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#1
My Berklee Audition was today.
For the past two years ive spent loads of time on forums and talking to alumni, asking about their audition. Their experience, the interview, what they asked you, what to bring, ectect

Well, i want to give back. If anyone has a questiion about their audition (or wants to know how mine went) message me, comment, or email me at spidermonkey9126@hotmail.com

Best Of Luck

Andy
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#4
How did it go? I'm extremely interested in Berklee, and would like to know if it's something i would want to pursue.
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#5
Quote by FMNStratGuy
How did it go? I'm extremely interested in Berklee, and would like to know if it's something i would want to pursue.

Ive taken MB101 online and i attended the Summer Session. Its a great school, despite what some people may say. It just depends what you want out of it and how hard youre willing to work. Alot of sucessful people have come out of that school but so have alot of unsuccessful people.

Heres an article by CD Baby founder Derek Sivers. He makes some great points!
http://sivers.org/berklee
Guitar Gear:
1)Fender Strat
2)Fender FM212
3)Dunlop Crybaby Origina
4)Line 6 FM4
5)MXR Phase 90
6)Boss Ds1 Distortion
7)Electro Harmonix Small Clone Chorus
8)Line 6 DL4
#7
Why don't we just talk about it publicly here?

Well I'm probably going to audition to box hill music in a couple of years (sort of like berklee as in it's a jazz course, but not so well known). I hope to get in by playing some chord melody stuff, like my own arrangment of angel eyes.

Also, berklee is notorious for diminishing their standards.
#8
Quote by demonofthenight
Why don't we just talk about it publicly here?

Well I'm probably going to audition to box hill music in a couple of years (sort of like berklee as in it's a jazz course, but not so well known). I hope to get in by playing some chord melody stuff, like my own arrangment of angel eyes.

Also, berklee is notorious for diminishing their standards.


That's Because Berklee is designed for if you wanna get somewhere in the big music business, since it has so many contacts.

You don't need the best education on Jazz or Classical Music, if you wanna go into music business.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
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#9
any hints on the actual audition itself? i have mine tomorrow if there are any important last minitue tips i should know that would be great
the older you do get the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin' man, L-I-V-I-N.

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wait.... wuttt???
#10
I PM'd you TS, but I might as well ask it here:

My questions are:

What did they ask you to play for them? Besides the piece. Like what kind of chords and such.

What sort of things did they ask you in the interview?

How was the sight reading piece like? It's just a general idea of what I'm up against.

How did you feel? Were you nervous, were the questions too easy, were you impressed of what Berklee had to offer to music students, did you believe you got in?
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
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#11
Quote by SilverDark


What did they ask you to play for them? Besides the piece. Like what kind of chords and such.

What sort of things did they ask you in the interview?

How was the sight reading piece like? It's just a general idea of what I'm up against.

How did you feel? Were you nervous, were the questions too easy, were you impressed of what Berklee had to offer to music students, did you believe you got in?


They asked me to play 7th chords(Maj 7th, Min 7th, 7th, 7b5, ectect). You should know these if you want to go to Berklee. I recomend investing in a Real Book.

The questions are EXACTLY the same as the ones in the application

Site reading was alot easier than i thought itd be. Theres 4 examples, each 8 or 12 measures long ranging in difficulty. the first was super easy, it was in C with half and quarter notes. The second was a little harder, it was in f and had some 8th and dotted quarter notes. and the last 2 had long key signatures and loads of 16th and 32nd notes, so i stuck to the 2 that i knew. Not the best advice, but if you know the chords its better than nothing.

Of course i was nervous, but they work to keep you relaxed. On the way up to the room me and the guy taking me there talked about Fender, Radiohead, and SXSW, so when we got there i felt relaxed and ready to play.

Ive been looking at Berklee for 2 years and, despite what some say its a great school if youre prepared to work hard and get serious about doing what you love. The interviewers are professors, and the idea is not only for them to see if youd make a good student, but that theyd make a good teacher for you (if anything, youre auditioning for them!)

