This is a guest post by Amp Up NYC student Yancy Garcia. Yancy attended five-week as a summer scholar in 2015.
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.
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.
“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!”
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SAVE THE DATE: August 11, 2015, 7:30pm BPC – 2015 Scholarship Concert
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.
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: