Berklee opens it’s doors every summer to teenagers, college students, and adults to be apart of the Berklee experience through Berklee Summer Programs (berklee.edu/summer). Day Sessions, the performance program for ages 12-14, now in it’s third year is growing steadily. We sat down with Program Director and Assistant Professor Dominick Ferrara, who gave us insight into the benefits of a music education, and the uniqueness of the Day Sessions program.
1) Why should parents choose Day Sessions for their childen to attend over the summer?
The Day Sessions program is unique. It provides students the opportunity to study in Boston, at Berklee, with Berklee faculty, alumni, and students. It provides an introduction to the comprehensive approach of studying music. That means that the theory class, the improvisation and songwriting electives, and the ensembles and labs are all designed so that the material is interrelated. It is more than just performing at Berklee with great musicians, although that is really cool. It is a week-long total immersion into the life of being a musician, all set in a wonderfully supportive educational venue with great teachers!
2) Is there anything a parent can do to help prepare their child to go to Day Sessions?
The best advice is to encourage them to be open when it comes to sharing their art. Music is a wonderful mode of artistic expression, and we as teachers are here to help nurture the creative passion for music in each of our students. We understand that some students are more open, others are shy. What we are trying to do here is to create an environment where everyone’s contribution is valued and respected.
3) Could you talk a little bit about the value of a music education for youth today?
This is one of my favorite topics! Music is everywhere: TV, movies, malls, stores, radio, video games, etc. You can’t go anywhere without hearing music. It’s as ubiquitous as language, but yet it’s not treated with the same amount of importance in most schools. Imagine being surrounded by sounds that have an emotional impact on you, but not really understanding what they mean, how they’re organized, or how to communicate via the medium. That’s what we have, a society where music is everywhere, yet not understood by all. The joy of teaching is seeing the lives of your students change, as they being to understand and communicate through music. It’s as if someone has shown them a whole new world of possibility. The power of music to transform lives from the inside out is truly amazing. It is a joy to be able to share that with others on a daily basis- personal growth, and a greater understanding of the world in which we live. What could be more valuable than that? That’s the value of music!