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 


THE STUDENT PERSPECTIVE

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

Budget.
 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

Five Week Alumni Advice: Yancy Garcia

This is a guest post by Amp Up NYC student Yancy Garcia. Yancy attended five-week as a summer scholar in 2015.

YancyGarcia

What did you find most rewarding about your five-week experience? Outside of having the opportunity to meet industry professionals and getting great advice from them, the most rewarding experience would be the classes. My ensembles were great and I learned how to work with my peers during rehearsals and how to arrange our songs. My favorite, though, would have to be my music theory classes. Every lesson was engaging and my teacher was very enthusiastic – I gained a lot of musical knowledge.

What surprised you most about your experience? The most surprising experience at Five-Week would be getting to meet other students from all around the world. I met kids from South America, Europe, and all around the United States. I have never been in an environment with so many culturally diverse students.

What piece of advice would you give a student who is attending for the first time? For a new incoming student to the Five-Week program, I would definitely say to bring more than enough clothes because 5 weeks are longer than it sounds! But, really, go to the program with an open mind and be willing to get out of your comfort zone.

 

Amp Up NYC® is a music education pilot initiative designed to accelerate the adoption of Modern Band music programs in New York City public schools. Founded by Berklee College of Music, Little Kids Rock, and the New York City Department of Education, Amp Up NYC provides teacher training, classroom instruction, interactive online technology, and instrument donation that help schools establish contemporary music programs.

Casio: The World’s Favorite Keyboard

Casio is a Tokyo based, internationally acclaimed electronics manufacturing company that produces calculators, mobile phones, cameras, musical instruments, and watches. Casio’s keyboards and synthesizers have been used religiously by musicians worldwide for decades.

The reliability and notoriety of Casio’s products makes them stand out amongst various musical instrument distributors. Casio’s commitment to high-quality and environmentally friendly products is an exemplary standard of excellence in the industry.

The Summit is looking forward to Casio’s partnership with Richard Formidoni on Tuesday, November 10th to present I Learned on a Casio. So many of us can say we started our musical journey on a Casio keyboard. Casio has been enabling musicians for 35 years and counting. Learn how Casio continues to keep music education a top priority, and how its current line of instruments can bring your music to new heights.

Special thanks to Casio for their sponsorship of this one-of-a-kind event.  The 2015 City Music Summit will be held at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City on November 9-11. Register today.

www.casio-music.com

casio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ableton: Made by Musicians, For Musicians

One of the Summit’s sponsors, Ableton, is a Berlin-based music software company that produces and distributes the music sequencing software Ableton Live as well as their own software controller, Ableton Push. Ableton’s mission to provide top quality products to musicians worldwide while striving for self improvement as a company is a breath of fresh air for the industry and a model way to operate a business.

Ableton’s team is a diverse, intellectually rich group built upon mutual learning experiences. Many of the employees are musicians, producers, and DJ’s which allows them to have a personal attachment to the products they are distributing. Being a community dominantly comprised of musicians sets Ableton apart from other software companies due primarily to their ability to see the product through a refined lens. Being able to relate to their consumers is what makes Ableton a force to be reckoned with.

The Summit is fortunate and fervent to have Ableton as a sponsor this year. As part of their participation, they will be giving a workshop on Tuesday, November 10th entitled The Project-Based Music Class: How the Latest Tech Brings Musical Creativity to the Masses.

Summary: Don’t let your music class get stuck behind the times! During this workshop Will Kuhn, Music Technology Instructor at Lebanon High School in Ohio, will take you inside his cutting edge music technology classes. See how his students produce EDM, Pop, Hip Hop and more using the latest tech available.

The 2015 City Music Summit will be held at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City on November 9-11. Register today.

Ableton

 

#5to5week: Alumni Advice from Yesseh Furaha Ali

As part of our #5to5week countdown to 2015 Five Week, we asked five week alumni what advice they have for students that are getting ready to travel to Boston. Today, we’re featuring Saxophone player and Berklee College of Music student Yesseh Furaha Ali.

