Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: Berklee Global (Page 3 of 8)

Study Abroad: 22 Hour Layover in Madrid? No Problema!

Danielle AngeloniDanielle Angeloni is a singer/songwriter inspired by culture, traveling, and life. She loves collaborative writing, learning, and performing and is honored to be finishing her Degree in Professional Music and Minor in Music Technology and Innovation at Berklee’s Valencia, Spain Campus

 

 

Valencia CampusAt the end of this post I’ll bring to light some tips for traveling in Europe…all things I learned the hard way! But first… I am currently finding Madrid to be one of the most walk-able and English friendly in Spain! For a minute I thought I had become AWESOME at my Spanglish, but then I remembered that most people also speak English here! Going to Valencia tomorrow will be the true test of how much Spanish I’ve retained.

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Study Abroad: 5 Tips on Making Your Study Abroad Experience Smoother

HollisHollis Mugford is a sixth semester Professional Music major at Berklee. She is a pop, R&B, and country singer from Virginia. Her passion for writing and travel have inspired her to share her experiences and thoughts with the Berklee community and beyond as she embarks on her first semester abroad in Valencia, Spain. 

 

Valencia CampusAfter all the waiting – after all of the anticipation – I am finally in Spain! We landed in Valencia around noon on Monday after a long seven hour flight into Frankfurt on which I sat next to the most pleasant couple heading back home to Manchester. Simply put, Valencia is everything and so much more than I ever expected it to be – beautiful little streets lined with outdoor cafés and spanish tiles and tapas that are always something completely new and delicious at every different place.

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Study Abroad: Let the Final Countdown Begin

HollisHollis Mugford is a sixth semester Professional Music major at Berklee. She is a pop, R&B, and country singer from Virginia. Her passion for writing and travel have inspired her to share her experiences and thoughts with the Berklee community and beyond as she embarks on her first semester abroad in Valencia, Spain. 

 

image (1)Only 15 more days until Valencia! My apartment is looking sparser and sparser, my packing list is getting longer and longer, and my patience is getting less and less. I just got my student Visa from the Spanish Consulate’s office this week, and pulled my luggage out of storage. What has seemed like an eternity of planning and anticipation now is finally becoming a reality with every passing day. Only a few days since I’ve completed my finals, and just mere weeks away from leaving the country, I find myself asking how to pass the time. How do you bridge the gap between where you are, where you want to be, and where you will be? It’s like the anticipation of waiting to begin a race. You’re stomach cramped with anticipation, just waiting for the whistle to blow, and before you know it you’ve covered yards of distance and you’re crossing the finish line.

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Study Abroad: Reminiscing and Looking Forward to Another Semester Abroad

Danielle AngeloniDanielle Angeloni is a singer/songwriter inspired by culture, traveling, and life. She loves collaborative writing, learning, and performing and is honored to be finishing her Degree in Professional Music and Minor in Music Technology and Innovation at Berklee’s Valencia, Spain Campus. 

 

 

music courtyardSix months ago I decided to take the Spring 2013 semester abroad in Berklee Valencia, and had no idea what I was in for! I sold my car so I’d have some extra money for traveling, and decided that Europe would be my next adventure. Now having taken the life-changing semester abroad, I am returning to Berklee Valencia because I know it is currently the best decision for furthering my career as a musician.

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Mi Camino a Berklee — My Path to Berklee

Karenly NievesKárenly Nieves es una cantate, escritora y una bloggista de comida. En su tercer semestre en Berklee, Kárenly está estudiando Music Business & Management y Music therapy.

Kárenly Nieves is a singer, writer and food and lifestyle blogger. She is currently, in her third semester, she is focusing on achieving a dual major in Music Business & Management and Music Therapy.

