#1
Hey this is my berklee essay for fall 2010. Please tell me what u all think. feedback would be excellent. its a rough draft. I didnt rele know what to write since im mostly self taught with some lessons.

If you have had access to formal music training, tell us what you found to be most valuable in that training. Describe how that training might contribute to your success as a student at Berklee.

Up until recently I have not had formal music training for guitar. When I first started to play guitar in 2004, private lessons seemed out of question. This was mostly because of the cost of lessons, and because I did not know how serious I was going to take the instrument. When I bought my first guitar I did not have much influence to get it, I just wanted to start playing for me. I was more into learning the guitar while most other kids were into video games.
When I first started to really get into playing, I had found many other ways, instead of lessons, for me to learn. What really helped was to listen to and watch other guitar players, play along with songs, read and follow music books, and learn songs from the internet and books. Having this motivation to teach myself the guitar made playing and practicing more delightful and enjoyable.
As years moved on, my guitar playing became more serious, and I created my own style of playing. I had moved on from learning the basics to being able to play with other musicians and learn theory involved in music. During early high school, music became my main focus and I grew to be more confident while playing in front of people. I became more involved in the music community by joining and starting bands, playing shows, and doing contests. Although I felt confident with my skill level, something was missing. I decided to take up lessons from a local teacher from Berklee. I did not want to pass up the opportunity to learn from him, because I was very interested in the school. Also, a family member offered to pay for the lessons, so I took it as a must to start guitar lessons.
I always figured from around five years of being self taught, lessons for me would be unnecessary. Obviously I was wrong, there was, and still is, a great deal for me to learn. Although I took lessons later than most people, I am glad I did. From the years teaching myself, I gained a great deal of knowledge just from doing something on my own, and without being forced or having someone guide me. With a guitar teacher, I was able to learn most of the standards of music I skipped over, plus many things I would not have learned on my own.
During the five to six months I have received lessons my musical knowledge has increased. I have learned new ways to approach sight reading, writing music, and playing my guitar in general. My teacher has also exposed me to a more jazz side of music. This has really helped me mix my technical style of playing with a melodic style. Formal training has really prepared me for what Berklee has to offer, and I feel I am ready for its challenges. With what I have learned since I started playing and my motivation, I feel I can keep up with a higher level of musical teaching.
#4
the set up seems a little lengthy. get to your main point quicker. in application essays you want to be to the point and concise. There isn't a lot to elaborate on this prompt so just don't bore them and you should be good
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#5
its kinda bland, also kind of generic
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#6
the phrase "jazz side of music" is awkwardly worded. jazzier would work better but sound ridiculously cheesy. try to downplay the fact that you have only had formal training for 6 months haha. ther than that it sounds good.
#7
Put double spaces between your paragraphs on the Internet, silly. I'll read it if you do.

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#8
dont mention that someone else payed for lessons.
dont pretend like youve invented your own style of music.
be more upbeat.
mention your lack of experience less.
.
..
...
I have no opinion on this matter.
#9
Needs moar cowbell. That is all.
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#10
in the fourth sentence when you say "it" i don't know if you are referring to guitar lessons or your guitar, also you should use "myself" instead of "me".
#11
pretty generic. i wouldn't go to berklee. you can get a quality music education without putting a huge hole in your wallet 45 minutes north at umass lowell, or 2 hours south at the university of hartford
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Last edited by pmeg568c at Sep 29, 2009,
#12
Try to be yourself when writing and not like you created your own musical style. make them want you. the people there are really nice. and be glad if you get tomo he's sooo nice. i talked to him on youtube. Also you should start off with a small paragraph about yourself and why you wanted to play that instrument. Also in the end talk about why you'd love to be in Berklee and the profession you want in your music career.

I wish I went to Berklee this year especially since I used to live five minutes away from the school.
talk to me
and i better not hear a word
do me baby
i better not feel it girl
i still got one bullet left in my nine
finna do a love crime
love crime
finna do a love crime

lovecrimes -- frank ocean

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#13
Quote by pmeg568c
pretty generic. i wouldn't go to berklee. you can get a quality music education without putting a huge whole in your wallet 45 minutes north at umass lowell, or 2 hours south at the university of hartford


berklee's a great school and you get what you pay for. celebrities always come through esp. John Mayer. besides they let you be yourself creatively while still learning other genres of music. it's a music school so the main point of the school is music not other subjects of college.
talk to me
and i better not hear a word
do me baby
i better not feel it girl
i still got one bullet left in my nine
finna do a love crime
love crime
finna do a love crime

lovecrimes -- frank ocean

Tumblr
#14
celebrities come and also teach at umass lowell. The guitar teachers are some of the best in the country. umass lowell also encourages creativity and forces you to learn jazz and classical. Not taking anything else in college except music is a very very poor idea.

if you honestly think the cost of berklee implies that it is the best in everyway, you are sorely mistaken. its just like everything else in life. everyone wants to go there, its all the rage, so why not charge 60,000 a semester?
Quote by shakin'cakes
First of all, I enjoy deathcore for it's complexity and it's the only genre heavy enough for me



Quote by Highway60Bob
I want an amp good for playing hippie tunes. I want it to be an actual amp, not a tube amp.
#15
Quote by pmeg568c
celebrities come and also teach at umass lowell. The guitar teachers are some of the best in the country. umass lowell also encourages creativity and forces you to learn jazz and classical. Not taking anything else in college except music is a very very poor idea.

if you honestly think the cost of berklee implies that it is the best in everyway, you are sorely mistaken. its just like everything else in life. everyone wants to go there, its all the rage, so why not charge 60,000 a semester?