Yesseh Furaha Ali
#5to5week Yesseh Furaha Ali

“I attended five-week for three summers (2012-2014). Every year I learned something new, developed and matured as musician and an overall individual, and made many connections from people all across the world who I still keep in contact with till this day. To me, my favorite part of five week was just being around diversity in music, people, classes, teachers, etc. I felt as though being in this type of an environment allowed me to express myself freely amongst other musicians. My advice to you students, first and foremost is to thank the people who’ve helped you and guided you to get to this point in your young musical careers, especially your City Music site and the staff and administration at Boston City Music for providing you with this wonderful opportunity to be apart of this summer experience many dream of attending ON A SCHOLARSHIP.  So definitely be thankful for that. Also, always keep in mind that you are a representation of your city, your City Music site, Berklee, your family, and anyone else who has helped you along the way. Remember that there is a time and place for everything but when it’s time to work, it’s time to work. Professionalism goes a long way in anything you do, and keep in mind that you are auditioning 24/7 wherever you go. Like my late music teacher would say, ‘It’s how you look, how you act, and how you sound.’ Keep this in mind and many opportunities will open up. And lastly, have fun! Definitely explore Boston and take as much in in these five weeks as you can! Congrats to all of you, and I hope you take full advantage of this experience!”

Follow along on social media with #5to5week and follow us on Facebook.

SAVE THE DATE: August 11, 2015, 7:30pm BPC – 2015 Scholarship Concert

BCMN On the Road: Woodlawn

This is post #3 in the guest series by BCMN Registrar Andrew Sammut after his visit to 4 BCMN sites this spring.

Woodlawn + Audiostate 55

Arin and Andrew’s third stop on their southeastern trip took them to Woodlawn Musical Arts, Entertainment and Industry Program of Birmingham, AL. Conducted by state-of-the-art local recording studio Audiostate 55, Woodlawn provides a music technology course to students from local schools, a summer music camp that serves over two hundred students and opportunities to perform at local community events.

Audiostate 55
Audiostate 55

When we arrived, Dr. Henry Panion, President at Audiostate 55, explained some of the projects he is working on with students at the local public schools including music videos to celebrate several local and national events. We then had an opportunity to observe one of the music technology courses that Woodlawn provides as an elective for students at a nearby high school. These students use PULSE in conjunction with other software to learn the basics of sound production and recording technology. We also got to meet members of the school faculty as well as the recording and business staff at Audiostate 55.

Audiostate 55
Audiostate 55 Music Technology

Dr. Panion then gave us a tour of the Birmingham community, including the impressive musical facilities at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where Dr. Panion teaches as both University Professor of Music and Co-Director of Music Technology. We also visited the Woodlawn Foundation offices, which engages and enriches the Birmingham community through the Woodlawn music program as well partnerships providing academic tutoring, mixed income housing, locally sourced produce and other efforts at “holistic neighborhood revitalization.”

IMG_1583

The support of these teachers, philanthropic partners, engineers and administrators allows Woodlawn Musical Arts, Entertainment and Industry Program to provide greater opportunities, musically as well as academically, to students in the Birmingham community. With its deep roots in the community and roads to Berklee College and beyond, City Music is proud to partner with this grassroots, globally minded organization.

BCMN On the Road: 2xSalt

Berklee City Music staff members Arin Canbolat and Andrew Sammut recently returned from visiting four Berklee City Music Network sites, so we invite you to take an inside look at their trip in this four-part series by BCMN registrar Andrew Sammut.

2xSalt

With a roster encompassing the continental United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, site visits are a welcome opportunity for City Music staff to skip the smartphone and speak directly with the people who make the Network possible. Last week Arin and Andrew were fortunate to tour City Music’s southeastern region, beginning with 2xSalt Ministry in Charlotte, NC.

