Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: Amanda Corvini (Page 1 of 2)

Study Abroad in Valencia – Why spend a semester in Spain?

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.

Berklee in Valencia – Study Abroad

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. 


It’s the finals week in Valencia, and it is extremely hard to concentrate on school work when the weather is constantly sunny, 80+ degrees. Having the knowledge that there is a beach 15 minutes with the blue waters of the Mediterranean is not really helping either. This is where the “Berklee beach” satire comes into life, minus the joke.


It is pretty common to start a day with a quick swim on the beach before classes. Moreover, on the days where there are no classes half of the day is spent on the beach, maybe other half is spent at the school for the work. It is an unusual way of spending finals week, but with the right combination this works out pretty well. It is definitely a great start to the day and the lack of stress increases productivity much more than you would imagine.


This is also a time where I’m spending a lot of time in the studios, especially due to the MTI minor classes I am pursuing. Recording Skills for Music Production and Mixing for Musicians are two classes from this minor, which is only offered in the Valencia campus, that I have been taking this semester. We have been assigned to do a Singer Songwriter Project and a Sound Alike project through out the semester, where we create multi-track demos using the state of art studios and amazing facilities here at Valencia.


The sound alike project is basically taking a song of our choice and recording and mixing by trying to get close to the original recording. The aim is to copy all instruments and effects being used in the track. Through this process you actually start to learn to pay attention to the various details in the song you might not hear as a normal listener, but crucial effects that might contribute to the final outcome of the song to a great extent. Sound alike project is definitely a harder process than the singer songwriter project, because you are trying to do a song that is other than yours and consequently you are much less flexible. For this project, I have been spending a lot of time in the studios lately, but it seems that the final result will be worth it.


For this week, this is more or less what is going on at Valencia. Next week will be our last week here and it is not going to be easy to leave here, what is home for all of us at this point.

Study Abroad in Valencia – Granada, Andalusia

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

This weekend was so far the best weekend I had at Spain. We went on an amazing trip to Granada for 3 days, which is the first of the two trips planned for the Study Abroad program. The trip was organized by Berklee, so all transportation, accommodation; food etc was set up before hand. Basically all we had to do was to show up and enjoy the city. Overall, this was one of the best weekends I have ever had. 

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Study Abroad in Valencia – In the Studio, Out on the Mountains

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. 
Finally I get to use the amazing studios at Valencia. For my Music Technology Innovation (MTI)  Recording/Mixing classes we have to recording a singer songwriter project. As I am the songwriter in this case, I recorded a song with a brilliant vocalist I met on the campus. It took me a while to write the song, but I wanted to write something specific in Valencia. 

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Study Abroad in Valencia – Donde estoy?/Where Am I?

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. 

Where am I?/ Donde estoy?

As we are walking the small cobblestone streets of the El Carmen neighborhood, it is already nighttime in Valencia. We are on our way to see our friends in the Master’s program, who are going to play some music at one of the best local jazz venues in town. We are speaking English and kind of being “loud tourists” around the relatively quite neighborhood. As we walk in to the venue, we hear a familiar tune, Summertime, with the groove mixed with Indian melodies. The next song is a flamenco song, with more microtonal and Indian melodies over and around it. We hear a jazz song with Mediterranean grooves on the rhythm section. 

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