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Kronos classThe Berkeley Connect program opens up the extraordinary resources of the university to you: the extraordinary students on our campus. By joining, you will become part of a community of like-minded faculty, mentors, and students that will provide a supportive environment in which to exchange and discuss ideas and goals. Berkeley Connect will help you to make the most of your time at the university as you learn more about the major in Music. We’re excited to get to know you!

Message from the Director

Ken UenoMusic is a powerful agent for community. The music we listen to and love often defines us. It is the glue that binds groups of friends and can become the soundtrack to the most important moments in our lives. As a powerful mechanism for memory, listening to a favorite track can often bring us back to those important moments later in life, triggering strong emotions. At Berkeley Connect in Music, we will build upon this capacity for music to bring us together. Aside from helping you connect to your Berkeley community, we will also share and discuss music in a casual setting, offer mentorship, attend events, and break bread together (Yes! Berkeley Connect provides free meals!).Part of that community building, however, depends on each of us practicing the discipline of deferring judgment and becoming more open-minded as we step into ever-larger communities. Civility and culture is built upon such a foundation.  We might have strong, immediate dislikes for certain types of music while thinking that we are smart and open-minded people, but there are no universals when it comes to musical taste. So, music can serve as a method of helping us confront our prejudices. One of Berkeley Connect’s aims is to help students develop awareness about prejudices and how they manifest within our appreciation of music. These are takeaways that I hope will be useful for everyone, especially non-music majors.

Personally, as a classically trained musician, I had to confront the fact that I don’t belong to the dominant culture in the history of classical music, which is largely dominated by Europeans. My participation in music making has been developed through being radical. The new sounds that I invent and learn to perform with my body and the unique forms and spaces that I have made for my art create an autonomous space for my artistic identity. I hope my example, however humble and esoteric, can inspire anyone in any field, but especially music majors, who hope to find their own unique space in the world after graduation.

Berkeley Connect can also help address a few specific needs of music majors – issues that students in the department tend to encounter in their years here: 1) music majors often do not take classes with certain professors until their junior year, thus 2) music majors often do not receive mentoring in their preferred concentration until late in their matriculation. In my specialized area of composition, for example, I often do not meet prospective composers until they take my class in their junior or senior year. If you want to be competitive for graduate school in composition, it would be more advantageous to spend three or four years preparing, instead of just your last year of college. And this is true of other music related fields as well. I am designing the Berkeley Connect in Music program to try to address these issues.

In tackling these problems together throughout the course of the semester, I hope to highlight this trajectory of finding our own unique space in the world for everyone. It can often be quite daunting in a large university to think about our own uniqueness – especially when you are taking classes with hundreds of your peers. This is where Berkeley Connect is at its best. We provide one-on-one mentorship meetings with advanced graduate students to supplement the biweekly small group settings, all the while sharing meals and discussing music with new friends who are facing similar challenges in life.

Professor Ken Ueno
Director, Berkeley Connect in Music

Program Description

Berkeley Connect links undergraduate students with experienced mentors in Music. These mentors lead small groups of 10-20 students in regular meetings; they also meet with students one-on-one to provide guidance and advice. The core of the Berkeley Connect program is a one-credit, pass-fail course that is designed to create a community of students with similar intellectual interests. There is no homework associated with Berkeley Connect: no exams, no papers, no quizzes. Instead, small group meetings focus on sharing ideas and learning new skills within the Music major as a way to foster friendships and provide a supportive intellectual community for Berkeley undergraduates.The only requirement for joining Berkeley Connect in Music is that you have an interest in the field of study. You do not have to be a major in order to participate! Undeclared freshmen and sophomores are welcome, along with entering junior transfers and juniors and seniors who have declared the major.

Every semester, Berkeley Connect sponsors a wide range of activities and events for participating students.  They include:

  • small-group meetings led by your mentor;
  • one-on-one meetings with your mentor;
  • special events, including informal lectures by professors and guest speakers, and panels on career options, graduate school admissions, and other topics;
  • and visits to Berkeley resources.

