Monday, March 28, 2011

Breaking Barriers - How to take your art to the next level!


How an effective songwriter can break through to the world around us!

WHEN: Tues, Apr 5th, 8pm-10pm

WHERE: 921 Boylston Street, Room 411

WHAT: 3 Short lectures on how your songs can break barriers you face with yourself (overcoming creative shortcomings), your society (changing the world through art), and your music itself (understanding why you write, and what effect your music has on others!)

Pratt Bennett (B.A., Certified Life Coach)

Do you feel "stuck" in your writing/career/life?
Pratt will talk about how to avoid ruts, and use tools you already have to conquer change and new situations, and to take your creativity and writing to the next level! 

"My rule of thumb is very simple: whatever you're working on, make it valuable today. Make it count today. When you are receptive to what's happening in the moment, you relax so much more about the outcome and, in my experience, you often get a better result."

Ross Bresler (B.A., M.A., Ph.D)

Ever feel your songs are "too personal" for others to get them? Ross will be riffing on the creator's internal narrative, and external appearance to his/her audience.
In addition, he'll discuss Breaking social barriers with art -  audience and market expectations, and how those expectations cause your work to be viewed differently.  

"My classroom teaching is a microcosm of my work at ProArts, where I develop pathways for students and faculty of different arts disciplines to engage with each other and think about ways that different media play on one another. That interconnectivity across disciplines crosses over into the ways I teach art history to music students."

Teodros Kiros (Ph.D)

Is your music more than "just a song?"
Teodros will be discussing how to create change in the world from the art you have within, and in contrast, how to create change inside yourself through your art.

Become better musicians if you are philosophically trained... Make conscious, vigilant, and careful analysis of why you do music. To generate money? To train the public? 

Think, and add purpose and value to your artistic creations...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Want to play your songs for a cause? Audition for Stand With Japan: A Benefit Concert!

Are you interested in performing for an amazing cause?!
Stand with Japan: A Benefit Concert” is looking for bands and solo performers to donate their time and talent for one night of amazing music to raise money for Japan disaster relief. While this is an incredible performance opportunity to promote your music (covers or originals!), this is also an opportunity to be apart of something to reach out and change lives of those affected by the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We’re looking for performers with energy, a desire to help, and songs that can promote hope and change! If you’re interested, auditions will be held on THURSDAY, MARCH 31ST, at 8pm in 150 Mass. Ave. Meet in the lobby and there will be someone with a sign to tell you what room to go to. Have two songs prepared (but we’ll probably just have you play one) that you think would be appropriate for this event! ☺

If you have any questions about auditions and this event, or want to be apart of organizing this fundraiser (we need more people!), please feel free to contact us at: Or call the Head Coordinator, Kylie Rothfield, at (925)683-4208.

Also, look for our events on facebook: “Stand with Japan: A Benefit Concert AUDITIONS” and “Stand with Japan: A Benefit Concert Information Meeting”


-Stand With Japan Fundraising Group

Monday, March 21, 2011

Submit Your Songs to the Japan Benefit CD

Lossless is putting out a benefit CD with Berklee songs only! Here's your chance to help out through your songs.

Japan Benefit digital release information:

The criteria for submission is not meant to exclude anyone but rather to INCLUDE as many people as possible:

* The submitted track must be in lossless CD quality (for example .wav, .aiff or .flac) - more info about this at the very bottom.
* It cannot be a cover - the person (or group) submitting the recording must be the songwriter(s)
* It must feature at least one Berklee student or faculty member
* The song must be in good taste because this is to raise money for disaster relief.
* The track cannot prominently feature musicians that are already on another submitted track. This is so everyone gets an opportunity to have a song on this release.

Submissions are due Tuesday March 22nd at midnight

Send an email to with the lossless recording attached, or if it's too big, use drop-box (send to or something else. Also be sure to include one photo, a url where we can hear more music, and a short two or three sentence bio. There is information about about lossless formats below.

