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.


Studying Abroad at Berklee Valencia

City Music Boston Scholar Grace Mann traveled to Spain for the Fall 2015 semester to study abroad. Below is a guest post about her experience at the Berklee Valencia campus.

Image 1

When people ask me how Valencia was, I’ve developed a habit of saying, “Warmer than Boston” as if sunny weather was all the little city had to offer. Don’t get me wrong, shorts in November is a phenomenon I think every person should have the privilege of enjoying at some point in their life, but it was not the sole reason I’d encourage everyone to study abroad. The opportunity to live in a foreign country doesn’t present itself too often. Musicians may tour, families may travel, but these experiences provide mere glimpses of a culture. Living in Valencia for an entire semester granted me the time to explore.

Image 3At least once a day I found myself nestled inside La Pequeña Patselería de Mama drinking a café con leche and eating a croissant. It was one of my favorite hideaways from school. Run by only three women, every cup of coffee, every piece of cake, every stack of pancakes felt personal. I loved stumbling through my Spanish with them because they were always willing to help me figure out what I was trying to say. Valencia is filled with nooks and crannies just like Mma’s. Some students like me had a favorite coffee shop and a favorite restaurant, others had a favorite bar and a favorite club. Whatever your preference, Valencia is home to places that make you feel at home.

Studying abroad in Valencia also supplies endless opportunities for travelling. Flying in Europe is an extremely different experience than in the United States. Websites such as Vueling and Ryanair provide access to cheap flights all around the EU. Along with flights, Europe also has a fairly simple train network. Since I studied abroad in the Fall semester, I chose to stay in Europe for winter break and I know others who have stayed well into summer after Spring semester. Other students take advantage of their weekends and travel then. During my 5 months in Europe, my primary residence was in Valencia, but I had the opportunity to explore 6 countries, 15 different towns and cities.

Image 2Studying abroad may sound daunting, but it’s not as intimidating as you think. You have the chance to explore a new country and a new part of yourself while also having the comfort of an entire study abroad class by your side. I encourage anyone who is thinking about it and maybe having hesitations to reach out to an alumni of the program like myself. We will have answers to all the questions you think aren’t worth asking!