Teenagers from A Place Called Home (APCH), a Berklee City Music Network partner in South Central Los Angeles, recently joined Grammy Award-winning artist Macy Gray on stage at the Conan O’Brian show. They joined Gray to perform the song “Teenagers” off of her new album Covered.
APCH Music Director and Berklee alumna Charyn Harris worked with her colleague and APCH instructor Jeffrey Connor to make it all happen. Harris explained that, “A Place Called Home works with professional working musicians who are also instructors. We were fortunate to have Jeffrey Connor facilitate this great and inspiring opportunity for the kids to work with such an amazing artist”.
Also involved in the once in a lifetime opportunity was another Berklee alumnus, Zoux who is the musical director for the R&B soul singer-songwriter.
Vocalist, songwriter and Berklee alumna Lalah Hathaway ’94 just visited Berklee to celebrate the dedication of the new Africana Studies Program, perform at the Berklee Performance Center, and conduct a master class with Berklee City Music Boston students. Ms. Hathaway also sat down with Shea Rose ’11 and discussed her experiences at Berklee and beyond, her perspective on the music industry, and her experience with BCMN member Stax Music Academy.
Please enjoy this video and some words of wisdom from this gifted artist!
Live from New York … It’s Saturday night! Well, okay, we’re actually coming at you from Boston, and at the time of this posting, it’s Friday morning. But we’re feeling a big connection to Saturday Night Live as of late. Just recently, the show featured Karmin, some of our favorite alums featured in PULSE’s Practical Skills Level 1. And now … drum roll please … we bring you our newest addition to the Study Room – Practical Skills Level 2! And, as part of it, we feature another SNL star — the house band’s keyboardist, Tuffus Zimbabwe, who shares his path to success in the Career Opportunities section of the unit.
Practical Skills Level 2 helps students continue working on the real life skills that will take their music to the next level. It focuses on helping students hone their writing and communication skills, explore the different careers available to musicians, and understand the importance of defining what you and your music are all about. With plenty of videos and downloadable worksheets, the unit helps aspiring musicians to develop the tools needed to get noticed in the music industry, and to investigate potential careers in music.
Now, without further ado, meet Tuffus Zimbabwe. He is a Pianist, Composer, and Arranger and a City Music and Berklee alum. He might look familiar from his great gig as the keyboardist in the Saturday Night Live band. In this video, he shares his educational journey and how he got to where he is today.
Do you think that music has the power to heal? Then meet Sarah Blacker, a Music Therapist and Singer/Songwriter (and Berklee alumna!) who uses music in her work with people with disabilities. Learn more about what it takes to be a music therapist, and start thinking about the different ways that music can be developed into a career.
Log-in to www.berkleepulse.net to check out the rest of our career videos featuring Music Educator Darcel Wilson, Guitarist/Performer Jeff Gitelman, who’s played with the likes of David Bowie and Alicia Keys, and Chris Rival, a Producer/Engineer who owns his own recording studio in Greater Boston.
One of the great things that we take away from these career video profiles is the strong sense of identity that each of these musicians possess. Don’t you feel like you understand them or have a grasp on the direction in which they want to take their musical careers? That’s because they’ve all had to look introspectively to realize what they want to project as part of their musical identities. In the “Defining You” section in Practical Skills Level 2, you’ll learn about Marketing and Branding basics with Mike King, Director of Marketing for Berklee Media.
In the “Working With Words” section, we tackle a topic that many musicians don’t like to address: writing. Learning how to communicate your ideas and your mission effectively could get you just as far as a hit song. But we won’t have you writing novels or sappy love poems. The subject matter of this work is way more interesting, because it’s all about you.
An artist statement, biography, resume, or a blog all have some do’s and don’ts that are good to have under your belt. In this next video, Katie Barnes, City Music Boston‘s Recruitment and Enrollment Coordinator, explains the basics of a bio and how you can make it your best!
Now check out the Bio in action with these City Music students who share excerpts from their bios and tell you why it’s an important tool to have in your arsenal.
There are worksheets that go with each segment. Here’s a quick preview of what you would use when developing your bio.
Want to learn more about Berklee PULSE? Take the tour on youtube, like us on facebook, or follow us on twitter. You can find more about the Berklee City Music Program here.
David Mash and Greg Badolato of Berklee had a master class on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 presented by The Berklee City Music Network Site East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. The class discussed creating music with the tools of modern technology including its uses in practice, ear training and improvisation.