Be nice, be polite, be yourself, and have fun with it! if you have any other questions let me know : )
Guitar Gear:
1)Fender Strat
2)Fender FM212
3)Dunlop Crybaby Origina
4)Line 6 FM4
5)MXR Phase 90
6)Boss Ds1 Distortion
7)Electro Harmonix Small Clone Chorus
8)Line 6 DL4
#12
Mine is next weekend and ive just started crazily stressing out about it. I did a scholarship audition this summer (didnt get anything but it was great practice) and remember the sightreading not being too hard ( i remember it was one really easy melody, i think one medium difficulty swing melody and one rather difficult bossa melody-I didnt get to the fourth one), and the ear training being very easy after i found the first pitch up until they started doing dotted eight-sixteenth rhythms and triplets and such.
May I ask what your playing for your prepared piece/improvisation.
Im doing On Green Dolphin Street and considering doing like, a bird blues in F at medium tempo, or just asking to do the form from all blues, or playing blue bossa as a swing tune.


EDIT:
really? 32nd notes on sightreading? thats pretty intense.
#13
Quote by tehREALcaptain
Mine is next weekend and ive just started crazily stressing out about it. I did a scholarship audition this summer (didnt get anything but it was great practice) and remember the sightreading not being too hard ( i remember it was one really easy melody, i think one medium difficulty swing melody and one rather difficult bossa melody-I didnt get to the fourth one), and the ear training being very easy after i found the first pitch up until they started doing dotted eight-sixteenth rhythms and triplets and such.
May I ask what your playing for your prepared piece/improvisation.
Im doing On Green Dolphin Street and considering doing like, a bird blues in F at medium tempo, or just asking to do the form from all blues, or playing blue bossa as a swing tune.


EDIT:
really? 32nd notes on sightreading? thats pretty intense.

lol i meant to say 16th, sorry. Still!
My only advice for your prepared piece is to do a song or style you love and want to pursue. Dont play "Giant Steps" just to impress them, theyd much rather see you play what you like to be.
Also, dont be nervous. Or at least too nervous. They work to keep you calm. Turn that nervousness into excitement, as if you were about to do a big show, and its soooo much easier
Guitar Gear:
1)Fender Strat
2)Fender FM212
3)Dunlop Crybaby Origina
4)Line 6 FM4
5)MXR Phase 90
6)Boss Ds1 Distortion
7)Electro Harmonix Small Clone Chorus
8)Line 6 DL4
#14
Quote by Dingoman
Ive been looking at Berklee for 2 years and, despite what some say its a great school if youre prepared to work hard and get serious about doing what you love. The interviewers are professors, and the idea is not only for them to see if youd make a good student, but that theyd make a good teacher for you (if anything, youre auditioning for them!)

LOL! Hehheh, well, that seems fine, the sight reading and all that buzz. Thanks man!
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#15
Quote by SilverDark
Thanks man!

Good Luck : )
Guitar Gear:
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2)Fender FM212
3)Dunlop Crybaby Origina
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8)Line 6 DL4
#16
To TS;

Are you planning for full 3/4 year; and if so how did you get the money for it?

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#17
Quote by xxdarrenxx
To TS;

Are you planning for full 3/4 year; and if so how did you get the money for it?


THIS!

I'm also interested as well, and will be applying for a lot of scholarships and hope for some scholarship opportunities at the performance program this summer.

Good luck!
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#18
Hey guys, this is my first ever post in Musician Talk, so hopefully I come off as at least semi intelligent haha

Ok, first off, I'm a 15 year old bass player from Australia, who practises approximately 2 hours a day, so I'll hopefully be ready by the time I can actually apply to Berklee haha.

I have only one question for the moment. How do Australians apply to get in? I'd rather find out now and be bitterly crushed if we can't than wait a couple years, have my sights set on it, and then find out that they don't take skips

Thanks heaps guys, obviously a smarter crowd here than the average Pit monkey



Sanity is not statistical
#19
Hey, man, that's great to hear about your audition. Who did you have for the audition? I graduated from Berklee back in 2006 and it was the best four years of my life, hands down. If they had had a graduate program, I never would have left after getting my bachelor's or even applied to other grad schools unless I didn't think I was going to get accepted.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion but in my personal experience the majority of the people who talk down about Berklee either never went there or failed out because they didn't want to do the work. There are, of course, a few exceptions, but they are exceptions, not the norm.

