Andrew Riezebeek, a guitarist from the Netherlands, attended the Five-Week Performance Program on-campus at Berklee this past summer. In this post, he describes his experience, and what he’s gained in his second year attending the program.

Five-Week Performance Program 2010

Andrew Riezebeek, Photo by Shelly Booth

I have just completed the Five-Week Performance Program for the second time, and let me tell you, It was another crazy experience! This Five-Week proved once more that Berklee is the place where I need to be. It is the place that will help me reach my ultimate goals as a musician, and help get me where I want to go within the music industry.  I have been part of great moments during this year’s Five-Week Program and those moments will never be forgotten.

I was a bit skeptical at first. I was actually more nervous than last year. I was scared that this year would not be able to top last year’s Five-Week. I asked myself, “Would I meet people as nice as the people I met last year? Will I learn as much? Will my teachers be as cool?”  I was worried with all these questions. Now, looking back on my experiences, all these questions came out with super positive answers and even more!

I met a lot of new life long friends and learned an amazing amount of new things. I was also lucky enough to share this second Five-Week experience with dear friends from last year. When I got back home I felt like a totally new musician. I officially felt like a professional and I was more confident than ever before. I was able to play with the most talented young musicians in this world, and it was such an educational and humbling experience. The one special thing about Berklee is that you learn not only from your teachers, but also from your fellow students. This is an amazing possibility that is unique and so valuable.

David Tronzo, Photo by Phil Farnsworth

There were definite highlights during this summer and one in particular that I would like to share. I was enrolled in the most inspiring class of my life this year. This was my chord lab with David Tronzo. It is honestly unbelievable how much David inspired me! He is one of the most amazing and sincere musicians I have ever met and experienced in my life. He opened my eyes to harmony, and opened so many of doors for me. He made me see outside of tertiary harmony and he really motivated me to start working even harder. The way he captivated the class was like something I have never seen before. If you plan on attending Berklee, you should definitely try to score a chance to meet this man. This does not only count for guitar players, but for every musician out there. David is a musician you need to talk to at least once in your life.

Also, performing in the Berklee Performance Center for the first time was another huge highlight. It is amazing how Berklee gives you the opportunity to perform in legitimate venues such as the BPC. You can also use all the campus facilities to expand your musical skills. That is just another factor which makes Berklee the best.

This year’s Five-Week was truly exceptional to me and I recommend that every young musician attend this program. It will change you, your musical knowledge and your musical career. It will open your mind and challenge you. When you walk through the doors of Berklee, you open many doors to the future.

Thanks for reading everyone.


Read more posts by Drew Riezebeek