Berklee offers a pretty kickass way for high-schoolers to spend their summer: at its Five-Week Summer Performance Program, based in Boston. A summer spent at the college is a taste of what it’d be like to attend Berklee.

It’s also an opportunity to join the ranks of music industry professionals who have been at the program in the past. Past attendees include John Mayer, Meghan Trainor, Imagine Dragons drummer Daniel Platzman and Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine.

[photo by Kelly Davidson]



All of them have attended summer programs at Berklee, as have producer Greg Kurstin (best known for his work with Taylor Swift, Adele and Carly Rae Jepsen), bassist Erick Coomes (who has recorded with Dr. Dre, Eminem and The Game) and countless other professionals now working at Pandora, Pitchfork, PlayStation and industry mainstays.

This isn’t a typical summer school. The Five-Week Summer Performance Program offers plenty of educational experiences, but also tons of opportunities to perform with fellow students from all over the world and the chance to earn college credit. About 3,000 students arrive every year to participate in Five-Week or one of the other 20 summer programs offered.

[photo by Kelly Davidson]

“Our faculty and program structure make available the tools to succeed, but it is really the fruits of the collaborations that occur every summer that yield the most exciting sounds and results at the end of every program,” says Rob Rose, the vice president for Special Programs.

The Five-Week Summer Performance Program launches students into ear training, music production, songwriting or musical theater, depending on their interests, and all the classes are designed by professional musicians. Many of these students go on to apply to and, if accepted, attend Berklee.

[photo by Dave Green]

The program is for students 15 to 18 years old, and the application is on Berklee’s website, www.berklee.edu/summer, where information about scholarships is also available.

Though the summer experience is educational and intensive, it’s also a lot of fun, says Roger H. Brown, Berklee’s president. “When young people come to Berklee for the summer, it totally changes the culture and environment of the place,” he says. “Kids are hanging in every available space, jamming and writing songs; we like to say that they have found their tribe.”

[photo by Dave Green]