Tanya Lei

Tanya Lei

Music Composition

Tanya Lei
She is a 10th grade student from Shanghai American School. She is interested to pursue a project on music composition.

Tanya enjoys music and she plays several musical instruments – guitar, piano and flute. She also takes private classes in music theory, jazz piano, and ear training. She is an amateur in music recording and her goal in this mentorship program is to find a mentor to guide her in professional music composition and recording.

University admission result

★ Berklee College of Music

Learning objectives

  • To compose an original song: lyrics and melody, harmonization including chromatic chords, arranging for instruments, creating independent motion between melody and bass line, using rhythms shared by 2 or more instruments
  • Transcribe the song
  • Produce the song, including reverb and distortion effects

What challenges did she face?

  • Tanya had difficulty writing down chords in staff notation, not just symbols.
  • It was also challenging for her to learn how to transcribe melodies, including complex rhythms

How did our program help her?

  • Tanya learnt more about lyric and musical structure, and she did well with both the melody and the lyric writing.
  • Through the mentorship program, she worked on writing, composing and recording her own song titled “Earth Song”.

Through this mentorship, I learned some music theory related things and how I can apply those onto a score and later to the DAW where I make the actual song. Before this mentorship, I always struggled with scoring my music, and I never thought about how different instruments can build on top of each other to strengthen the structure of a song. However, with Dr. Aversa’s guidance, I learned that all parts of a song have their specific use to make it better. I was able to score an original and use different instruments to show the new music theory and methods I learned. The first few sessions focused more on analyzing existing songs which set the foundation of scoring an original in later sessions. So, I think that was a very effective and efficient way to teach. Overall, this mentorship went smoothly, and we were able to be flexible with our schedules and time zones. Even though this is my first summer mentorship, everything went better than expected, and I was able to learn a lot of new things through only 8 sessions. Thank you!

Tanya Lei

Matched Professor

The mentor is an assistant professor of composition at the Berklee College of Music. Prior to that she served on the piano faculty of the Settlement Music School. Her compositions have been performed across the U.S. in a variety of venues, including NYC’s Areté Venue and Gallery and the Boston Conservatory. Honors include the Northridge Composition Prize and the Brian M. Israel Prize.

Tanya worked hard and showed curiosity and a talent for songwriting. She was respectful and enthusiastic, and a fast learner. Her songwriting tolls will continue to improve as she learns more music theory.

Mentor from Berklee College of Music

Excerpts from student’s work

Excerpts from Tanya’s final music project – She composed and recorded a song.

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