Berklee College of Music

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
Azrael
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SoundCurrents32 wrote:Unfortunately, not simple as...

I have told my teacher that - unfortunately, it's not just him who makes me harmonise like Bach, it's the exam board. What I do would get me no marks. To pass the A-Level, you have to pretend to be Bach.

Which is pretty sad, really.
Better than having to pretend to be Mozart. :P

Mozart is all about the superfluous notes that don't belong. Also, his lines are so predictable. Hum the beginning of a phrase of Mozart and ask a 4 year old to finish, they will either reproduce something that Mozart wrote, or more likely something better.

Bach was one of the best composers ever to write. Without Bach, modern music would not exist in all likeliness. His music developed some of the key concepts that artists still use today.
SoundCurrents32
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Very true - I really love Bach.

But I don't like having to write like him...true, he is highly inspirational and influential, but like every musician, I want to do my own thing. I write pieces of harmony that sound wonderful, but because I put an F# where Bach would have put the D, it gets no marks.

That's what annoys me!
RM
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There are plenty of very good music colleges in the UK. I know of people from ACM in Guildford and BIMM who have gone on to massive professional careers.

The thing about Berklee is that by going there, you are taking a massive financial risk, yet it still does not guarantee you a flourishing career as a musician.

Both ACM and BIMM have some amazing tutors. You could do alot worse than learning from the likes of Guthrie Govan, for example.

BIMM are starting a new college in Bristol this summer - get in there while its fresh and you'll have a fighting chance of learning the stuff you need to make your path to playing as a career...
Roger
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SoundCurrents32 wrote: The thing that gets me most is the harmony - I love harmony and it's incredibly useful, but we have to harmonise "in the style of J.S. Bach". I've written so many things that sound beautiful when they're played, but because it's "not what Bach would have done", my teacher puts a big red line through them. How that is relevant to modern music I do not know. Who wants to impersonate another musician anyway?
Aaah... school is a place where you are allowed to be creative and think for yourself. :lol:
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precario
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Roger wrote:Aaah... school is a place where you are allowed to be creative and think for yourself. :lol:
Always has been and always will be :roll:
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Symphon
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precario wrote:
Roger wrote:Aaah... school is a place where you are allowed to be creative and think for yourself. :lol:
Always has been and always will be :roll:
which schools have you been to. ive never been able to think for myself when i was in school, and when your creative to what suits you, the teachers never like it
SoundCurrents32
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I guess it doesn't really depend on the school, because all the school is doing is following the specification from the exam boards.

THEY are the evil ones! :D
Roger
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Symphon wrote:
precario wrote:
Roger wrote:Aaah... school is a place where you are allowed to be creative and think for yourself. :lol:
Always has been and always will be :roll:
which schools have you been to. ive never been able to think for myself when i was in school, and when your creative to what suits you, the teachers never like it
We were being sarcastic :lol:
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precario
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Roger wrote:We were being sarcastic :lol:
Was I ? 8)
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Symphon
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Roger wrote:
Symphon wrote:
precario wrote: Always has been and always will be :roll:
which schools have you been to. ive never been able to think for myself when i was in school, and when your creative to what suits you, the teachers never like it
We were being sarcastic :lol:
haha fair enough. forgive me it was either to early or to late a night when i replied to that
smj
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Hi all,

I attended Berklee between 94-97. While I can't speak for all music colleges, I can say I was really privileged to go there.

Part of why you go is to interact with other musicians/player. You hang, you jam, and you network. You can't get that from sticking your head in a book.

Also, there's nothing like having an instructor there with you while you play to give you feedback, and demonstrations. All of the faculty members there are active players/musicians.

Will it guarantee that you'll be successful? Of course not. Success in any business is not about how much you know. Still, if you're thinking of teaching at any educationall institution, you have to show that you have studied. The Berklee name has a lot of clout, and it's certainly helped me land a lot of well paying jobs in one form or another in the music biz.

One of the main differences between Berklee and a lot of other colleges is the diversity of the program. Last I checked, there were over 16 majors available. I don't think any school has anything that diverse. Songwriting, MP&E, film scoring, music therapy, performance, music synthesis....etc...etc.

