Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Staff Experience (Page 1 of 7)

Staff Experience

Music And Design Thinking – A Silicon Valley Memoir

This trip has helped me think differently on how I will approach my last semester at Berklee and how I will approach my future after graduation. Specifically, when we visited the D school at Stanford, they taught us how design thinking is important and some of the ways they set up the space to help their students be productive.

They use white boards, high top tables and stools to make up the work space. The students move around the white boards to make the space bigger or smaller and had a wall of supplies that were open for anyone to use. They stressed that open spaces are inviting. The white boards are an ‘artifact’ that students can use to explain ideas. One thing I will do differently is when I work on a project with other people and even myself, I will use a white boards to put my ideas down. I will also use an open area with high tables and stools. When we visited Mike Cassidy, he said when you’re building a company, build it in 3 months. He stressed that moving quickly is important. I will be taking his advice and although I am not currently building a company, I will use this mentally when completing tasks that I have. At Delphi, when they need to have everyone on the same vision, they use 4-7 key words and photos for each word to help bring the idea to life. I will use this not only for visual content when helping artists with branding but I can also use this when I am collaborating with others to make music. A takeaway that I got from Facebook and Apple is that to get a job in the industry, understanding code is important. I will start taking a class to learn how to code because it will be beneficial in the future. Dolby Technologies is helping artists by creating platform where music can be mixed in space instead of left and right. Knowing this technology is out there will be helpful when I am creating music. Thinking about space and how sound moves through it will be a new way of listening to music.

I knew that some tech companies need sound and music but what surprised me is the amount of sound and music that is involved will all the companies we visited. It was really amazing to see that creative people are needed in the world of tech and how it will start to be incorporated more and more. Specifically, what surprised me about PlayStation is how they set up the music so it can be incorporated into the video game. Having the intro, loop and then the outro to each part of the game is something I never thought about. Similarly, in Skywalker, when we saw the sound effects to Star Wars and Creed, I really understood then how important sound effects are for a movie and how many layers are needed to capture the scene. Another aspect that surprised me is how involved most if not all these companies are with VR, AR, and AI. Although we weren’t able to talk about this with some people, most stressed how they are in the works with it. It was a reaffirmation that they are working on tasks and problems that have never been solved before.

Carla Calderon

Building in Santa Fe

While my stay in Santa Fe was cut short by illness, I still had the amazing opportunity to dine, hike, build, and explore the city. I also had the opportunity to have great experiences with other Berklee staff and faculty who I did not previously know. Overall, it was an enjoyable trip that I would recommend to any of my peers at the college of music.

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Tent Rocks and Sheetrock: Gracenotes Santa Fe 2017

The outskirts of Santa Fe, as seen from a 15 passenger van on route 25

Hello from sunny and beautiful Santa Fe! I’m here with colleagues as part of the annual Berklee Gracenotes service trip.

Though I’ve been looking forward to this week for a while, I don’t think I was prepared for how downright expansive this journey would be. The wide open landscapes, the breadth of history culture and art of this area, the community impact through our volunteer work– it all has a far-reaching feel to it.

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Gracenotes Volunteer Team – Santa Fe, New Mexico 2017


Matthias Lupri here writing from Santa Fe, New Mexico as team leader for the Berklee Gracenotes Habitat for Humanity trip 2017. Eight of us recently arrived via flying to Albuquerque on Monday (then a fun van drive) and looking forward to a full week of helping out. We are scheduled to assist building a home at Oshara Village for some much deserving folks through the Habitat for Humanity Santa Fe organization.

Above is completed Pueblo styled small home with Adobe wall right next door to our build site, built by Habitat for Humanity for people who cannot afford housing in Santa Fe.


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Remembering Mili Bermejo

By Jonathan Feist

Mili Bermejo’s book Jazz Vocal Improvisation is out, and we’re sorry that she isn’t here to see it.

Mili was sitting under a tree, teaching, when I first met her, surrounded by a gaggle of teenaged singers. The year was 2000 or so, and we were both on a Berklee in L.A. trip, which is a summertime outreach program where Berklee faculty members spend some time with younger musicians. Mili was teaching voice, I was doing some research for the Berklee Practice Method and also scouting for book ideas.

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