Berklee is an amazing school whether you want to be a studio engineer, professor, studio musician, manager, or just have hopes of becoming the biggest rock star out there (which is what most musicians want). What a lot of people have a hard time accepting is that this goal is probably the hardest career goal to achieve in the world in ANY industry. It takes everything from 100% personal sacrifice and dedication to making all the right contacts to the stars aligning properly at the exact moment you need them to, and it just rarely happens.

That said, I don't know anywhere else in the world where you can be surrounded by every type of musician and music industry professional in existence 24/7, take classes and jam with them, learn from them, and just do music all the time. On any given night if you feel like jamming, you can walk down the dorm hallway and knock on random doors to find an entire band - drums, bass, guitar, singer, piano/keys, horns, strings, etc - and get them to go down to an ensemble room to jam. There are free and/or cheap concerts ranging from student and faculty ensembles right up to big names like Steve Vai or A Perfect Circle every night of the week.

Not to mention you're right smack in the middle of Boston, surrounded by millions of other college students and in one of the nicest cities in the country. The majority of the professors are top notch, you can take ensembles, labs, private lessons, and other classes in any style of music out there ranging from classical and jazz theory to metal, country, and smooth jazz ensembles, and even most of the Gen Ed (history, english, math) professors are great for those 25% or so basic courses you're required to take at any accredited college or university. You can also be a studio musician and record in any of the ten or so recording studios on campus.

It really is an awesome school and I wish they would start a grad program so that at some point in the future I could go back and eventually teach. Who knows, maybe another bachelor's in a different area of study could happen one day. God knows they've got enough areas of study just in the music field to keep anyone busy for a few lifetimes.
#20
Quote by Low_End_Rocker
How do Australians apply to get in?

Check with admissions. they have audition spots worldwide.im sure theres an audition spot in australia, but if not flying somewhere to do it might be worth it!Good Luck!
Guitar Gear:
1)Fender Strat
2)Fender FM212
3)Dunlop Crybaby Origina
4)Line 6 FM4
5)MXR Phase 90
6)Boss Ds1 Distortion
7)Electro Harmonix Small Clone Chorus
8)Line 6 DL4
#21
Quote by PSM
Hey, man, that's great to hear about your audition. Who did you have for the audition? I graduated from Berklee back in 2006 and it was the best four years of my life, hands down. If they had had a graduate program, I never would have left after getting my bachelor's or even applied to other grad schools unless I didn't think I was going to get accepted.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion but in my personal experience the majority of the people who talk down about Berklee either never went there or failed out because they didn't want to do the work. There are, of course, a few exceptions, but they are exceptions, not the norm.

Berklee is an amazing school whether you want to be a studio engineer, professor, studio musician, manager, or just have hopes of becoming the biggest rock star out there (which is what most musicians want). What a lot of people have a hard time accepting is that this goal is probably the hardest career goal to achieve in the world in ANY industry. It takes everything from 100% personal sacrifice and dedication to making all the right contacts to the stars aligning properly at the exact moment you need them to, and it just rarely happens.

That said, I don't know anywhere else in the world where you can be surrounded by every type of musician and music industry professional in existence 24/7, take classes and jam with them, learn from them, and just do music all the time. On any given night if you feel like jamming, you can walk down the dorm hallway and knock on random doors to find an entire band - drums, bass, guitar, singer, piano/keys, horns, strings, etc - and get them to go down to an ensemble room to jam. There are free and/or cheap concerts ranging from student and faculty ensembles right up to big names like Steve Vai or A Perfect Circle every night of the week.

Not to mention you're right smack in the middle of Boston, surrounded by millions of other college students and in one of the nicest cities in the country. The majority of the professors are top notch, you can take ensembles, labs, private lessons, and other classes in any style of music out there ranging from classical and jazz theory to metal, country, and smooth jazz ensembles, and even most of the Gen Ed (history, english, math) professors are great for those 25% or so basic courses you're required to take at any accredited college or university. You can also be a studio musician and record in any of the ten or so recording studios on campus.