About Lossless (also posted on FB):
All submitted tracks MUST BE LOSSLESS CD quality (either wav, flac, or aiff). You CANNOT create a proper lossless file by converting the mp3-that just makes an MP3 that is labeled as a WAV. To make a lossless file you must rip a retail disc or bounce the recording in the recording program that was used. Email if you need help!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

FREE Concert! Weds Mar 23rd! Songwriters In The Round!

WHERE:  Royale Ballroom (279 Tremont Street, 2 blocks from Boylston Street T-Stop)

March 23, 2011 at 7PM



Some of Berklee's best songwriters performing on stage with local Boston favorites, and featuring a special guest Berklee Alum.  Hear some amazing songs, and the stories behind the songs! 

Presented by The Bowery Presents: Boston, Berklee’s Songwriter’s Club, & Royale Nightclub











Event Coordinator - Nick Riebel

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Songwriting Secrets Revealed! FREE Lecture 3/22/2011

Tues, Mar 22nd : Songwriting Department Super-lecture!  Ever been "stuck" on a song, and not sure how to finish it?  Ever wanted musical x-ray vision so you could see how a #1 hit works? Ever felt like you weren't communicating the true emotional depth of your lyric? Want a sure-fire way to create catchy hooks that stick with your listener?

Jack Perricone - Chair of the Songwriting Department
Will be doing an X-Ray analysis of a Top 10 hit to let you see exactly how it works!

  • B.M., Hartt School of Music
  • M.M., Indiana University
  • Numerous recording, producing, and songwriting credits for Janet Lawson, David Geddes, Angela Bofill, Jerry Butler, Michael Jackson, Lou Rawls, and others
  • Composer and producer of internationally aired jingles and commercial themes, and music for theater and films

Mark Simos - Songwriting Faculty
Ever had an unfinished song that you just weren't sure what to do with? Mark will give his best tips and tricks to finish that song that has been laying around your notebook forever!

- Writer for Alison Krauss, Jimmy Barnes (Australia's top selling recording artist), and more!

Jimmy Kachulis - Songwriting Faculty
Jimmy will discuss melodic phrasing techniques that create catchy, memorable choruses that stick with your listener!
Jimmy also "wrote the book" -- a few of them, actually -- on which the Berklee Songwriting Curriculum is based.

  • B.S., Hunter College
  • M.A., Tufts University
  • Arranger and composer or conductor for Eric Gale, Stuff, George Coleman, Jon Hendricks, Frank Foster, Martha Reeves, John Lewis, Empire Brass Quintet, and String Fever
  • Guitarist for Eric Gale, Stuff, A Chorus Line, and Pe De Boi
  • Papers delivered include "Ewe Polyphony" and "Ewe Bell Improvisation" at the Society for Ethnomusicology conferences
  • Listed in Who's Who of American Teacher
Scarlet Keys - Songwriting Faculty
Scarlet will show you how the right verb can cause a lyric to go from "blah.." to "BLAOW!" by looking at examples of extremely well crafted lyrics you can model in your own writing! 

  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • Staff songwriter for Warner Chappell/The New Company Nashville
  • Live performances include the Blue Bird cafĂ©, Nashville; ESPN; Bass Masters Classic, New Orleans Arena; and venues in Nashville, California, and New England as featured pianist/vocalist
  • Gold record for song "So Much Love to Make" recorded by Swedish artist Jill Johnson
  • Single "Gonna Dance" recorded by jazz artist Anna Wilson
  • Charted on Billboard's jazz chart in 2008 with Anna Wilson's Christmas album Yule SwingNumber 1 single on British country chart with artist Lucie Diamond; Number 2 on the European country charts with single and title track to artist Lucie Diamond's record entitled "I Wanna Be Rich."

Showcase YOUR SONGS in LA! Great Opportunity!

Got a song you want to pitch to TV? A killer stage presence? A record you want to promote?

Berklee's LA Alumni Chapter is looking to feature the best of the best at our annual live music showcase. Last year’s show was a huge success with performances by Femke Weidema (’06), Manda Mosher (’97), Mike Schmid (’01) and Ernie Halter (’97) just to name a few.

Now we’ve set our sites on Molly Malone’s rock club and we’ve brought back Berklee alumni owners of RAWSession to A&R the event. The kicker? This year, we’re not just looking for the best song, we want the whole package!