David Mash is Senior Vice President for Innovation, Strategy, and Technology at Berklee College of Music. David was the founding chair of the music synthesis department, the first degree-program in MIDI and music synthesis in the United States. He also played a leading role in the development of the Berklee City Music Network – a consortium of community based organizations providing after-school music education to youth from under-served communities at no cost to them, currently in 32 cities across the US. He also helped develop the Berklee PULSE music method.
Greg Badolato is the Assistant Vice President for International Programs and is the former chair of Berklee’s Ear Training Department. He has traveled extensively for the college as a musical and educational representative to various parts of the world.
David Mash’s thoughts after conducting this masterclass at East Bay…
What was the theme of your masterclass?
It was a class about using technology in music making and learning.
How do you think this masterclass would benefit other sites?
This is useful information for all students of music.
How did you and Greg prepare and tweak your repertoire for the masterclass/performance?
We chose music to play that illustrated the points we made in the slides and in our discussion.
How much support did you get from the Network site?
The site was great, and provided us with a sound system and video projection systems for high-quality A/V support
What do you hope students took away from this masterclass?
That technology has changed the way we compose/produce, perform, and learn music.
Here’s a student’s response to attending this Master Class:
Hi my name is John Dandan, I am currently a freshman at San Jose State University in California, studying piano jazz studies. I am also a part of the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, a Berklee City Music Network partner. On January 24, 2012, Berklee gave a special presentation at Easy Bay Center regarding music technology and its history. This presentation meant a lot to me because not only did I learn how far music technology has developed through the years, but also some effective practice techniques. It was quite a unique experience and what put it over the top was when I got a one on one with one of the presenters. He answered all my questions about Berklee auditions and more. I am also thankful for everything, this presentation, and especially East Bay Center; if it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I’d do and what direction to take with my music career.
The projector was working, the crew was in place, and the sound system was ready to go. I stood by the stage, smiling (perhaps more than was cool), as I watched our five BANDED bands give it their all. It was a vibrant and eclectic night for music education at the Brighton Music Hall.
Our production team was there when each band’s new BANDED song was primordial sludge, before it had words… or horns… or a chorus. There is very little documentation of the musical creative process, and even less that explores the collaborative process of bands. PULSE was there with cameras as The MJEML grew a three-movement work from a drone of rhythmic humming, as Ghost Box Orchestra gathered around an image of a desert hitch-hiker, as Zili Misik drew from a rich palette of historical and cultural references, as Aloud put it all down in an afternoon, and as Tumbleweed Company navigated their spiral form. Beyond that, we filmed as Berklee faculty members Prince Charles Alexander, Marti Epstein, Linda Chase and Mark Simos showed up at rehearsal spaces across Boston to bring their unique perspectives to each band’s process; and we were there as tracks were laid down, making these songs the first original PULSE tunes. We had finally made it to the concert, a culminating event to showcase the results of this process. Before each band’s set, we shared short reels of footage with the audience. The video played, the screen moved to reveal the artists, and then there each song was, up on stage, being performed with all of the energy and passion that we saw it composed with.
An exceptional amount of dedication and creativity from everyone involved—bands, faculty, engineers, and the PULSE team—made this project come to life. The concert ran without a hitch, from our opening City Music All-Star act, to the perfectly-timed panel discussion, to Tumbleweed Company closing out the night. I want to extend a huge thanks to Sharon Lynch as floor director for the evening, Nazli Green as concert producer, Erin Genett for her beautiful poster design, Mary Boland who organized and produced video coverage of the event, and our camera and sound crew of Bryna Gootkind, Amy Schrob, James Staub, Zack Zukowski, and Elizabeth Acle. Additionally, I would like to give a shout-out to my fellow BANDED producers, Jeannie Greeley and Nicole Bedard for their spectacular work, as well as PULSE Director Dan Newsom for his support of this project.
Musicians are generally very giving people. If your goal is to move an audience, you can’t hold anything back. These bands were willing to put their process under our lens, trusting that, in the end, it would all help young musicians across the country bridge the gap between theory and creativity. I am excited to make that happen with my team, and hope to foster many more opportunities for the music community to engage with Berklee, PULSE, and the new landscape of music education. –Audrey Harrer, director of BANDED and PULSE creative manager of multimedia.