It really is an awesome school and I wish they would start a grad program so that at some point in the future I could go back and eventually teach. Who knows, maybe another bachelor's in a different area of study could happen one day. God knows they've got enough areas of study just in the music field to keep anyone busy for a few lifetimes.

Thanks for talking about what Berklee is ACTUALLY like and how awesome it is (unlike some people i know). if i get in, ill send you some questions if thats okay!
Guitar Gear:
1)Fender Strat
2)Fender FM212
3)Dunlop Crybaby Origina
4)Line 6 FM4
5)MXR Phase 90
6)Boss Ds1 Distortion
7)Electro Harmonix Small Clone Chorus
8)Line 6 DL4
#22
Quote by Dingoman
Thanks for talking about what Berklee is ACTUALLY like and how awesome it is (unlike some people i know). if i get in, ill send you some questions if thats okay!

Anytime, man. I always respond to questions people ask and especially enjoy answering questions about Berklee because it really is a kickass school. I can't speak highly enough of it.

And regarding the comment someone made about them lowering their standards: Berklee has always been a somewhat easy school to get into compared with its reputation, but the hard part has never been getting in; it's been staying in once you're there. It has one of the highest dropout rates because many people go there thinking it's just a music school, so therefore it's a party all the time; that's not how it is.

Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of partying and fun if that's what you're into, but it's still a school. Like most other things, but especially with music, you get out of it how much you're willing to put in. There are guys there that sit in the practice rooms and work on class projects 15 hours a day. They eat, sleep, practice, and do work. There are also people there that practice 15 minutes a day, skip classes on a regular basis, and just party and drink all the time. From what I've seen, and I had many friends like this, these were the ones that ended up dropping out in the first year or two and then talked a bunch of crap about the school.

It's definitely not for everyone and you have to be VERY dedicated to music and have a lot of self-control to make it worth that kind of time and money. But if you do, there really is no better place to study music, especially contemporary music.

I have also heard from friends at the school that it has gotten much harder to get in and the acceptance rate has DROPPED (ie they have RAISED their standards) because the school is not a very large school, only about 3,500 students when I was there, and yet the popularity and applications have gone through the roof. They can now afford to be more and more picky about who they choose to let in, like any other big name college.

And one last thing I'd like to mention: if you're going there, be prepared to be humbled. I don't care how good you are, in your first few weeks alone you're probably going to run into dozens of people who make you feel like you just picked the instrument up, faculty AND students. The trick is to view this and accept it as motivation rather than letting it depress you.
Last edited by PSM at Dec 16, 2008,
#24
Thanks PSM for the great insight. What did YOU do for your audition, and what kind of scholarships did you get to the school?
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#25
Quote by 6DgOfInTb
Thanks PSM for the great insight. What did YOU do for your audition, and what kind of scholarships did you get to the school?

Sure thing, dude. I auditioned for and received the Berklee World Tour Scholarship. I believe I played "For the Love of God" by Steve Vai as my prepared piece. I also had to do some sight reading and ear-training excercises where they would turn around so I couldn't see them, play a melody or whatever, and then I would have to play it back. They asked me to play various chords with sevenths, tensions, etc, some of which I knew and some I didn't. Then we jammed a little so they could see how I improved. I can't remember if there were any other parts but I auditioned with Larry Baione (chair of the guitar department) and Rick Peckham (assistant chair of the guitar department).

