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Tag: PULSE (Page 1 of 4)


Who do you think you are? Musicians make their next career moves in PULSE’s Practical Skills Level 2

Live from New York … It’s Saturday night! Well, okay, we’re actually coming at you from Boston, and at the time of this posting, it’s Friday morning. But we’re feeling a big connection to Saturday Night Live as of late. Just recently, the show featured Karmin, some of our favorite alums featured in PULSE’s Practical Skills Level 1. And now … drum roll please … we bring you our newest addition to the Study Room – Practical Skills Level 2! And, as part of it, we feature another SNL star — the house band’s keyboardist, Tuffus Zimbabwe, who shares his path to success in the Career Opportunities section of the unit.

Practical Skills Level 2 helps students continue working on the real life skills that will take their music to the next level. It focuses on helping students hone their writing and communication skills, explore the different careers available to musicians, and understand the importance of defining what you and your music are all about. With plenty of videos and downloadable worksheets, the unit helps aspiring musicians to develop the tools needed to get noticed in the music industry, and to investigate potential careers in music.

Now, without further ado, meet Tuffus Zimbabwe. He is a Pianist, Composer, and Arranger and a City Music and Berklee alum. He might look familiar from his great gig as the keyboardist in the Saturday Night Live band. In this video, he shares his educational journey and how he got to where he is today.

Do you think that music has the power to heal? Then meet Sarah Blacker, a Music Therapist and Singer/Songwriter (and Berklee alumna!) who uses music in her work with people with disabilities. Learn more about what it takes to be a music therapist, and start thinking about the different ways that music can be developed into a career.

Log-in to to check out the rest of our career videos featuring Music Educator Darcel Wilson, Guitarist/Performer Jeff Gitelman, who’s played with the likes of David Bowie and Alicia Keys, and Chris Rival, a Producer/Engineer who owns his own recording studio in Greater Boston.

One of the great things that we take away from these career video profiles is the strong sense of identity that each of these musicians possess. Don’t you feel like you understand them or have a grasp on the direction in which they want to take their musical careers? That’s because they’ve all had to look introspectively to realize what they want to project as part of their musical identities. In the “Defining You” section in Practical Skills Level 2, you’ll learn about Marketing and Branding basics with Mike King, Director of Marketing for Berklee Media.

In the “Working With Words” section, we tackle a topic that many musicians don’t like to address: writing. Learning how to communicate your ideas and your mission effectively could get you just as far as a hit song. But we won’t have you writing novels or sappy love poems. The subject matter of this work is way more interesting, because it’s all about you.

An artist statement, biography, resume, or a blog all have some do’s and don’ts that are good to have under your belt. In this next video, Katie Barnes, City Music Boston‘s Recruitment and Enrollment Coordinator, explains the basics of a bio and how you can make it your best!

Now check out the Bio in action with these City Music students who share excerpts from their bios and tell you why it’s an important tool to have in your arsenal.


There are worksheets that go with each segment. Here’s a quick preview of what you would use when developing your bio.




Want to learn more about Berklee PULSE? Take the tour on youtube, like us on facebook, or follow us on twitter. You can find more about the Berklee City Music Program here.

Berklee at SXSW 2011 (Official Day Party @ Friends)

Our 6th annual official day party at Friends could not have gone better – thanks so much to everyone who joined us on Friday for an awesome day of music and sun on 6th Street! The Berklee PULSE team was onsite filming the show, along with student interviews, for a full video about the day (coming soon to!) In the meantime, we’ll be posting pics and videos here of the various student and alumni bands who played. Here, Boston-based alumni band, Aloud, closes out the party with a high-energy set that had the crowd singing, dancing, and clapping along:

Read more about Berklee at SXSW 2011.

PULSE Music Method – what’s new Feb ’11

On Friday, February 11th, the PULSE department had a spectacular time at the Loft updating our community of peers, supporters and friends about the growth within our department as well as some exciting additions to our curriculum. Since our last presentation, we have officially launched our Improvisation and Practical Skills units, and the first chapter of our Jazz Improvisation elective!

For the Improvisation unit, we start by asking Berklee students, “what is improvisation?”  The video from these interviews showcases the different perspectives of improv as well as the similarities!  This level one unit is a great intro to improvisation, and includes video and text resources for call & response, improvised solo, comping /accompaniment, and dynamics & articulations.

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BANDED – Share your process. Showcase your talent.

Does your band want to be a part of an exciting new music series?
Apply to be on BANDED!

BANDED is a Berklee PULSE production—featuring your band’s creative process. Join other breaking Boston bands in showing students across the country how to come together to write, record, and perform a song. You’ll work with Berklee faculty, PULSE producers, and industry insiders to share what you know about music theory and what it takes to be a band.

Audition at or submit your Sonicbids EPK at!

Over the course of several weeks we will commission you to write and record a tune. You will be filmed while composing, rehearsing, and meeting with Berklee faculty; completing weekly production assignments; and being interviewed. At the end, there will be a big performance featuring all of the participating bands. You’ll walk away with a studio recording, professional photos, and press—plus some awesome video. By breaking down your process you will help build up the next generation of musicians.

  • Answer some questions and submit materials via the online audition form at or submit your Sonicbids EPK at The last day to apply is March 4, 2011.
  • You will be contacted by March 10, 2011 if you have been selected for review by BANDED producers.
  • Bands selected for review will be interviewed.
  • Finalists will be notified by March 14, 2011 to start scheduling.
  • At least one member of the band must be able to read and write music notation proficiently.
  • Your band must have at least a small body of work and a demo recording.
  • No one in the group can be under any contractual obligation that would prohibit the use of an image or a piece of music on the PULSE site.
  • You must be comfortable having yourself and your creative process filmed.
  • The miles of smiles from Allison

    Allison Preisinger has been an integral part of the PULSE department for about two and a half years as the Audio Assistant work-study to the Instructional Media team.  She has worn many hats during her time in our department and throughout her years at Berklee.  Yesterday, she took her last final at Berklee and will be heading back to the west coast soon.  The PULSE team has loved getting to know Allison, so we thought you should too.  We wish Allison all the best!

    Allison with the Instructional Media Team at PULSE: Jason Stokes, John Bigus, Natalie Dietrich, and Nicolas Mindreau

    1.  What types of projects did you work on while with PULSE?

    I started out doing research for music copyrights.  Then I learned Filemaker and helped to put together a database that would keep track of the information for all the songs that we’re putting together.  I also took the images for the Notation Mixer on the PULSE website.  More recently, I’ve been helping to proof and post the music transcriptions and layouts that go online.  That mainly entails listening and comparing it to the recording and comparing the recording to the notation that’s is written out.

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