Español:

En Berklee, hay muchísimas preguntas que nos hacemos en el proceso de conocernos. En ésta semana, gracias a los chicos que están participando del Five Week Program, he recordado la mayoría, si no todas. ¿Cuál es tu intrumento principal? ¿En cuál programa estás? ¿Dónde te ves en 5 años? ¿Cuándo audicionaste? ¿Por qué Berklee?Ésta última es mi pregunta favorite en lo personal. Me encanta contar historias y compartir detalles específicos que las hacen diferentes e interesantes. En éste caso,ésta historia comienza en mis años de escuela superior.

Karenly Scholarship
En Puerto Rico, el gobierno ofrece viajes estudiantes a estudiantes que escogen quienes poseen un GPA de 3.0 o más. Yo fui bendecida en ser escogida en el 2010. Viajamos a NY y estuvimos 4 días. Luego, tomamos un autobus a Boston y nos quedamos 5 días más. En Boston, habían planificado llevarnos a Harvard y tengo que confesar que fue una de las experiencias más aburridas para una chica de 16 años. Mientras íbamos de vuelta al hotel, mi líder de grupo señaló hacia Berklee y nos dijo los nombres de algunos artistas latinos que habían tenido la dicha de estudiar ahí. Yo me emocioné y mientras le tomaba fotos dije que sería un sueño poder estudiar en Berklee algún día.

Adelantando un poco la historia hacia mi segundo semestre de mi entonces universidad en el 2012, puedo decir que mi experiencia como universitaria no me parecía gratificante. Estaba estudiando biología y lingüística del inglés. Mi universidad quedaba a 5 minutos de mi casa y estaba asistiendo solo por complacer a mis padres. Mi única motivación para no dejar de estudiar era el hecho de que formaba parte del coro principal de la universidad y eso me mantenía ocupada.

Uno de los últimos días de ese semestre, recibí una notificación de Facebook en la que un amigo me invitó a aplicar para asistir a los talleres de Berklee. Apliqué al instante ya que una distracción como ésta era perfecta para comenzar el verano. Me aceptaron para los talleres y no hubo marcha atrás.  Sólo pensar que estaría al otro lado de la isla, por una semana, cantando y aprendiendo música me llenaba de emoción.

Mientras los días pasaban, me encontré rodeada de cientos de músicos talentosos de toda la isla que deseaban aprender más y demonstrar lo que habían aprendido en las audiciones para entrar a Berklee. Yo había aplicado para una, pero nunca la confirmé. Dos días antes de la misma, me llamaron de la oficina y mencioné que no estaría en los talleres ese día. Lo dije por que me asusté. Habían tantos estudiantes que podían leer a primera vista y podían improviser a la perfección en jazz, pero no tenían espacio para audicionar. Pensé, “Mejor vengo preparada el próximo año y le doy el espacio a alguien que sea capaz de hacerlo todo”.

El día antes del concierto y la premación llegó y me sentía incompleta. Cuando llegué a una de mis clases, la profesora Darcel Wilson (una alma Hermosa) me preguntó si había audicionado. Le contesté que no y la mayoría de los que estaban en el salón comenzaron a cuestionarme mi decisión. Mi razón me parecía bastante razonable, pero para ellos no. Me motivaron a tomar la oportunidad para audicionar y Darcel me preguntó, “¿Qué son 5 minutos de tu vida? “ ”¿Qué pierdes con intentarlo?”.  Recordé el haberle mencionado al grupo mi deseo de estudiar música en días anteriores a ese pero no había considerado tener la oportunidad.

Karenly Scholarship 2Mientras caminaba hacia la oficina de audiciones, me sentí en control de lo que realmente deseaba para mi vida. Pregunté por algún espacio disponible y para mi sorpresa no lo necesitaba ya que nunca cancelaron mi audición y era en 20 minutos.  Cuando entré estaba asustada, sin una canción preparada y “acapella”. Canté “Good Morning Heartache” ya que es una de mis canciones de jazz favoritas. Fui yo misma, sin barreras ni miedos aguantándome. Fui honesta y me esforzé por demonstrar lo que sí sabía hacer: cantar.

