Process for Class Placement

Updated on September 28th, 2023

Video Submission Prior to Program Start

Many of Berklee's registration-based music performance programs require students to prepare a short video demonstrating their performance ability. While submissions are reviewed by program faculty, they do not affect a registrant's ability to participate in their program; the video submissions are simply used to place Summer Programs students in classes with other students at a similar ability level.

The following programs require a video submission for class placement, submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of your program. Submissions received within two weeks of a program's start date may not be reviewed, which may cause a student to be placed in a class level that does not align with their ability. 

  • Bass Workshop
  • Brass Workshop
  • Commercial Dance Intensive (CDI)
  • Drums and Percussion Workshop
  • Global String Program
  • Gospel Performance Program
  • Guitar Sessions
  • Musical Theater Dance Intensive (MTDI)
  • Summer Dance Intensive (SDI)
  • Youth Musical Theater Summer Program
  • Vocal Summit

In-Person Performance Assessments

In lieu of a video submission, we ask Day Sessions: Music students to complete a short performance of a piece they feel best represents themselves as a musician during the morning of their first day. Program faculty will then sort students into an appropriate ensemble that will challenge, but not overwhelm the student.

Course/Workshop Selection via App

For the remaining production based programs, students will have the opportunity to self-select courses and workshops in an app. Students will have access to their specific course offerings once the app invitation email is sent to the student email address, typically in the week prior to the program start. There is no video submission or placement requirement for the following courses:

  • Film, TV, and Video Game Scoring Program in Los Angeles
  • High School Composition Intensive (HSCI)
  • Songwriting Sessions in Los Angeles
  • Songwriting Workshop
  • Electronic Music Production and Sound Design Workshop
  • Music Production Workshop
  • Music Business Program

The Musical Theater Workshop's program directors will send out a personalized video submission form directly to students' email addresses prior to the start of the program. 

Aspire: Five-Week Online Placement Assessments and In-Person Audition

Online Placement Assessment for Aspire: Five-Week

An important item that you need to complete before your arrival to campus for Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive is a placement assessment.

There are two parts to complete:

  1. Musicianship (Ear Training) Assessment to determine your level of study for the Musicianship (ear training) class in the program.
  2. Music Theory Assessment to determine your level of study for the Music Theory class in the program.

In June, students who have confirmed their participation by paying in full will receive an email with a link to both assessments.

The assessments for Aspire: Five-Week are designed to help us assess your current musicianship level, and cover a wide range of difficulty. Some questions may be too easy, while others may challenge you—and that’s okay. This program is designed to accommodate all levels. The results aren’t factored into your final grades, so there’s no passing or failing. Whether you know all the answers or aren’t sure about most of them, there’s a place in the program where you fit.


Audio Issues

If you are experiencing difficulty with hearing the audio files included with the assessments, first check to ensure that the volume on your computer is turned up and not muted.

If you are still having trouble hearing the audio files, check the strength of your internet connection to make sure you are connected and using a strong signal.

If the audio file expires on a given question before you've had an opportunity to hear the example and provide an answer, please see the Resetting Your Test section below for further instructions.


Resetting Your Test

If the time allotted to you on the placement assessment mistakenly expires before you've had a chance to start, please contact a Summer Programs Advisor at to explain the error (including the name of the assessment you're working on) and request a reset of the assessment.


Accessing the Assessment Module

In June, students who have confirmed their participation by paying in full will receive an email with a link to both assessments.

If you have not received the email with the link to the assessments, please check your Berklee Application Portal account to ensure you have fully paid for the program.

If you paid in full and have received your Berklee OnePass credentials, and you still have not received the link to the assessments, please contact for further assistance.



In addition to the placement assessments for Music Theory and Musicianship, we ask all Aspire: Five-Week students to complete a short in-person audition. This will allow students to show their performance ability by playing a prepared piece of music and demonstrating their sight-reading ability. The placement audition is used to place students into the proper style and level for their ensemble, reading lab, and department choice lab.

Prepared Piece:

Students should perform a prepared piece in the style of their choice (three minutes, maximum). Please bring a backing track if possible.


Student will be asked to sight-read (or be placed at entry level).