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Berklee Scholarships

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Farin, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    Hey, I Guess this question is addressed at Marco Panascia, seeing as how I saw he was a Berklee Grad. Everyone is welcome to comment... I'd like as much feedback as possible.
    I am an upright Jazz bassist, in my first year of college. I'm currently attending The University of Akron. Its ok, but I feel like I'm missing out on just a huge world of jazz, and contemporary music in general. So, I have applied to Berklee, and I would really love to attend, but, with college tuition at 40 grand a year, it's a little steep for my budget.
    With that said, is there really as much scholarship money available as Berklee claims? I have applied for an audition on the World Scholarship Tour, and I'm hoping to impress the panel. What should I prepare? Just Jazz, Jazz, and Classical, Tunes out of the real book, ect?
    Also, should I expect to do a ton of sight-reading on the audition? Like most jazz musicians, my sight reading skills are ok, but need work?
    So in a nutshell... what the hell should I do? What should I prepare, and what should I plan, in order to get the most scholarship money possible?
    Thanks so much
  2. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Well I would think that if you're really good and Berklee wants you then they'll pony up some serious scholarship money. If you're not so good, then they want you to pay for the scholarships of the people they really want.

    Berklee has a lot of money, a lot of facilities, etc. There is also a huuuge difference b/w the good players and the not so good players.

    The only way you'll know is to try.

    As far as what to play, did they give some kind of parameters? If not, then play what highlights your playing. A swing tune (standard) showing your ability to walk and solo; a ballad to show some diversity and again your ability to solo.

    Contact the bass department and find out.
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Look into Univ or the Arts in Philly. UARTS. My son is there now and has Charles Fambrough as his private instructor. They have about 7 pro Bassists that teach there from courses to lessons. It is cheaper than Berklee by a little but a better town with better music opportunities. I think with the Freshman Dorm incl the gross was 30k.

    Stanley Clarke went there when it was named the Phil.Academy or Music. It's a great School. My son has played Bass since he was 5 years old. I did only a little to coach him along the way. After 2 weeks he told me he has learned more than 'he has learned'! He is taking Theory, Piano, Plays Bass for the Trumpet ensemble, Bass workshop, weekly Private lessons and he is SCARY after less than 2 months, and music tech. Oh, and one English course. I know most of the Bass teachers now and he is having a ball. Look into UARTS. It's worth checking out. My son did a weekend camp at Berklee and said it was useless. He would not go there for free.
  4. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    Well, I guess one thing I forgot to mention is why I chose Berklee. I am very interested in recording, and would like to persue that end of the music field. I love Technology, and Berklee has an amazing Music Production and Engineering Program. Any More thoughts based of that?
  5. jazzbass72


    Jun 26, 2003
    New York, NY
    Sorry to disagree, but I must defend Berklee as the most amazing educational experience I've ever received. Not to mention the great networking opportunities... most of Berklee graduates serious about jazz end up in NYC anyway (not Philly, I am afraid, as great a city as it is), which is why my Berklee connections were very useful when I first got to the Big Apple and needed to work right away in order to make a living.

    thanks for your nice offline message. To answer your question, try to show confidence when you play for your Berklee audition...you don't need to prepare anything difficult. Just make sure that whatever you play, you play it the very best you can, even if it's an F Blues at a medium tempo. A killer time feel on a walking line will be preferred over a superchops show-off any day. A good sightreading ability will definitely help your audition, so make sure you work on it as much as you can, you'll be glad you did, especially when you're out of school trying to make it as a freelance bass player. Try to practice on some Thad Jones big band bass charts for example, that combine lead bass lines with comping on chord changes... you'll get something in that vein on the audition, so be ready for it.

    And yes, Berklee can be *very* generous to talented bass players, scholarship-wise. It's definitely worth to audition.

    Best of luck!

  6. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA

    Does Berklee still use the numbering system for reading levels (e.g., 1-9 with 9 being the best)?

    I spent about 1 1/2 yrs at Berklee and if I listed all the great players that used to hang out in my dorm room you'd ****. My roommate knew a ton of people and I got to meet so many. It is/was a good place to network but then so was NT (I transferred there from Berklee).

