Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: Bryan Parys (Page 1 of 2)

Gracenotes 2019 crew poses in the house frame they helped build

Raising the Roof: Reflections from Santa Fe, New Mexico

Continuing Berklee’s commitment to giving back to the community at large, the college’s Gracenotes Volunteer Committee sponsored its third annual trip to New Mexico. A group of eight staff and faculty members from the College and Conservatory traveled to Santa Fe to work on Habitat for Humanity projects promoting affordable home ownership for Santa Fe area residents. Read the volunteers’ reflection below.

Lauren Linsalata | Staff, Berklee College of Music

Lauren Linsalata headshot“Having concrete evidence of my progress at the end of the week is a big deal to me—not just because we’re building a home for someone who very much needs it. It’s a reminder of what I’m capable of, in a tangible context.”

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Don’t Forget the Memory: ‘Tali Jams New York’ (Episode 7, Final)

Tali Rubinstein with her recorder

Image by Noam Galai

By Tali Rubinstein B.M. ’14

I don’t particularly like goodbyes.

When the time comes to part, maybe it’s better to forget and move on. Thinking about the past is agonizing in so many ways; reminiscing about what we lost (which is, effectively, all that’s in the past) is an empty rabbit hole.

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Bach for the Beasts: Berklee Performs at the Franklin Park Zoo

UAREAVIOLIN-10Kathleen Chen ’17 is a first-semester student studying jazz violin performance and music production. She works for the Movement at Berklee, a student-run program that reaches out to the community through performance outreach, youth mentorship, and musical instruction.

Over the weekend, I played a gig in which the audience was the main attraction at the venue. The audience also did not clap after performances, or completely understand what I was doing with my instrument—because they consisted of tigers, kangaroos, and lemurs.

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Maria Wadman: Promoting a Student Culture of Giving

Maria WadmanMaria Wadman ’17 is a sixth semester student studying performance with a minor in Latin Music Studies. Her principal instrument is voice, with her secondary instrument being hand percussion. She’s works in the Berklee Fund office and is the founder of Berklee’s Student Philanthropy Group, a group mostly dedicated to getting students accurate information about how funding and philanthropy works at our school, and demystifying the finances of Berklee.

I have a lot of people ask me why I give to Berklee’s annual fund.

“You’re a student!”

“You pay tuition!”

“You work for the Berklee Fund”

I’ve been working in the Berklee Fund office since my first semester at Berklee. First it was just a job—I was calling alumni and parents, soliciting donations. I’d always done philanthropic work and enjoyed it, but to be honest, it wasn’t what drew me to the Berklee Fund. I just needed a job. But, the more time I spent at work the more involved I got. Inspired by my supervisor, team members, and the idea of giving, I began to do research and really understand what we were doing—we were making Berklee a better place for present and future students. After my first semester I became a supervisor and have never dreamed of another job.

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Rocket Science, Spaced Learning, and Songwriting

Ben Camp, Assistant Professor of Songwriting

Ben Camp, Assistant Professor of Songwriting

Ben Camp is an assistant professor of songwriting at Berklee, and author of He is signed to Sony/ATV as a songwriter and has written for artists on Columbia, Sony, and Universal. In this post, Camp details his innovative methods for increasing students’ ability to gain—and remember—new educational concepts.

Songwriting isn’t rocket science.

But these unlikely bedfellows do have one thing in common: they both require a firm grasp of the fundamentals—whether it’s song form and similes, or algebra and calculus.

So, here in Berklee’s Songwriting Department, we teach those very basic building blocks of Songwriting—rhyme schemes, metaphors, song form—right from the first class we offer.

But teaching something once doesn’t mean that it’s been learned for life. I’m less concerned what my students remember on the midterm, and more concerned with what they remember three months, three years, or three decades after my class.

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