Alper Tuzcu is a 3rd semester student at Berklee. He is from Istanbul, Turkey. He plays guitar and is a Contemporary Writing and Production major. 

Today, after many hours spent in the studios, labs and library the semester has ended at Valencia. In this final post, I want to go over some of the highlights of my semester in Valencia.

The biggest highlight of the semester has been the Music Technology Innovation minor at Valencia. Especially the courses ‘Recording Skills for Music Production’ and ‘Mixing for Musicians’ were purely based on real life knowledge and they taught me so much about recording and engineering in studio, music production and mixing. We completed a singer-songwriter project where we tracked and mixed a new songs from scratch. Then we also finished a sound alike project, where we picked a song that we liked, analyzed, re-recorded and and mixed, trying to get close to the sound of the original track. Both were amazing experience and I think I have a great knowledge about producing music. Of course major credit goes to the amazing facilities at Berklee Valencia, including four major tracking and mixing studios and labs with more than everything you need.

The second biggest highlight of the semester was the Mediterranean Music Institute at Berklee Valencia. Through the institute, I got to participate in a recording session with Grammy winning producer and guitar player Javier Limon at Valencia. It has been one of the most important experiences of my musical life. Also, I got to see Javier Limon work with all the skills we learned in my MTI class; so he proved that everything we learned at the MTI program were relevant information in real life. Moreover, I took the class “Survey of Mediterranean Music” where we looked at music from Spain, Balkans and North Africa to compare and contrast the characteristics and to discover the common bond of what we call Mediterranean music.

In addition to the academic experience, we also had weekend trips to various cities in the program. Our first trip was to Granada, which has been an amazing experience. Granada is a beautiful city with a very in-depth history and with amazing architecture. It is one of those places in the world where you feel you are lost in time. The second trip was to Madrid, which also speaks for itself and surely was a great time. In addition to these two trips, I’ve also been to Barcelona, which is my favorite city in Spain. I’ve also been in Mallorca, which is a great island about 45 minutes off coast from Valencia.

Last and foremost, the most amazing aspect about this program has been the city of Valencia. Located by the coast of Mediterranean, Valencia is a truly special place. Surrounded by orange trees and parks, beach, with great food and people it is mind blowing. Going through Fallas, the biggest festival of the year, in March has been one of the best experiences of my life. The fact that I went through an experience like this has been just phenomenal.

I think every Berklee student needs to go through the Valencia experience; it will give you a perspective, enrich your life, if not change it.