Subject of email: NAME – Submission for Berklee Live Music Showcase
Attach your best song (1) in MP3 format ONLY (no aac, wav, etc.)
3-5 sentence bio including years you attended Berklee - Keep it short & simple!
Include links to your following:
·      Your website
·      Facebook
·      Twitter
·      Youtube Channel
·      ReverbNation
·      Myspace

All emails must be received by Friday April 8th 11:59PM PST

Please note: If selected, you will be responsible for your own transportation costs.

Berklee LA’s Live Music Showcase
May 12th 2011
Molly Malone’s
Open to all alumni

For questions, email Justine Taormino, LA Chapter Leader:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Free Lesson: Song Analysis by Mark Simos!

Mark Simos has graciously given a free analysis for Songwriters Club to pass on! Check it out HERE

This is what he has to say about it. . .

Hi folks:

First off, hope you're having a great Spring Break!

Last week we had some excitement as Sierra Hull, a Berklee student and a smokin' bluegrass mandolinist and vocalist, released her new Rounder album Daybreak. Right now her new video on CMT is getting more spins than any bluegrass or acoustic music has in a long time and excitement is running high. I wanted to help her out while at the same time furthering our goals of learning more about songwriting. So I have prepared a little Spring Break gift for all of you - a complimentary lesson which is an analysis of the Kevin McClung song on the video. You can watch the video here

The handout will be particularly useful to lyric writing students as the song is a nice example of a particular type of verse-refrain form; and to songwriting students, as it's also a nice example of combining front-heavy and back-heavy phrasing. Anyone interested in roots music and songwriting as part of those genres will also find it a great song worthy of some study.

As a special one-time offer: I hereby give you permission to pass this handout PDF on to fellow students, songwriters or musician friends of yours who might be interested in it. Please pass on the PDF with my copyright notice intact! Remember this is pretty technical, so it's not for the fans or the faint-hearted! But it is a glimpse into the way we dig into song structure in songwriting classes at Berklee. And a nice testament to how well contemporary bluegrass songwriting holds up under that analytical lens. enjoy!

Mark Twain: "The difference between the almost-right word and the right word is the difference between a lightning-bug and lightning."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2011 Lecture Series! (FREE!)

Songwriters Club is hosting a series of amazing TED-Talks style lectures for your edification!  We're getting the industry's best talent to talk about production, making money, music publishing, songwriting, and more.  Click below for specific info on each lecture -- all lectures are Tuesdays 8-10pm in 921 Boylston, Room 411!

Tues, Mar 22nd : Songwriting Department Super-lecture!  Ever been "stuck" on a song, and not sure how to finish it?  Ever wanted musical x-ray vision so you could see how a #1 hit works? Ever felt like you weren't communicating the true emotional depth of your lyric? Want a sure-fire way to create catchy hooks that stick with your listener?

Tues, Mar 29th : The Real Deal - Eric Beall!  Eric is the VP of A&R at Shapiro Bernstein (Rihanna, David Guetta, Flo Rida, Black Eyed Peas, Corinne Bailey Rae, Etc) and author of the Billboard Guide to Writing and Producing Songs That Sell and Making Music Make Money.  He's agreed to come up and give a private listening session for the SW Club. Send in YOUR SONGS to be critiqued by a major music publisher!  

Tues, Apr 5th : Breaking Barriers!   3 of Berklee's most INSPIRING and ENGAGING teachers will discuss how to create breakthroughs in your creative process, artists who have used their art to defy social conventions, and what makes art "art."  This is one of the most "TED TALKS" format lectures that we're hosting and is NOT to be missed!

Tues, Apr 19th : Perfect Pitch. BE THERE.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Experience Nashville IN BOSTON

Experience Nashville before the trip! Kathy Mattea is putting on a master class, clinic, AND concert this week!

Twice named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association, Kathy Mattea carved out a role for herself in the late 1980s and 1990s as a sensitive yet energetic artist. She won her first Grammy in 1990, earning the Best Female Country Vocal Performance award for “Where’ve You Been". With nearly thirty Top 40 country hits, and five gold albums and a platinum-selling greatest hits compilation, she is among the most successful women in the genre’s history.