At the heart of Berkeley Connect is the relationship between you and your mentor. The Berkeley Connect mentors are advanced graduate students or recent PhDs in Music, who are chosen both for their demonstrated commitment to undergraduates and for their scholarly achievement. They are dedicated to providing the kind of close-knit community and one-on-one attention that can be hard to find at a large university.

When you sign up for Berkeley Connect, you will join one of several small groups of participants in Music. Your small group will be led by your mentor, and will meet every other week during the semester for an hour-long dinner discussion sessions. Discussions will focus on key intellectual issues within Music as well as key skills you need to succeed in the major. Above all, the small groups will focus on building connections among students, so that each group becomes a supportive community for all participants.

You will also meet with your mentor one-on-one at least twice during the semester, once to get acquainted, and a second time just before Tele-Bears, to discuss your plans for completing your major. Your mentor also has office hours every other week, during which you are free to show up and ask questions, talk over your day or your week, discuss what you are learning in class, or just have an informal conversation.


Ken UenoKen Ueno Born in NY, I spent formative years in Japan and Switzerland, but I mostly grew up in LA. Perhaps due to my complicated childhood, I struggled with my identity as an American, and in high school I came up with a life plan to dramatically resolve my feeling of not belonging to the dominant culture: go to West Point, become a general, and come back to California to become a senator. This plan failed due to an injury I suffered in a training exercise at West Point.  Luckily, I had discovered Jimi Hendrix the year before I went to college, and during the period of my convalescence, I decided to pursue music. Music, literally, saved my life. (Read my NY Times article about it here: Finding the Score Within.) Since then, my musical training took me from Berklee College of Music to Yale and then to Harvard, where I received my Ph.D. I am a composer, a vocalist, and sound artist.  This means that I compose for other people to perform my music, as well as perform myself, and also make freestanding, site-specific installations for galleries and museums. As a vocalist, I invent new techniques that push the boundaries of what can be viscerally emotive. Check out my demo video: KenUeno – UC Berkeley Lecture, intro to his art philosophy. My bio appears in The Grove Dictionary of American Music

Myra Melford

MUSIC MyraMelford Photo credit BryanMurrayMy earliest memories of making up music on the piano are from the age of 3, before we moved to the house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright where I grew up in Glencoe, IL. I took classical piano lessons until I was a freshman in high school, but my first piano teacher, Erwin Helfer, was (and still is) a great blues and boogie-woogie player in the Chicago tradition, and as a treat, after lessons, he taught me to play the blues by imitating him through call and response. This kind of eclectic approach seems to have had a lasting result (as did the experience of growing up in a Frank Lloyd Wright house), because after returning to music, from environmental science, as a sophomore at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, I immediately got into studying jazz and

various world music traditions; and all of those musical strands now inform the music I make today as a pianist, composer and improviser. These days, I’m leading a quintet called Snowy Egret that plays my original music. I perform solo and in various duos and trios. You can read more about my current projects at, as well as watch videos from a 25-year retrospective of my work recorded at the Stone, NYC, in 2015. I fully endorse the Wiki article about me, and here’s a link to me playing the blues in a small club in Inage, Japan, several years ago.

Berkeley Connect Mentors

Edmund O’Keefe is currently a PhD candidate in Music. After attending Berklee College of Music, David graduated from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music in New York in 2012, where he majored in Music Performance. Edmund recently earned his M.A. in Musicology at UC Berkeley. His current studies include music history and criticism, music theory, and aesthetics with Mary Ann Smart, Nicholas Mathew, and James Davies; anthropology and social theory with Paul Rabinow; and critical theory with Ramona Naddaff.

Jiselle Rouet Jiselle Rouet is a sixth-year PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, her dissertation explores how the study of the sound of Caribbean jazz brings nuance to the concept of transnationalism through an interrogation of issues of race, gender, class and power. Prior to attending Berkeley, she received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy at Temple University and a MA in Musicology at CUNY Queens College. Having worked as both a performer and academic, Jiselle is excited to have the opportunity to mentor undergraduates who love to make, listen to, and/or write about music.


