/Rock Ensemble.

Ensemble director Marty Walsh with Five Week student.
Ensemble director Marty Walsh with Five Week student.

What are you looking forward to most this summer?

Working with very talented City Music musicians.


What advice can you give to students to get the most out of your ensemble?

Think above all else what is right for the song. It’s not about individual performances, it’s about how the group performs as a whole


Many students travel from far away – what is one thing you think students should do/see/eat while in Boston?

Go to a Red Sox game. Fenway park is the classic old school baseball stadium.


SAVE THE DATE: August 11, 2015 at the Berklee Performance Center, 7:30pm

WATCH highlights from the 2014 Scholarship Concert:

Follow along on social media using #5to5week


2014 Five Week Calendar

Five-Week Berklee Summer Performance Program is in full swing here in Boston.  Here is a calendar of the remaining exciting events for City Music students.


Jam Session

Friday | July 25, 2014 | 6:00 p.m.

David Friend Recital Hall

Admission: Free

A jam session for Berklee City Music students attending the 5-Week Summer Program.


Red Sox Night

Monday | July 28, 2014 | 7:30 p.m.

Fenway Park

Admission: Ticket prices vary

Berklee City Music Network Students will be singing both the Canadian and American National Anthems before the Boston Red Sox take on the Toronto Blue Jays.


Caf Show

Thursday | July 31, 2014 | 10:00 p.m.

Berklee Caf, 160 Mass Ave

Admission: Free

Wednesday through Saturday, the Berklee cafeteria transforms into a concert venue and music hall run by students, for students, and featuring musical performances of all styles. This 7/31 performance will showcase guest alumni Koa Five-Week along with current Five-Week participants.  Students can audition for the show here by submitting a youtube video to Margot in the City Music Boston office.


Writing Workshop Presentation

Monday | August 4, 2014 | 5:00 p.m.

Christian Science Center, 210 Mass Ave


Pulse Training Institute

August 8 – 12, 2014

On-Campus, Berklee College of Music

PTI prepares attendees for PULSE certification. PTI educators will explore best practices in American popular music teaching pedagogy and methods used at Berklee and throughout the Network, teach tips on how to better navigate PULSE website resources, and share tools that will enhance your approach to integrating PULSE into your site’s curriculum. Participants will keep a daily journal throughout PTI and actively contribute to the discussion. All participants will be required to demonstrate proficiency using The PULSE Music Method in their teaching/classroom context.  The last night of the training will culminate at the Berklee City Music Annual Scholarship concert.

Registration for PTI is still open!


Scholarship Concert

Tuesday | August 12, 2014 | 7:30 p.m.

Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass Ave

Admission: Tickets available via Vendini


At the culmination of the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, Berklee City Music students will perform rock, pop, jazz, hip-hop, inspirational, and R&B songs. Scholarship awards will be announced at the show.


Berklee City Music Five Week – Instagram Contest

This Saturday, Berklee’s Five Week Summer Performance Program will kick-off in Boston.  Students from around the Network will travel here to study, learn, and perform.  Berklee City Music is hosting our own social media contest for Network students with themes and prizes each week, as well as a grand prize at the end of the session.  We’ll be posting tips and tricks to promote yourself and your music over social media throughout Five Week, so be sure to follow us @BerkleeCMN and also @CityMusicBoston!

Find out what students are doing here in Boston by searching the hashtags #CityMusic5Week and #BerkleeSummer on both Instagram and Twitter.

We can’t wait to see the students and to give away the first round of prizes at the Tuesday meeting.  Be sure to check out the theme below and start capturing your moments today!