    I think the tuition is 20k per yr now (not per semester) but I could be wrong. The add another 10k for living in Boston.
  7. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    Thanks Marco,
    Once I get my stuff together, maybe you could look past my audition material and give me so feekback.
    It's nice to hear someone who supports Berklee. Many people claim it is over priced and over rated. But everyone I have talked to that has actually gone there claims its amazing.
    And Thanks for everything!
    -PS. I saw the pictures of you with Ray Brown and CM on your website, along with many other greats. Thats pretty damn cool!
  8. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    May I ask why your transfered from Berklee?
  9. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    The thing about Berklee is that it defies description because of the fact that, as it was explained to me, any and everyone who applies is accepted. This is a beautiful philosophy in a way because it opens the door to people to learn music from scratch, and I met many talented musicians in Boston who were coming to Berklee after having done other degrees in, like, mechanical engineering or English, with no background in music. This also means that there a ton of relative beginners paying full tuition, which isn't so good for them but which is great for the top echelon of players who get nice scholarships funded by all those other students.

    This isn't maybe so good in the sense that there are inevitably a number of pretty weak musicians running around there, and that has an effect on one's experience. But if you're one of the top jazz players there (as Marco P. was), you will have a fantastic experience playing only with other amazing players and learning from excellent teachers. My general impression when I was going to school down the street at the New England Conservatory was that, on the whole, Berklee was pretty lame (I think that about most schools, though...), but that the best students there were as good as the best students anywhere and they were having an experience equal to or better than that in any jazz program anywhere. There were a bunch of Berklee students I played with or hung around with at that time--Ferenc Nemeth, Walter Smith, Massimo Biolcati, Kendrick Oliver, this African guitarist named Lionel--who went straight from Berklee into serious playing situations, whether in the Monk Institute band or the Mingus Big Band or with people like Terence Blanchard. It's hard to argue with that.
  10. I'm a senior in high school this year and attended the Berklee 5-week performance program this past summer. I didn't totally dig the complete anti-conservatory vibe, but hey, that's just me. I know a ton of people who go there and LOVE it, and I totally agree that it's a great place for the right person. There are some killer cats on faculty--I studied with John Lockwood for the entire 5 weeks, twice a week, and DAMN...regarding scholarship $, I auditioned and received a full tuition award. They seem to, as Marco suggested, be quite generous in certain areas, and apparently they're somewhat lacking in talented double bassists at the current place in time. My audition consisted of me playing a tune, "Evidence" if I remember correctly, then sight reading a TON of stuff...this guy was pulling legit lit out on me to sight read playing pizz...I think he was just trying to see just how much I could take, but I didn't truly appreciate it at the time :p
    Hey, at least it payed off! Just shed your s*** and you'll be fine! :hyper:
  11. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Well there you go. Listen to LowEnds playing and compare yourself. Use his playing as a benchmark for the level of playing required for a full scholarship. I'm sure there are more variables (such as sight reading) but at least it gives you an idea of what's expected.
  12. dylanjohnson

    dylanjohnson Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2002
    Morro Bay, CA
    I went there, and if I could add anything it would be this.

    If you know what you want out of a school (for your own development), and it is not classical music, it is available for you at Berklee. I would agree with Marco and that it was an incredible educational experience. By far my best experience. I think that if you are a good player, you will be playing with players that are much more advanced with you, as much as you want. If you are an excellent player, you will be playing with players who are still much more advanced than you, especially as a bassist. That is how it is there. Bottom line. (No pun intended)

    In addition to that, there are many talented students there who aren't primarily players; engineers, producers, composers, etc. If your interests lie outside of performance it is there too, but you still have to do 4 semesters of music study and instrumental requirements. Everybody does play.

    It is such a large school that you naturally gravitate toward those with similar interests (and talents usually), and if you ask someone like Marco vs. a 19 yr old who spent a semester there what Berklee is like, you are going to get two completely different experiences. Not to mention someone who goes to the summer program for youth (a completely different experience).

    The last thing. Berklee has some of the most interesting, talented, and inspiring teachers I have come across. Not players who teach, but teachers who really have devoted much of their lives to figuring out how to communicate this stuff to people.... and they play. It also has awful teachers who will waste your time. What school doesn't? You ask around and sign up with teachers you want. You have that choice at Berklee, and you don't always at smaller schools.

    Audition for the scholarship tour, get the earliest date/time you can get (they dont wait till the end of the tour to award scholarships), and tell them you are a hermaphrodite from Antartica, and you will be set! Just kidding...... :p
  13. ...+1
  14. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    Thanks! Keep the opinions rolling. Great Feedback guys. Keep it commin
  15. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Even back then it was relatively expensive and since I was working my way through school I opted to transfer to NT for several reasons. One being the lower tuition and another was that it was the largest jazz program. My roommate at Berklee and I just sort of decided to give NT a try. And the weather was much better in TX :)