Keep one thing in mind if you are nervous about the audition: if you knew everything there was to know about music, guitar, and theory, then you wouldn't need to go to the school. They don't expect you to know everything. What they want to see is that you have a solid foundation and a strong ability and determination to learn as much as you can. Showing and conveying to them that determination will go a lot farther than just knowing every chord in the book (not that you shouldn't make that your goal).
Last edited by PSM at Dec 16, 2008,
#26
hey i was wondering if anyone knows if it is possible to transfer from a regular school, like a community college and then after 2 years to berklee?
#27
/\ yes

and for anyone that is going, the first year will be the hardest. it's not a hard school to get into but they weed out those who are not dedicated within the first year or two. also, its a not a good idea to play anything your not comfortable with or a style you don't regularly play just because you think it will impress whoever is auditioning. ohhh, and no giant steps :P
#28
sweet and any suggestions on songs? cuz i dont wanna play any satch or vai cuz thats what everyone plays, even tho their songs are quite awesome. I was thinking may something more paul gilbert style or petrucci
#29
Anyone who feels like they want to can also send me questions, I am going to be a third semester student at Berklee so I have some feel of what it is currently like at the school.

To 'iplayibanezrg'-Play what you can play best. I'm sure they've heard every jazz standard under the sun 300 times, so don't be scared to play something even if you think they've heard it. If you can't get some of those Gilbert/Petrucci licks really clean I think it would be best to do something a little easier that you can really get the phrasing down on.
#30
Quote by Dingoman
Check with admissions. they have audition spots worldwide.im sure theres an audition spot in australia, but if not flying somewhere to do it might be worth it!Good Luck!


Thanks heaps dude. I checked it out, and they hold auditions in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia's two biggest cities. And I'm a Melbournian, so I won't have to fly anywhere

I have one more question that I can't seem to find the answer to on the site. How much is it a year?



Sanity is not statistical
#31
Depends on if you live on campus, have any scholarships, etc, but it's around 40-50. If you are talking just tuition its a little over 20 I think?
#32
Quote by PSM
Sure thing, dude. I auditioned for and received the Berklee World Tour Scholarship. I believe I played "For the Love of God" by Steve Vai as my prepared piece. I also had to do some sight reading and ear-training excercises where they would turn around so I couldn't see them, play a melody or whatever, and then I would have to play it back. They asked me to play various chords with sevenths, tensions, etc, some of which I knew and some I didn't. Then we jammed a little so they could see how I improved. I can't remember if there were any other parts but I auditioned with Larry Baione (chair of the guitar department) and Rick Peckham (assistant chair of the guitar department).

Keep one thing in mind if you are nervous about the audition: if you knew everything there was to know about music, guitar, and theory, then you wouldn't need to go to the school. They don't expect you to know everything. What they want to see is that you have a solid foundation and a strong ability and determination to learn as much as you can. Showing and conveying to them that determination will go a lot farther than just knowing every chord in the book (not that you shouldn't make that your goal).


Thanks a lot man. That sounds a lot like my scholarship audition during the '08 Guitar Sessions. Good to know.
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#34
Quote by Low_End_Rocker
Anyone know how much it is a year? Cheers guys

About 30k. With housing, 40k.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#35
Quote by SilverDark
About 30k. With housing, 40k.


haha, ouch. What happens with US Colleges? Do they have a payment plan where you pay your fees after you finish and are earning money?



Sanity is not statistical
#36
Quote by Low_End_Rocker
haha, ouch. What happens with US Colleges? Do they have a payment plan where you pay your fees after you finish and are earning money?


lol, full Berklee degree costs about 130k.

How is a student going to pay that back anytime soon. Probably with interest as well.

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#37
Quote by xxdarrenxx
lol, full Berklee degree costs about 130k.

How is a student going to pay that back anytime soon. Probably with interest as well.


haha, I'm aware of that, but gotta remember, here in Australia we only see the American shows, and in that the parents always pay for college. So I thought maybe all the parents were paying that monster amount of money? Haha, shut up, it seemed possible before I got called out



Sanity is not statistical
#38
Quote by Low_End_Rocker
haha, I'm aware of that, but gotta remember, here in Australia we only see the American shows, and in that the parents always pay for college. So I thought maybe all the parents were paying that monster amount of money? Haha, shut up, it seemed possible before I got called out


Lol

If everyone had 130k just like that, then creditcard companies wouldn't exist, and my parents house wouldn't have a mortgage.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#39
Quote by Low_End_Rocker
haha, ouch. What happens with US Colleges? Do they have a payment plan where you pay your fees after you finish and are earning money?

