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Tag: Five-Week Summer Performance Program (Page 1 of 3)

Five-Week Summer Performance Program

Students at the Sidewalk Series

Post authored by Erin Gernon, marketing assistant for Summer Programs.

Caroline Hisel performs at the Sidewalk Series.

Walking down Boylston Street on Thursday afternoons in the summer, you may stumble across a concert outside the Berklee Bookstore: young, talented musicians performing their compositions in front of peers, the cafe crowd, and the passersby, whose urgent errands fade as they stand transfixed by the music.

These concerts are known as the Sidewalk Series and have been a fixture of the Five-Week Summer Performance Program since 2011. Every Thursday during the five-week program, selected students use the bookstore patio as their amphitheater for an afternoon.

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Traveling to Berklee from Abroad

Post authored by Erin Gernon, marketing assistant for Summer Programs.

Berklee College of Music may be located in the heart of Boston, but its summer programs attract musicians from all over the world. The Five-Week Performance Program is particularly appealing to international students, who comprised 33% of last year’s participants and traveled from 53 different countries. The student diversity is an extremely compelling aspect of Berklee’s programs for those who attend.

Daniela Zamora

“You get to meet so many people from all around the world, and I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had, ”said Daniela Zamora of Mexico City, who went to Five-Week for voice. “The fact that everyone there has such passion for music is amazing.”

Zamora was convinced to attend after hearing other students’ stories. “I already knew that Berklee was the most prestigious music college, but I finally decided to go after two friends from school who had been there the year before told me that it was the best summer of their lives,” she said. “They were right. I loved everything about Berklee.”

While students find their time at Berklee to be a rewarding and enriching experience, it does pose some challenges.

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Jake Tavill

Summer Programs introduces Jake Tavill from Rumson, New Jersey who came to Berklee last summer to attend the Five-Week Performance Program.

How long have you been playing your instrument?

I have been singing for 7 years and playing the piano for 6 years.

Which summer program did you attend and what drew you to Berklee?

I attended the Berklee Five-Week Performance Program. I was drawn to Berklee by the amazing people that have studied there, the renowned teachers, and the amazing reviews.

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Ilana Sivachenko’s Story

Summer Programs introduces Ilana Sivachenko, who participated in Berklee’s Five-Week Performance Program. She has been singing since she could talk and has played the piano for 15 years.

What drew you to Berklee’s Summer Programs?

What drew me to Berklee was the ability to experience music fully, to feel it. Growing up I realized that I would not pursue music as a career because I had too many varying interests, but I wanted to give myself one ultimate immersion into music with others that love it as much as I do.

What was your favorite aspect of the program?

My favorite aspect of the program was the sheer passion exuded by everyone there. I firmly believe that nowhere else in the world is there a place like Berklee, where musicians of all different backgrounds with different instruments will break into an impromptu jam session while waiting for a class or a test or orientation. There is no other music school that fosters that kind of a connection between musicians and all forms of music, as well as with all manner of musicians.

                                   Students performing at the Five-Week Vocal Night.

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Jean Michel Zayas on Berklee Five-Week Summer Program

Summer Programs introduces Jean Michel Zayas, a drummer from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, who participated in Berklee’s Five-Week Performance Program

Which summer program did you attend and what drew you to Berklee?

I went to the 2008 summer program when I was 17 years old. The opportunity came thanks to my godfather, who saw potential in me and wanted to show me the experience he had when he studied at Berklee.

What was your favorite aspect(s) of the program?

The atmosphere of just good music and being able to share and learn from musicians who are just incredible at what they do.

What were some of the challenges that you faced during the program?


Basically I had never formally studied music or didn’t know how to read music, so when I went to Berklee I took the studies very seriously. It was a challenge for me to catch up with other students at their level. 

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