“My Coal Journey” Grammy Award-winning singer Kathy Mattea presents “My Coal Journey”, a one-hour program incorporating stories from her family history and her current advocacy for the environment, combined with a performance of songs from her 2008 release, “COAL”. The pre- sentation traces Kathy’s motivation for beginning the recording project, her research into the musical genre’s history and elemental style, and her family’s ties to coal mining culture in Appalachia, along with discussion of environmental and social justice issues surrounding coal mining methods in today’s world.

Monday, March 7th, 1:00 pm Vocal Master Class
Lawrence and Alma Berk Hall 1A 1140 Boylston Street

Tuesday, March 8th, 1:00 pm Clinic: My Coal Journey
Red Room @ Cafe 939 939 Boylston Street

Thursday, March 10th, 8:15 pm Concert
Berklee Performance Center 136 Massachussetts ave.

Friday, March 4, 2011

What Berklee SHOULD be teaching you, but isn't...

Michael Hazani ('10) 
Three Lessons I Wish They Taught Me at Berklee

In this short talk, alum Michael Hazani (’10) will discuss his successes and struggles as a full-time songwriter and producer in New York, in light of a few lessons that proved indispensable through his first half year as a professional songwriter; lessons that nobody taught him during his time at Berklee, and that in retrospect, would have saved him a lot of time, money and anguish both throughout college and in the so-called "Real World". 
This is not a talk about songwriting - it's a talk about songwriters: it's about making that leap and following that dream, in all its marvel, magic and mayhem, delivered by someone who can relate to the thoughts, fears and hopes concerning those first few steps because that's how he spent the last six months.

Michael Hazani was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. In 2007 he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music; after graduating Summa Cum Laude he moved to New York to pursue a full-time career in writing and producing popular music. In the six months since graduating he had a song licensed  for a national TV and web campaign, signed a song shopping deal with an LA-based artist, and is currently involved in multiple projects, having his music pitched both domestically and overseas 

Joren van der Voort ('10) 

What makes Pop "Pop?"

Joren will be discussing genre-specific techniques of melody, harmony and rhythm.  While Berklee traditionally focuses on songwriting as separate from the genre, there are certain stylistic moves that, for example, are far more common in Rock than in R&B, there are harmonies perfect for Jazz, but not for most Pop.  He'll discuss a few examples of current hits to give you fresh ideas to include in your own writing.

Joren has won several awards at Berklee for his songwriting,  had songs placed on television, and had a song on hold with Britney Spears.

Ben Camp 

Strategies for Success.

Ben will be discussing specific outlooks and techniques you can apply to increase the level of success you are having on your path as a songwriter. The talk will be focused on internal successes (writing the songs you want to write, finding your motivation, and setting your own goals) to external successes (creating opportunities, marketing yourself, and becoming the "go to" writer for your clients.)

In his time at Berklee, Ben has grown the songwriters club from 300 members to 850 members, and has created several initiatives on-campus (from the MP&E/Songwriter collaboration database to the student-run Singer/Songwriter concert, to the Perfect Pitch contest), and maintained a 3.8 GPA. Off campus, he's had experience as an in-house producer/arranger for a classical-fusion organization,  had music placed on CBS, NBC and MTV. He's scored a national TV commercial, and has toured internationally as a DJ. As an entrepreneur, he has built record labels, real estate companies, and a music publishing/production company from the ground up.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Songwriter's Dept. Clinic Thursday March 10th!

WHERE: 1140 Boylston, Room 1W
WHEN: March 10th, 1pm-2pm
WHAT: Songwriting Clinic

Please join the Songwriting faculty: Pat Pattison, Jimmy Kachulis, Scarlet
Keys, Mark Simos, Jon Aldrich, Susan Cattaneo, John Stevens, Stan
Swiniarski, Sarah Brindell and Chair, Jack Perricone as they listen to
selected student songs and give comments and helpful suggestions to
make the songs better. Use their critique to examine ways to improve your
own songwriting. This is a unique opportunity to watch the Songwriting
faculty in action. Come and observe this clinic done in a master class