“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the GDYO Jazz Institute,”
says high school senior, Allan Kjell Nilsson. Allan studied this summer at Berklee College of Music’s “Five Week Summer Performance Program” as a jazz guitarist and has been offered a $20,000 a year scholarship to attend starting fall of 2016.
Allan began playing guitar three years ago, but piano lessons since second grade and a few years of voice lessons gave him a head start on the music theory and finger dexterity. He was given an exception to attend Berklee’s week long “Guitar Sessions” after less than six months of private lessons with guitar teacher Jeff Nickels, (normal requirements for the summer program are a minimum of two years on the instrument). Guitar Sessions taught Allan that there are a lot of aspiring guitarists out there and that he would have to practice even more to really stand out as a musician.
The next spring he submitted video auditions for a scholarship to attend Berklee’s Five Week Summer Performance Program. He was awarded a partial scholarship based upon his technical piece and rock/pop guitar pieces. At the same time, his guitar teacher began introducing him to some jazz with a guitar version of “Take Five”. When he learned about The Jazz Institute starting that fall, he signed up to audition and changed his Berklee summer program track to jazz.