Here in the US there's Financial Aid, which can help you pay more than half or less than half of college tuition from the government, though, it's entirely dependent on your financial situation. The poorer you are, the more money you get.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#40
Sorry that this is a little long

Here’s how you go to Berklee WITHOUT spending 140,000 over 4 years.
First, If you are going to go into debt in astronomical amounts then its not worth it to go to ANY school not just Berklee.

Now, a little bit about their degree. The Bachelors of Music is a 4 year degree where you will do 30 credits (out of 120 total) of non-musical courses (ex. History of art) and 90 credits of music. Berklee does not accept music credits from other colleges but they DO accept non-musical credits from other colleges. Don’t take any of these non-musical courses at Berklee. Take them at a community college where it will cost far far less. Then transfer those credits to Berklee. You can do this before, during or after you go to Berklee; it doesn’t matter. But make sure you get the courses approved first by Berklee before you waste the time and money taking them.

The DIPLOMA is a certificate (not a degree) that you get for doing the 3 years of music at Berklee. (no non-musical courses) I don’t recommend this because you may as well get your non-musical courses done at a community college and transfer them in and get the Bachelors of Music degree.

Second, call Berklee and ask for a scholarship application. Go over the app. with a fine tooth comb and spend months even years, if you have to, creating an unbelievable scholarship package and then send it in. If it takes you 2, 3, 4 or more years, who cares. You will have a good chance at receiving at least a partial scholarship. I knew lots of students that were receiving full or partial scholarships.

Next, get the Berklee Harmony 1-4 and Ear training 1-4 books and take these courses on your own. Read and re-read them over and over. Make up tests for yourself and ask other family members and friends to test you. Then when you get to Berklee and take the entrance exam you can “test out” of (some of) these courses thereby saving money and time. I knew someone who tested into Harmony 3 and Ear Training 3 to start thereby eliminating the need to take four classes (Harmony 1 & 2 and Ear Training 1 and 2). You probably wont test out of all of them but even half of them will save you a lot of money.

Third, stay in the dorm the first year and then try to get into an apartment with some friends you meet at Berklee. If you can somehow get an apartment right away with other people then that’s good. But make sure they are serious musicians that will be able to pay the rent and not druggies or losers that are going to make your life difficult. It is well known that if you can shop for your own groceries, cook your own food, and share a 3 bedroom apartment with 2 other people you can save a lot of money than if you live in the dorm and pay for the meal ticket to eat in the cafeteria.

When you add all of this up you can save 10’s of thousands of dollars and if you get a decent partial scholarship and test out of a few courses, take your non-musical courses at a community college, you may be able to save half the money.

If you’re really good and get a great scholarship, test out of a bunch of courses and live cheaply with friends, you can save even more than half in my opinion. A lot of parents have saved at least something for their kids college education. If you combine SOME small school loans that are manageable, do everything I described here, and you parents can help you pay for tuition, it can be done for a lot less than the regular full tuition for 4 years.

BTW, I graduated from Berklee. It was a great time for me and I am very glad I did it.

One more thing - There are many graduates and non-graduates from Berklee who go off and become successful. There are also many non-graduates and graduates who do NOT become successful. I used to get tired of hearing from people (mostly Berklee kids who did not graduate) that more people have become successful who didn’t graduate. Bunch of baloney. There are many notable graduates who actually got their degrees. Like Joe Lovano and George Garzone (2 guys on top of the jazz saxophone world) and John Scofield, just to mention a couple. You can get a list of graduated Alumni from Berklee and see for yourself.

The main point is that YOU determine your success whether you go to Berklee, The New School, GIT, Manhattan School of Music, NEC, Juliard, NYU, or a leading university in your area OR you don’t go to music school at all. There are many great musicians from rock to jazz who never went to music school.
"How to Become a Better Musician" - is my online course at www.MyOnlineMusicLessons.com. Phrasing and Rhythmic Development, Improv Techniques, Jazz Theory, Ear Training and more. I'm also available for Skype/Hangout lessons.
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