Cuando la audición terminó , tuve la dicha de ser entrevistada por la Fundación del Banco Popular de P y al volver a clases le conté a la profesora que pude audicionar. Su abrazo y el de los demás se sintió genial y aunque no me dieran ninguna beca, seguiría feliz sabiendo que tomé esa oportunidad. Esa noche hubo un jam session y pude conocer a los profesores y contarle a otros estudiantes sobre mi experiencia. Fue muy divertido, pero al mismo tiempo decepcionante. Tod Olivieri no me reconoció y el había sido el que me había entrevistado durante la audición. Para ser sincera, perdí mucha esperanza pero quise ser positive y me disfruté el resto de la noche esperando que el día siguiente fuera digno de presenciar.

El concierto final estuvo lleno de sonrisas y gran entretenimiento. Los estudiantes se divirtieron muchísimo demonstrándole a sus seres queridos lo que habían desarrollado y aprendido durante la semana de Berklee on the Road y estaban esperanzados de experimentar el ir a Boston y ser un verdadero estudiante admitido de Berklee. Yo, por otro lado, estaba emocionada por saber quiénes de los chicos que había conocido ganarían becas, ya que había visto la calidad de talento que había en ellos.

Cuando comenzaron con las premiaciones, nuestra presión se fue por los cielos. Podía ver las caras de los ganadores con lágrimas de alegría y sonrisas hermosas y escuchar a sus padres gritar de emoción al verlos caminar hacia la tarima a recoger sus certificados.  Las becas seguían subiendo de cantidad y los niveles de ansiedad llegaban a niveles de asfixia. Recuerdo que miré  a mi izquierda y divisé a un amigo que mirándome fijamente me dijo, “Eres la próxima”. Me reí, ya que habíamos estado diciéndonos eso desde que comenzaron las premiaciones a lo lejos.

Tomé un momento y bajando la cabeza le agradecí a Dios por la experiencia. Mientras terminaba mi oración, mi nombre fue mencionado desde la tarima. “El Outstanding Vocalist Award va para Kárenly Nieves”. Yo me aturdí. Estuve paralizada en el asiento hasta que el mismo amigo que me había dicho que ganaría me ayudó a pararme y me gritó que corriera a recibir la beca. No podia creerlo. Corrí hacia Darcel Wilson y la abrazé llorando inconsolablememnte mientras ella me decía, ¿ves lo que cinco minutos de tu vida pueden hacer?

Gracias a esos minutos estoy aquí para contarles ésta historia. Cuando volví de ese viaje estudiantil, nunca me visualizé estudiando en Berklee 4 años después. La vida trabaja en formas misteriosas a veces. Nunca pienses que no eres suficientemente bueno. No te compares a los demás. Nuestro talentos son diferentes. Somos dueños de ellos y necesitamos mostrarlos. Disfruta el resto del verano y haz algo productivo porque, como me dijo Alejandro Sanz en una visita a Berklee, “nunca sabes quién te esté mirando o escuchando”.

English:

At Berklee there are standard questions that we ask to each other as we meet.  This week, thanks to the “five weekers” I have remembered them all. What’s your instrument? What’s your major? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? When was your audition? Why Berklee? This last one is my personal favorite. I love telling stories while pointing out specific details that make the story different and interesting. In this case, this story goes way back to my high school years.

In Puerto Rico, the government offers trips to chosen students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and I was blessed enough to win one of those in 2010. We traveled four days to NY and then took a bus to stay five days in Boston. When we got to Boston, we were scheduled to go visit Harvard. It was the most boring experience for me as a 16 year old. As we were on our way to the hotel, my leader pointed out at Berklee and told us the names of many musicians that I knew who attended the university. I got really excited and took a picture right away while saying, “It would be a dream to study there one day”.

Karenly ScholarshipFast-forwarding to end of my second semester at college, I can just say that I was really disappointed of my first college experience. I was enrolled in biology and English linguistics. College was five minutes from home and I was doing that to make my parents happy. My only motivation in college was the fact that I had been chosen to form part of the main choir and that kept me busy.