i wasn't saying it's the best. but i mean as far as schools go that deal with music and the arts i think they're pretty damn great. i'm not dissing umass or any other massachusetts school. (i'm from boston originally(five minute walk from northeastern) so i'm not dissing the other school in my home state). it's a great school and i know they have celebrities go there all time. i was there when some rnb artists were there a year ago. umass is a great school along with other schools in mass. northeastern, dartmouth etc.
talk to me
and i better not hear a word
do me baby
i better not feel it girl
i still got one bullet left in my nine
finna do a love crime
love crime
finna do a love crime

lovecrimes -- frank ocean

Tumblr
#16
i totally agree i just think berklee is overpriced and overrated. its one of the best obviously but i would rather spend less, get almost the same education and make the same connections.
Quote by shakin'cakes
First of all, I enjoy deathcore for it's complexity and it's the only genre heavy enough for me



Quote by Highway60Bob
I want an amp good for playing hippie tunes. I want it to be an actual amp, not a tube amp.
#17
The most valuable thing formal music education has taught me is the importance of listening to other people’s playing, especially in group situations. There might be a group that has a really good guitarist who can play amazingly fast and technical solos, but if the rest of the band isn’t together behind him it will sound terrible and unorganized. When you are hiking with a group of people you can only move as fast as the slowest person in the group or else you get separated. The same is true with any musical group; they can only be as good as their worst member. There is also a lot to be said about listening to other people you are playing with, if you hear what they are playing and know their part it will greatly help you better understand the song. If you have a better understanding of the song you will play the song better.
Listening to other players is also an essential part of self-innovation. If you listen and learn how other players approach their instruments and apply that to your own instrument it will help you considerably in one aspect or another. If you went and learned one of Miles Davis’s trumpet solos on guitar, this would help you to better understand phrasing during an improvised solo due to the fact that trumpet players have to breathe in order to play, whereas guitar players can just play long strands of notes that don’t say nearly as much as one of Mile’s solos.
In any musical situation the point is to listen. Audiences are there to listen, group members have to listen or else they have no point of reference for themselves, thus proving that listening is almost as important as playing. Without playing there would be nothing to listen to other than silence, and I am sure there is something to be said for that as well.
I would use listening as my main tool at Berklee. Listening is a key to learning if you don’t listen, you’ll never hear anything. If you never hear anything, you will never think about it. If you don’t think you wont learn, and you certainly cant learn about music if your not listening.


that was mine for last year. i got in but they didnt give me any money... and thats an issue for me, housing isnt guaranteed and your one of like 1000 guitar players. im not saying dont go for it i did early application and had my audition in december played a short chord melody solo and improvised over john coltrane's "equinox" and knew everything in the audition requirements by heart. my advice is to consider what i just said when preparing. as much as berklee says theyre a contemporary music school but unless you have a solid footing in some actual classical or jazz music your just another face in the crowd


make sure you apply to other good music programs here are some other reccomendations to look at:
Eastman school of music at nyu^
frost school of music at miami ^
mary pappert school of music at duquesne university*^#
University of north texas^#
James madison*
VCU^#

^schools i auditioned at
#schools i was accepted to
*hot ass girls but still both have superb music programs

good luck man
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???
#18
Quote by pmeg568c
i totally agree i just think berklee is overpriced and overrated. its one of the best obviously but i would rather spend less, get almost the same education and make the same connections.


yeah that's why i think someone should do community college then transfer over to berklee. that's what i'm going to do after two years of community college

and i can still get scholarships for writing three songs in muscial notation \(0.0)/
talk to me
and i better not hear a word
do me baby
i better not feel it girl
i still got one bullet left in my nine
finna do a love crime
love crime
finna do a love crime

lovecrimes -- frank ocean

Tumblr
Last edited by Fearless(Times) at Sep 29, 2009,
#19
dont go to berklee if you dont plan on doing jazz. that is a school for jazz. celebrities who come out there are only as good as they are because what they made of their education.
Jackson DXMG -> Vai Morley Wah -> Korg Black Tuner -> (Need a delay) -> Maxon OD808 -> BBE Sonic Maximizer -> ISP Noisegate -> Mesa Boogie Mark IV
#21
thanks everybody for the replies. If i get in im gonna major in music engineering. Im hoping my gpa and stuff help me. im either auditioning with guthrie govan's fives, steve vai's tender surrender or andy timmons' super 70s. I live in North carolina and berklee is far but im from up there. ill only go if i get money, and it seems this essay is the only thing holding me back right now. thanks everyone for the constructive criticism.
#22
if you want to do music tech i STRONGLY reccomend you check out duquesne university's music program
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.

Quote by GibsonRocker14
you can use guitar strings to skin carrots....


wait.... wuttt???
#23
Take this as constructive criticism only . . . :

Rewrite your essay. I don't know if Berklee puts much emphasis on writing, but your essay is littered with passive writing, generic phrases, and really no key main idea. I don't see anything that makes you stand out as an individual or musician. Look at the essay posted by another poster here; it has a focus (listening to others) as opposed to "my musical knowledge has increased."

College essays are a great time to showcase your narrative writing skills. Avoid giving your life story, think of a more personal answer (what have YOU learned?), and try rewriting it from scratch. . . .

Good luck man
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#24
Yeah i know. i looked at this essay with disgust thats why i put it on here. but i literally sat in front of my computer thinking about what to write. Im just gonna rewrite it totally with a new direction. any ideas?