Founded in 2003, 2xSalt brings together youth through community gatherings, athletic programming and of course music education. Our visit began with a warm welcome from 2xSalt board member Alan Barnes, who took us on a tour of 2xSalt’s main facilities. In addition to its full size basketball court, community cafeteria, Thrift Shoppe and mechanical engineering lab, 2xSalt offers music students the opportunity to record in their own studio, study PULSE in a computer lab and jam in a beautiful, welcoming performance space. 2xSalt joined City Music shortly after adding music to its broad range of programs in 2012. It has been both rewarding and informative to observe the growth of this site’s musical resources and more importantly its student base.

2xSalt Students
2xSalt Students

After music instructor Eric Brice joined us, we drove to some of the nearby schools attended by 2xSalt students. We listened in on a jazz band jamming over “Footprints,” smiled at the sight of three trumpeters and a sousaphonist using their lunch period to practice, and talked with another student who just completed their audition for the City Music Summer Scholarship. We also met some of the local band directors who support 2xSalt. President and founder Bart Kofoed and 2xSalt music teacher Randy Johnson then joined us for lunch, sharing their experiences and hopes for West Charlotte’s students. With music programming in many schools reduced or cut from the curriculum, Alan and Eric emphasized their eagerness to bring in more students and allow them the opportunity to learn music.

Lab at 2xSal
Lab at 2xSalt

As students began arriving back at 2xSalt stage to begin playing after school, the importance as well as sheer joy of that mission was palpable. From a swinging blues jam through Freddie Hubbard’s famously difficult “Red Clay” to a very Herbie Hancock-esque original composition by one of the 2xSalt students, it was clear that these young musicians not only enjoy playing but that music animates and empowers them.  The opportunity to meet and talk with those students as well as their teachers, parents and the dedicated leadership at 2xSalt was a great beginning for this trip!

 

Guest Post: Feb 2015 City Music Caf Show

This post is by guest blogger J. Curtis Warner, Jr., Associate Vice President of Education Outreach at Berklee College of Music.

On Friday, February 20th, we were treated to a stellar performance at the Berklee College of Music Dining Hall by an ensemble made up of Berklee City Music alumni representing Network partners from at least four different cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, CA, and New Orleans. The group “Turn the Lights On,” led by vocalist/percussionist Henry Oyekanmi (East Bay Performing Arts Center) and vocalist Langston Theard (Tipitina’s Foundation), gave a stellar depiction of what happens when cutting edge contemporary arrangements are blended with old school flavor and a penchant for “keeping things real.”

Customarily noted as “Caf Shows,” these performances are often organized by the students and take place in the college cafeteria without cost to its audience. It is not surprising to hear bands of a very high caliber, and that’s exactly what we experienced last week. The Berklee City Music Network alumni band could have easily opened for a major act at TD Garden, the Staples Center, or the Wells Fargo Center, and I for one would have paid a decent ticket price to see them – main or opening act.

If I dare to categorize the music, I would say: neo-soul infused with funk, a taste of Middle Eastern Phrygian-olydian, jazz-a-matazz hip pop, and some slammin’ R&B vocals atop a technotronic bed. There was a balanced roster of both cover tunes and some headed-to-the-top originals. Along with Henry and Langston were City Music students Darryl Staves on drums, John Dandan on keys, Macston Maccow on “tracks,” and Yesseh Furaha Ali on sax. The group was further complimented by Berklee students Justin Perkins on bass, Willie Moore III on guitar, and Matthew Sallee, Melaner Quiroz, and Alexis Shae on background vocals. An opening ensemble made up of a number of City Music Boston students was chosen by audition and definitely established itself as an “act to follow!”

Throughout the performance, both Henry and Langston repeatedly gave shout-outs to Berklee City Music making such statements as, “… they [City Music] are the reason I’m here [at Berklee] and “they’ve made me who I am.”

If you know any of these young musicians mentioned above, commend them, because they carried the City Music banner proud and high, and are clearly demonstrating the value of a Berklee education… and they are not even out yet!

City Music Scholar Reflects on NAMM Experience

Robert Gould is a City Music Scholar from Little Five Points Music Center in Atlanta, GA, and is currently studying at Berklee College of Music.