There is such a wealth of really world class musicians in the area.... there's always live music to check out. That pushes you and you learn from being in that atmosphere.

Being a successful artist depends on having some artistic depth. Some artists are good for maybe 2-3 albums.. and then their ideas are tapped. The more you study your craft... the more options you have to diversify and you're constantly trying to bring all the ideas you have learned into your artistry. If you're learning on your own,.. progress is often random. When you're studying with good players/teachers, your rate of growth accelerates exponentially.

The cost of going there is still quite high no matter how you slice it. Still, they have a wealth of full tuition scholarships that are given out each year. You can audition in person... or for international students, you can submit demos of your playing. They also award loads of partial scholarships... and often they're not that hard to get if you're good.

Hope that helps.

Sean Meredith-Jones
http://www.seanmeredithjones.com
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Symphon
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GReat, thanks for that reply!

im still thinking of going in a few years.

Im going to be doing some online scholarships first. Get my self some credits to help me get in
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Big Bad Bill
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smj wrote:Part of why you go is to interact with other musicians/player. You hang, you jam, and you network. You can't get that from sticking your head in a book.
So is this unique to Berklee or are most reputable schools of this type likely to have the same benefits? I have to say, your description of Berklee is what I would expect as a fee-paying student. I ask this because I suspect many Vai fans are attracted to Berklee because of Steve's association with it, when there are probably equally nurturing and perhaps cheaper, institutions around the world.
Stephen Brown
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Berklee is prestigious. At least for me it is.
smj
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Big Bad Bill wrote:So is this unique to Berklee or are most reputable schools of this type likely to have the same benefits?
I can't speak for every school that's out there... just from the places that I've been. Here in Toronto, there are several Universities that have a music dept. Sure, they're cheaper... but there's maybe a few hundred students in them. Berklee's student population is in the neighbourhood of 3000+ students. It's a school soley dedicated to music. It's not one little dept in a larger school. Almost 50% of those are international students. Very few schools have that kind of size and diversity in the Student population. If there was a school in Toronto that equalled that... believe me I would have gone... it would have been exponentially cheaper.

I play a lot in the Toronto area. I've played with many of the students that have come out of some of these schools. There are definitely some good players around... but the calibre of musicans at Berklee I have to say was much much higher.

Because of Berklee's program diversity, you have the jazz heads, the latin folks, the songwriters, the rockers, the diva songstresses.... the producers/engineers/tech heads. There are just SO many people to hook up with and play.... and some are just burning players.

Boston as a city is a music Mecca. There are several other music programs in the area such as New England Conservatory...etc. The clubs are quite happening with music. The whole city is saturated with great musicians. Toronto doesn't really compare in that sense. The city itself is beautiful.

There are 500 000 college students in the greater Boston area during the year because there are just so many Universities and campuses around. I met all sorts of great folks from Harvard, Mit....etc.

My last semester at Berklee, I moved into an appartment in Fenway (5 minute walk from Berklee). The guy moving out of my appartment was Antonio Sanchez who now plays drums with Pat Metheny, Danilo Perez...and many others.

Steve Vai is certainly not the only one who went there. John Scofield, Branford Marsalis, John Mayer, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dream Theatre, Alan Silvestri....etc.
Big Bad Bill wrote:I have to say, your description of Berklee is what I would expect as a fee-paying student. I ask this because I suspect many Vai fans are attracted to Berklee because of Steve's association with it, when there are probably equally nurturing and perhaps cheaper, institutions around the world. [/color]
Well, I wish you around 14 years ago to tell me that. I looked around... and yes there were many other schools with a far lesser price tag. But none of them had the diversity of music majors that Berklee had. There are maybe 40 private guitar instructors on staff at Berklee. Every one of them had a specialty... country, funk, jazz, rock...etc. Not to mention the diversity of their other professors in all the other departments.

Not everyone who went there will tell you it was a great experience. The drop out rate is quite high.... 60% or so after the first semester. It's all about what you put into it. I had a great experience... and from that is whence I speak.

Sean Meredith-Jones
http://www.seanmeredithjones.com
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