Ok. Here’s a summary of what I saw, and hopefully learned, from video #1 of Lesson 4 for Coursera’s online Developing Your Musicianship class. The interviews this week centered on auditioning to get into Berklee.
1. Berklee Faculty/Student Spotlight: Audition Tips (4:03)
The video begins with the question, “What was your Berklee audition like?” and then cuts to answers from students that we’ve seen in prior lessons, as well as a staff person. The first person to answer is the East Indian girl that we saw before. We learn that she’s actually from Sri Lanka, not India proper. She said that the staff were “brilliant”. I think that this is probably the British brilliant, not the American one. She then recounted that the staff just welcomed her, asked how she was, if she was really there all the way from Sri Lanka, if she was jetlagged, if she was freezing here and said that they’re all set to go when she’s ready. The audition went by really smoothly for her because it happened before she actually realized that she was in it. She also commented that she was really at ease and comfortable and that a great quality about auditions at Berklee is that they’re molded according to the student. She wasn’t versed in jazz improvisation and told this to them. They said that its alright and asked her to try it a little bit. She apparently did, enjoyed it and nailed the audition.
The next person up was the Hispanic male with barbershop parents. He said that he could feel the openness and support of the staff and that it was a great environment. His belief is that at a lot of schools, when potential students audition, they’re sized up and picked apart to determine what they doesn’t quite have together, but because Berklee is geared more towards the actual music business as it stands, they’re looking more for potential, so they look for what a potential student does well.
With that said, the video jumped to the Jamaican girl, who recalled that she was really nervous because she’d only done one audition before and failed. She went to the audition at Berklee with the intent to just get it over with, but found that the staff were really nice and wanted to “have a conversation about what she wants to do in music and why she wants to attend Berklee”. She said it ended up being the most amazing audition she’s ever done – not because she feels that she was amazing, but because it was “a great process”.