The opportunity to perform and receive hands on mentorship by George Clinton, Moby, and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus crew was an amazing experience to say the least. George Clinton at the forefront of creativity and individuality as a musician mixed with the high level technological advancements and concepts the John Lennon Bus and Moby bought to the experience made this opportunity a life changing musical adventure I will never forget. The ability to be surrounded by music in all directions in the atmosphere set by the NAMM Conference in California made this musical encounter a surreal moment.

Robert Gould-NAAM PHOTO

As musicians and contemporary music students at Berklee College Of Music, we often are searching for innovation and desiring to be at the helm of what will mold and set a new dawn of music for our generation to enjoy. This opportunity yielded to me by Berklee City Music allowed me to see that in order to be innovative in this era we must seek for the foundations laid by George Clinton, Moby, and John Lennon who were and are all men who faced music with fearless tenacity and zeal. Creativity and technology are at the forefront of this new dawn of the entertainment industry we are entering into. This purpose driven experience connecting education, recording, and technology has exposed my mind, enriched my soul, and fueled my determination for success through my artistry. I am so honored to be an ambassador for the Berklee City Music Program.

Find Robert Online:

Soundcloud | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter

 

Tips from a Successful Mentoring Program Coordinator

We recently sat down with Jordan Summers, the Music Mentoring and Youth Development Coordinator for Berklee City Music Boston, to get some tips on how to foster successful mentor/mentee relationships in a program that consists of about 80 participants in the Boston area.  Mentors are Berklee students and mentees consist of local middle school and high school-aged youth from underserved areas that have auditioned for City Music programs. The program provides mentees with 3.5 hours of instruction per week that includes a one-on-one music coaching, theory class, and ensemble rehearsal.

City Music Mentoring Program Collage
City Music Mentoring Program

 

Jordan broke down her keys for program success into the “3 R’s”: Research, Recruit, Relationship

Research

Jordan frequently uses free online tools to enhance Mentorship programming. There are several non-profit organizations that provide guidance for mentor programs in the form of networking, helpful information, and organizational tools.  She said that she regularly checks for new resources like handbooks, activity ideas, and training information from the websites of the following established national mentoring organizations:

  • http://www.mentoring.org: Mentoring program that develops quality resources to advance mentoring program effectiveness and innovation, while sharing knowledge among mentoring programs, and works to drive increased investment to sustain and grow mentoring programs nationwide.
  • http://www.massmentors.org: Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) helps to fuel the movement to expand empowering youth-adult relationships to meet the needs of communities across Massachusetts.
  • http://www.nationalmentoringmonth.org:  Focuses national attention on the need for mentors, and how businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits can work together to increase the number of mentors to assure positive outcomes for young people.

Recruit

“Always be looking for mentors!” Jordan advises. Because City Music mentors are usually full-time Berklee College of Music students, Jordan is sure to have a “back up for the back up”.  She sources her mentors from general interest meetings that she advertises through the college, referrals from Berklee faculty and staff, a recruiting table that she sets-up at college events, and through informational materials she places around campus.  Jordan also leverages the program’s many success stories to encourage students to sign-up.

Show Value:  Jordan knows that Berklee students are more likely to sign-up as mentors if she can show them the value of being a mentor goes beyond spending time with a kid in need of music instruction and someone to hang out with after school.  Jordan said that her mentors oftentimes tell her that they have become more aware of their own learning style through the applied teaching of their mentee.  Following graduation from Berklee, several of her City Music mentors have requested and received recommendation letters and connections with industry professionals throughout the Berklee City Music National Network.

Relationship

For the mentor’s first contact with their mentee, Jordan provides them with a “first call” template/script to make communication effective and easy.  She also put together a handbook for mentors that contains best practices and acts as a trouble-shooting guide to get the relationship off to a great start.

Jordan plans at least one non-music activity per month and told us that “pizza always works!”  She highlighted the importance of taking the mentors and mentees out of the context of a demanding learning environment.

Jordan left us with her favorite quote to share with new mentors/mentees, “In learning, you will teach and in teaching, you will learn.”

Click here for more information on the City Music Mentoring Program.