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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Peter Ferretti, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    So I was rappin' with the Berklee admissions Rep who came to Idyllwild the other week, and we were talking about admissions standards. The exact words of, "Yea, people usually buy their guitar on friday and start on Monday here. We like that kind of atmosphere with no tension." Actually came out of her mouth. Throughout this convo I kept thinking to myself, either your an idiot and don't know your program, or something is wrong. Isn't Berklee a pretty highly regarded school in the jazz world?

    I'm a Classical cat who has just gotten into jazz in a BIG way, so just tryin to understand that whole arena of schools.

  2. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Probably it all depends what instrument you're playing. I've been told there are tons upon tons upon tons of guitarists at Berklee. If that's true, then the comments of this woman don't seem to be very far off.

    It would be a shame, however, for you to have the lasting impression that jazz at a conservatory is BS. That simply is not true. Unless you want to make the argument that any conservatory education is BS (and I've heard that argument made).
  3. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    The admissions rep wasn't kidding, but don't let it deter you: Berklee has a policy of accepting pretty much every student who applies and then separating them according to skill level once they arrive. So, while it's true that a runaway semi-truck crashing through the intersection of Mass Ave. and Boylston would rid the world of hundreds of guitar-case-toting, pot-smoking, long-hair-having rock-n-roll wanna-bees, there are also very very many outstanding jazz musicians who go there. (And some nice scholarship money for the good players is available because of all of the full-tuition-paying newbies.) Berklee's policy of open admission isn't just good financial sense for them, it's also kind of a service that allows people to change course in their lives and go in a new direction; some of the best musicians I knew in Boston were engineers and English teachers who went back to school to learn music from almost-scratch and really came away from Berklee with a pretty good experience.

    Don't expect a liberal arts or a "classical" music education from Berklee, though; that's not going to happen.
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    From my own research and witnessing discussions on Berklee's methods, graduates, etc., the best answer I can come up with to this question is...

    "It's supposed to be."

    If you're really considering getting a jazz education at a conservatory, I'd advise checking out the Manhattan School of Music. If nothing else, John Pattitucci is on faculty this year replacing Ron Carter. There's a guy there this year named Zack Lober doing graduate work in music that graduated from McGill University in Montreal...the dude's a monster, monster player. I'm not sure what kind of standards they'd have for undergraduate work though.
  5. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    Tbeers- the only grouding for the conservatory is BS arugment that I have heard is that the program is to specialized. Well, I am at an arts school already, dividing my time 60/40 Arts and Academic. Conservatorys dont scare me. I'm better at classical. I know a hell of a lot more about classical. That being said, I love jazz. I respect the musicians equally as much as classical musicians. I grew up with the music, I feel the music. I have friends at NEC, New School, Miami, the list goes on, and I have sat in on their programs. It's hardcore. As it should be, but thats not what I have heard about berklee, so I was stretchin my wings and seeing what is known about that school

    Johono5-The guitar comment explains a lot. The only bass players I have known to go there ended up complete to be complete jokes, and I think dropped out. They got full scholarships, so theres another mark against the school, from what I have heard. I wasn't even aware that Berklee had a Classical program, let alone pursuing it. As I said before, I'm not really looking for a LA education either.

    Aaron- I have had many friends go to MSM. The school has a good classical program, a good jazz program, it is a school I will consider a very real option. John also happens to be one of my personal Idols, so that tends to help.

    Thanks a lot guys, this really clears up some things for me. While I don't see myself at Berklee, I have a better idea about what the school is about now. I had this image of we let everyone in for the sake of giving them a chance, forget barriers of entry. But I guess those barriers are within the school itself not the admissions process?