Wednesday, 5-6 PM – mentor, Edmund O’Keefe

Wednesday, 6-7 PM – mentor, Edmund O’Keefe

Thursday, 5-6 PM – mentor, Jiselle Rouet

Thursday, 6- 7PM – mentor, Jiselle Rouet

All small group meetings will meet in Morrison 117.

Berkeley Connect links undergraduate students with experienced mentors in Music. These mentors lead small groups of students in regular meetings; they also meet with students one-on-one to provide guidance and advice. The core of the Berkeley Connect program is a one-credit, pass-fail course that is designed to create a community of students with similar intellectual interests. There is no homework associated with Berkeley Connect: no exams, no papers, no quizzes. Instead, small group meetings focus on sharing ideas and learning new skills within the Music major as a way to foster friendships and provide a supportive intellectual community for Berkeley undergraduates.

In the small-group meetings you’ll brainstorm about big questions like how new technologies change our ways of listening to music or how it works as a sound track to everyday life. Other weeks we’ll tackle more pragmatic questions, such as how to find opportunities to do research in music fields, or how to write a dynamite paper for a music course. Yet other times the group might just listen to an awesome piece of music and share reactions.   These intimate group meetings are complemented by activities open to all Berkeley Connect students–we’ll attend a concert together and talk about it afterwards, hear from faculty about their own musical passions, and hear from UCB Music grads who have gone on to work in music about how they got where they are and what they remember most fondly about their undergrad years. Berkeley Connect is a place to mingle with music faculty and graduate students, in an open setting without homework or evaluation, to share ideas and appreciate music together.

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Attendance policy and grading:

Berkeley Connect is offered Pass/Not Pass. In order to receive a Pass, you must:

  1. attend the bi-weekly small-group sessions (attendance will be taken)
  2. participate in two one-on-one meetings with your mentor
  3. attend the special events and the field trip unless you have an unavoidable scheduling conflict which you report in advance to your mentor
  4. complete the required exit survey at the end of the semester


Your emergency evacuation assembly area is the lawn just south of Hertz Hall.

In the event of an emergency please follow instructions from your instructor and Music Department staff.

Take note of emergency procedures posted in your classroom. If the fire alarm is sounding, exit the building immediately. In the event of an earthquake, duck when possible and hold in place, covering your head with your arms, a binder or your laptop. Then exit the building when the shaking stops.

If you are in a wheelchair and on the second floor of Morrison, proceed to the Designated Waiting Area for evacuation. A Disabled Evacuation Chair is located in the first floor classroom hallway.

If you are in a wheelchair and in the basement area, exit through the long locker hallway and through the service area out the door to your right at the end of the hall. You may need assistance to open the outside door.


  • UC Police and all emergencies number from campus phones: 911
  • UC Police and all emergencies number from cell phones: (510) 642-3333
  • UC Police non-emergency number: (510) 642-6760


Federal copyright laws protect all original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium. When using material that has been written, recorded, or designed by someone else, it is important to make sure that you are not violating copyright law by improperly using someone else’s intellectual property.

The Department of Music is committed to upholding copyright law. As a student enrolled in this music class, you may be provided with access to copyrighted music which is directly related to the content of this course. It is our expectation that you will utilize these digital recordings during the course of the semester that you are enrolled in this class, and will delete these recordings after the close of the course. The purpose and character under which these recordings are being provided to you is for nonprofit educational purposes only.

To read more about UC’s Policy and Guidelines on the Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials for Teaching and Research, visit (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.


Week 1 – Aug. 24 (Th) – Opening Gala Event, 5-6:30pm, Morrison 250.

Week 2 – Aug. 30 & 31 (W Th) – small group #1 (Morrison 117) Introductions. What do you like about music? Why did you take this class?

Week 3 – Sept 6 & 7 (W Th) – small group #2 Musical Punctum. Small details that increase our depth of engagement with a piece and artist.

Week 4 – Sept 13 & 14 (W Th) – small group #3: Contemporary music for non-Western musical traditions. Preparation for Kyoko Kawamura’s concert.

