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Tag: Five-Week Summer Performance Program (Page 2 of 3)

Five-Week Summer Performance Program

“Berklee Summer Programs are what I live for each summer” – Stephen Coleman shares his journey to Berklee

Berklee Summer Programs alum and 16-year-old Junior in high school, Stephen Coleman, sat down and talked to us about his time at Berklee over the last three summers.

Stephen Coleman performing

The Berklee summer programs are what I live for each summer.  It really is the greatest place on earth if you love music!

I am a 16 year junior in high school and I have attended Berklee summer programs for the last three summers and I plan on attending again this summer. I have made so many wonderful friends from all over the world coming to Berklee.  One of the most important things I have discovered at Berklee is that there is so much extraordinary talent and there is so much to learn. I live outside of Boston in a town called Wellesley approximately 20 minutes away, and was able to commute to Berklee for the duration of the program every day.  I consider myself a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter. I will be applying to Berklee for college next year.  Wish me luck!

Stage Performance Workshop

Stephen Coleman with Livingston Taylor

Livingston Taylor and Stephen Coleman

The first summer program I attended was the Stage Performance Workshop, and it was the best three days of my life! Initially, I heard about the Berklee Summer Programs from the non-profit band program called “Plugged In” which I have been involved in for the last six years. All of the teachers in that program are Berklee faculty members. Berklee faculty/alumni also make up the rehearsal bands that we played with, and also accompanied us in the final performance. At the Stage Performance Workshop, I took classes with the truly amazing Livingston Taylor. I learned so much from him – how to be a better musician, how to be a better performer and perhaps most importantly, he taught me how to develop character in my persona. He is really an extraordinary teacher and person.  I was also able to perform at The Red Room at Cafe 939 during an “open mic” night. Cafe 939 is a Berklee venue that has great sound! I enjoyed every minute of the experience.

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“Berklee is the Best!” Songwriter Kate Diaz Highlights the Five-Week Program

15 year old Berklee/Sonicbids Competition winner and Five-Week scholarship recipient, Kate Diaz from Chicago IL, shares some of her experiences and memories at the 2011 Five-Week Summer Performance Program.

The Competition

I heard about the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance program through a listing on SonicBids.com. I didn’t think I was going to win it, but I thought it was worth a shot so I entered. After receiving news that I was a finalist, I was very excited. It was a tough decision for my family to decide to fly me and my mom out to it from where we live near Chicago, but since I have family in Boston, we made a vacation weekend out of it and stayed with them.

After some stressful travel delays, I finally arrived for the final competition at Café 939, a Berklee venue. It was a very unique experience to be able to receive advice from the great judges who all teach at Berklee. I had a great time performing, but had my doubts about the outcome as I was the youngest participant in the running. They announced who won 3rd and 2nd place, and since I didn’t get those, I really didn’t expect to be picked for 1st. When they called my name as the first place winner of the full scholarship, it was a shock and I went home unbelievably happy!

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Take 5 Episode 4


Maybe it’s the raw emotion of this episode. Maybe it’s the intimacy of the backstage accounts. Or maybe it’s the excitement leading up to the Blowout concert. We can’t say for sure. But whatever it is about Episode 4 of Take 5, it’s caused the thing to spread like wildfire within and outside of the Berklee community. And we couldn’t be more excited.

One thing that stands out in this episode, probably more than any before it, is the music. Picture is only half of any good production. And we have our PULSE audio guru, Elizabeth Acle, to thank for that crucial other half of the production – sound.

Elizabeth laid down original tracks in this episode and synched them with the classroom audio that was present in the footage, creating for the viewer the same intensity and pace that our cast members experienced during their last week of rehearsals. Additionally, she has created numerous MIDI tracks to create the perfect mood for the episode, and also composed original ballads to strike just the right emotion.


As we work to wrap up Episode 5, we are sad to see this project coming to an end. It was a bit of an experiment when we started out. But with the help of all the talented folks here at PULSE, and the diligence of our student producers, we’ve turned it into a top-notch production.

You can also see episodes 1-4 on the PULSE site in the Study Room or on the Berklee site.

Enjoy the show! And please feel free to blog your hearts out with any feedback.

Launching Take 5: Episode 1


T5logoMaking the Take 5 Documentary:

1.  Put Flip-cams in envelopes.  √
2.  Seal envelopes.   √
3.  Mail to six teenage musicians around the country to have them film their lives.  √
4.  Cross fingers and pray!  √

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Karen Cowley talks about Five-Week


180 international students from all corners of the globe attended the Five-Week Summer Performance Program this past summer. We first heard from Karen Cowley when she attended the Berklee in Dublin program this past April. Cowley won a scholarship to Five-Week there, and we followed her to get the inside scoop on her experience at Berklee: classes, activities, performances, and adjusting to life in Boston. Enjoy!

Shelly Booth: Can you tell us about your top two favorite classes? What topics are you studying, and what’s the most useful advice your teachers have given you?

Karen Cowley: It’s hard to pick only two top favourite classes. . . .

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