During the end of that semester, I got tagged in a Facebook post of a friend, who had been to the Berklee in Puerto Rico program the year before and wanted me to try it out. I applied right away because I needed an urgent distraction. When I got the acceptance e-mail for the program I was ecstatic. Just having the thought of being away for a week in the other side of the island, to sing and learn music? Priceless.

A couple of days passed and I saw myself standing around hundreds of outstanding musicians from all over the island who’s desired was to learn more and show what they had learned in their auditions. I had applied for an audition, but I never confirmed it. When I received a call asking for my final decision, I told them that I wouldn’t be at the school that day. I was scared. I knew so many people who could read at first sight and scat to perfection, and I wasn’t one of them. So many of them wanted to audition, but didn’t have space to. I thought, “I may as well come more prepared the next year”.

The last day of the program before the concert was upon us and I felt incomplete. As I was waiting in class for the rest of the people to arrive, Mrs. Darcel Wilson (lovely soul), asked me if I had auditioned. As I answered no, a lot of people from the class (including her) starting asking me, “Why?!!!”.  When I answered with the same words that are above, she stopped me and told me to go and take a risk. “How much are 5 minutes of your life? What do you have to lose?” It was surprising because I thought that my answers were logical and understandable. I had expressed my desire to study music on prior days, but never actually considered that I had a chance.

Karenly Scholarship 2As I made my way to the audition office, I felt in control of what I truly desired in my life. I asked for another space and ,for my luck, they told me that they never canceled my audition. My audition was in 20 minutes and they took me to the practice room right away. When I walked in, I had no music accompaniment and no prepared song. I sang “Good Morning Heartache” because it was one of my few favorite jazz songs at the moment. It felt great to be there and just be myself, with no boundaries holding me back. I was honest about the things that I didn’t know and put all my effort in the things I did know how to do.

After the audition was over I had time to breathe, do a little interview and go back to class. Darcel’s hug was one of the best feelings in the world and came right away when I told everybody that I had done it. Even if they didn’t grant me anything, I would still be happy knowing that I took a chance. I went to a Jam Session that night and had a chance to meet the professors and share my experience with the rest of the students. It was fun, but I wondered why Tod Olivieri didn’t recognize me and introduced himself again. He was the one who interviewed me. At that point, I lost most of my hopes of winning something, but at the same time enjoyed the company of all of them and hoped that the day after, the concert day, would be as enjoyable.

The concert was full of smiles and great entertainment. Students had fun showing their loved ones what they had learned through that week and were hopeful that may be they could get the opportunity of going to Boston to experience first hand what it really meant to be a Berklee student. I, on the other hand, was excited for some of the people I had met to win some of those scholarships. I had heard their talent and saw how good they were.

When they started to announce the prizes, our heart pressure was over the roof. I saw faces with happy tears and heard parents screaming of excitement as they saw them walk to stage to pick up their certificates. Scholarships were starting to go up in number and tension was reaching high levels. I remember looking to my left and watching a friend stare at me and saying, “You’re next”. We had been playing that game since the announcements began.

I took a moment to lower my head and just thank God for the experience. As I finished my prayer, my name was called out. “The outstanding vocalist award goes to Kárenly Nieves”. I spaced out. I stared at everybody and didn’t move. If it wasn’t for that friend, who came running towards me and helped me stand up, I think I would be still sitting there today.  I couldn’t believe it. I ran towards Mrs. Wilson and cried while I hugged her. Her words were, “See what five minutes of your life can do to you?”

Thanks to those minutes I’m here today to tell this story. When I came back from that high school trip, I never pictured myself attending Berklee 4 years later. Life works in mysterious ways sometimes. Never think you’re not good enough. Don’t compare yourself to others. Our talents are different. We own them and we need to show them to the world. Enjoy your summer and do something productive because you never know who may be watching you.

 

 

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