Work Study with the Digital Learning Department: Through the Eyes of a Student

Isak KoteckiIsak Kotecki is a 3rd semester CWP major at Berklee College of Music. He is a singer/songwriter, composer, and filmmaker from Austin, Texas.

About two weeks into my 3rd semester here at Berklee, I received an oh-so-sweet email. It was a beautiful, flickering light in a daunting sea of darkness. A sea of darkness filled with phone-a-thon job offers and ramen budget dinners. A dark abyss that could only be illuminated by the beacon of hope that is, the Digital Learning Department (DLD).

I have been looking for a work study position at Berklee since my 1st semester, but my 18-year-old-I’m-an-artist pride was searching for just the right position. When I received the offer for Multimedia Audio Assistant from the DLD, the top of the message read “this e-mail is only intended for the student it was sent to, do not forward these job referrals onto other students.” I knew it had to be a top secret job of ultra-awesomeness (which I would later find out to be true). The job description included that they were looking for a student with strong computer skills and involvement in audio and visual media. Being a CWP major and having recently started directing/filming a series of live musical sessions, my 19-year-old-I’m-an-artist pride was radiating. I sent in my resume and was asked to come in for an interview soon after. I sat down with Sharon Lynch (Director of Media Development) and Nazli Rex (Office/Project Coordinator) who both were so warm and friendly upon meeting me. After all the official questions were asked, I was already getting a feeling that I would fit in well at the DLD. To top it off, as we were wrapping up, they asked me if I was a cat person (which I have four of back home). I knew it was right. I received an email the next day with the official job offer.

In my short time working with the DLD team, I have learned so much. The first video shoot I worked on was for a music therapy clinic. It involved a panel of six of the top neuroscientists available to the scientific community. Yeah, kind of a big deal. Myself and fellow peer and co-worker, Will Ponturo, were responsible for recording the audio of the panel as discreetly as possible. This responsibility was slightly nerve-racking, but it was also refreshing. Being solely responsible for the audio of such an important shoot instilled a new found confidence within myself. Under the watchful wing of my veteran, 9th semester compadre Will, we set the levels for the audio, and boy, we set them well. Maverick and Goose ain’t got anything on us.
The second shoot I worked on was for a series of BTOT (Berklee Teachers on Teaching) interviews, where I was responsible for using wireless LAV mics to capture the audio of various Berklee teachers. I used the H6 field recorder, and I was able to contain my entire recording set up to a small chair in the corner of the room. Going on these various shoots really forced me to learn fast and think on my feet to do whatever was needed to get the best possible results. The skills I have learned through the DLD will surely stick with me throughout my professional career.

As time went on I did various tasks such as working on online courses, researching media and assets, and assisting on more video shoots. Everyday was a new experience and a new journey, some better than others, but everyday I had to go home and remind myself I actually get paid for what I do. The DLD is a team of professional, talented, fun, kooky, and all around good people. I’m sad to have to be leaving so soon because of my plans to study in Valencia, Spain for my 4th semester, but I know I have so much to take away from this wonderful job. I met many amazing people, I learned many new skills within running live audio, preparing camera gear, and working with text editing and media installation. Most importantly, I got really good at carrying two tripod bags, two camera bags, and an audio bag all at once. That’s a real skill. Keep doing what you do DLD, cause you are doing it right.

-Isak Kotecki

You can read more posts from the Digital Learning Department here:

Aluno da Berklee se apresenta com Jordan Rudess em seu recital!

Vinicius Sa
Vinícius Cavalieri de Sá Coutinho, born in São Paulo on March 8, 1992, is
a Brazilian guitarist and composer who is majoring in Film Scoring.


Vinicius works as the Online International Ambassador for Portuguese
language since January, 2014.

Hoje venho falar sobre um dos alunos da Berklee que está vivenciando belos dias em sua
carreira. Eren Başbuğ nasceu em Istanbul, Turquia, e tem 21 anos de idade e é um grande
pianista, maestro e compositor.

2014 Fall 학기를 마무리 하며…


Suhhyun Sarah Kwon is a fourth semester student at Berklee, dual majoring in Film Scoring and Contemporary Writing and Production. 버클리에서 Film Scoring과 Contemporary Writing and Production 복수전공으로 네번째 학기를 맞는 권서현입니다. 영어로 발음하기 어려운 이름이라 Sarah라는 이름을 사용하고 있습니다. 

기말 프로젝트와 시험 준비로 한창 바쁜 어느 날 학교에서 이메일이 왔습니다.

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Professor Bill Banfield: Reboot Our Codes of Social Commitment

Bill Banfield

Bill Banfield

Bill Banfield is a professor of Africana Studies/ Music and Society and director of the Center for Africana Studies and programs at Berklee. An award-winning composer, jazz guitarist /recording artist, and public radio show host, he has authored five books for Scarecrow Press on music, arts, cultural criticism, and history.



. . . Social movements generate new knowledge, new theories, new questions. . . concrete intellectual engagement. . . for confronting systems of oppression. . . Progressive social movements. . . the best ones do what great poetry does, transport us to another place, compel us to relive horrors, and more importantly, enable us to imagine a new society .

From Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination by Robin D.G. Kelley

We’ve all been seeing in our country a televised, necessary convulsion of consciousness over the unjust killing of young black men, and talking more and more about why it’s happening at a senseless, visible rate.

Over and over we’ve seen now film images of gangs of police officers singly and together pounding, choking, enforcing brutal suppression, and more killing. And then there are the never-ending global conflicts in which murder and mangling of bodies is the tactic of terror that justifies a group’s positions of political dissatisfaction or engrained hatred. This all contributes we are sure, to a heavy feeling of human loss and doom.

What strikes my chords is that we must do things now to change the direction of our actions forward on many sides. In a conversation with a friend, I admitted my frustrations and said I believe we need a systematic reboot of our codes of social commitment. That is, how we redefine and refine how we must be in the world we live in today and beyond.
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BGJI: Letting Go of Ego and Making New Music

Berklee Global Jazz InstituteThe Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) is a performance program designed to foster creativity and musicianship through various musical disciplines, with pianist and composer Danilo Pérez as its artistic director. The BGJI provides a comprehensive contemporary music environment where students are given opportunities to explore their creativity to the highest level possible, advance the power of music as a tool for the betterment of society, and connect musical creative thinking with the natural environment.


Neta Raanan

During my first audition for Berklee Global Jazz Institute I was star struck. Walking into the BGJI office, Danilo Perez, Marco Pignataro, and John Pattituci sat at a table in the corner of the room. The first time I had heard Danilo Perez was at the Blue Note in New York City with Jack DeJohnette’s band a few years earlier. Sitting behind him that evening I was convinced he had something similar to the powers of Storm from X-Men. With the rhythmic integrity and harmonic colors he played with it seemed like he could crack open the sky with thunder and rain or cause the sun to come out at will. Pattituci’s rich bass sound and the grooves he creates with Brian Blade on records like Wayne Shorter’s ‘Beyond the Sound Barrier’ are something friends I played with used to imitate as best as they could. Continue reading