Week 5 – Sept. 18 – Field Trip: Center for New Music and Audio Technologies, Concert of Traditional Japanese Koto music – Kyoko Kawamura, 8pm.

Week 6 – Sept 27 & 28 (W Th) – small group #4: Introduction to your mentor’s research.

Week 7 – Oct 4 & 5 (W Th) – meet your mentor

Week 8 – Oct 11 & 12 (W Th) – small group #5: Music you hate. Bring a piece of music (recording) and discuss why you hate it. Surprisingly, the reasons are often extra-musical.

Week 9 – Oct 16 – Field Trip: Townsend Center – Symposium on Virtuosity with Kim Kashkashian.

Music and Virtuosity

The Townsend Center brings together a selection of eminent figures in the field of music to explore what we mean when we talk about virtuosity. Who earns the distinction of being called a virtuoso? Is it a fruitful or a limiting concept? What assumptions underlie its use, and how successfully does the idea of virtuosity travel across different genres and cultures?

Monday, October 16, 4-6 pm

Albert Elkus Room, 125 Morrison Hall

A Conversation on Music and Virtuosity


Violist Kim Kashkashian has worked to broaden the range of technique and repertoire for the viola. She received a Grammy award for best classical instrumental solo album and the George Peabody Medal for outstanding contributions to music in America, and she is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a soloist, she has appeared with the orchestras of Berlin, London, Vienna, Milan, New York, and Cleveland. She teaches at New England Conservatory.

John Santos is a central figure in the Afro-Latin jazz scene.  A seven-time Grammy-nominated percussionist, he is a performer, composer, teacher and producer. He has served as resident artistic director of SFJAZZ and as a member of the Latin Jazz Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian Institution. He has performed and recorded with numerous artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Max Roach, and Arturo Sandoval.

Winner of the Rome and Berlin prizes, Associate Professor of Music Ken Ueno is a composer, vocalist, and sound artist. His compositions have been performed at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His artistic mission is to prompt audiences to reevaluate the musical potential of sounds that have been overlooked or discarded.

Ben Ratliff, this year’s Una’s Lecturer, moderates.

Week 10 – Oct 25 & 26 (W Th) – small group #6: Listening to Silence. What are the margins of what we might deem “music?” and why?

Week 11 – Nov. 1 & 2 (W Th) – small group #7: Aspectual Music. Hearing is a manifold experience in which music as sound and music as meaning are blurred into coextension.

Week 12 – Nov. 8 & 9 (W Th) – small group #8: Listening to Noise. What is noise? Why is it historically redacted from “music?”

Week 13 – Nov. 15 & 16 (W Th) – meet your mentor


Week 14 – Nov. 29 & 30 (W Th) – study break


To find sections in the upcoming semester, search the Schedule of Classes for Music 98BC (for first-year and sophomores) or 198BC (for juniors and seniors).

To help you meet other students who share your experiences and perspectives, Berkeley Connect sections are designated as lower division (first-year students and sophomores), new junior transfers, and upper division (juniors and seniors), but you can enroll in any section that fits your schedule and credit requirements.

How to Sign Up

To participate in Berkeley Connect in Music, you enroll in a designated section of Music 98BC or 198BC (one unit, taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis). Many students chose to enroll for more than one semester. Participation is NOT restricted to declared majors.To sign up, enroll in a Berkeley Connect section when course registration opens.  Please see the Berkeley Connect sections listed above under “Schedule.”

**Read the schedule notes carefully—different sections are designated as primarily for lower-division (freshmen and sophomores), upper-division (juniors and seniors), or junior transfer students.

If you are interested in participating in Berkeley Connect, but course registration is not currently open, you can join the Berkeley Connect Mailing List, and you will be sent more details when the next semester’s information becomes available.

Contact Us

Please see our FAQs.  If you have additional questions about Berkeley Connect in Music, please contact:  Professor Ken Ueno (

Professor Myra Melford (

You can also contact the central Berkeley Connect office  at or (510)664-4182.

Links & Resources