Berklee College of Music Admissions Fall 2021 Open House Berklee College of Music Admissions Fall 2021 Open House

How to Prepare for a Berklee Audition


Ayn Inserto
Associate Professor, Jazz Composition

Career Highlights

  • Pianist, composer, and arranger

  • Leader of the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra

  • Member of the Jazz Composers' Alliance

  • Winner of a 2007 ASCAP/IAJE Commission

  • Performances with Bob Brookmeyer, George Garzone, Steve Lacy, Joe Lovano, and Frank Tiberi

  • Recordings include Clairvoyance by the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra featuring George Garzone and Bob Brookmeyer

  • Compositions have been performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, 1999 IAJE Convention, Reno Jazz Festival, Billy Higgins Jazz Festival, New England Conservatory, Berklee, Montreux Jazz Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival, and McGill University


  • 1999 Best Original Composition, Billy Higgins Jazz Festival

  • Winner of the 2003/04 and 2005/06 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award 


  • M.M., New England Conservatory

  • B.A., California State University

  • A.A., Los Medanos College

In Their Own Words

"The thing that's hard about college is that a lot is crammed into such a small amount of time. So what I encourage students to do is make [harmony] a part of their everyday music lives—not just knowing the math behind it or being mechanical about it, but knowing how it applies. Can you listen to a piece of music and hear what we've been doing without having to write anything down? How does this tie in? This is not meant to torture or inhibit you, rather it's meant to help make you grow. Everybody, including myself, is still learning. The idea of learning music—particularly at a college—is to take something that's been established for hundreds and hundreds of years and figure out how you can incorporate that but make it your own."

"In Harmony 1 there's a lot of vocabulary that they're trying to comprehend to move on to the next level. Sometimes it seems like you're trying to learn the basic bricks, but where's the music in it? But you can't write a story without knowing how to spell words. Music is difficult because it's supposed to be fun and emotional, but how can that be if you can't remember what note goes on this chord? Once you internalize it, it becomes a part of you, and you don't have to worry about it. It's like being able to speak a language."

"I grew up with '80s pop. I started out with classical music, and I love that stuff, but take me to a Madonna concert! There's a lot of really great music out there that's not jazz or classical. I love to see what my students are listening to. While most of them are contemporary-minded students listening to the pop music of today, there's a reason why they're here. They understand uniqueness in music, things that sound cool and sound different. I love it when they show me music that I didn't know existed."

Daniel Morris
Professor, Bass Department

Daniel "Mo" Morris is a professor in the Bass Department at Berklee College of Music, working with students since 1988. He is known for his muted tone, warm personality, and ability to work with all levels of students.

Morris gigs regularly with the band Calypso Hurricane, and was the bass player for the James Montgomery Blues Band and Jon Pousette-Dart Band. He has also performed with Bo Diddley, Robin Ford, James Cotton, and Paula Abdul. He is the author of Instant Bass and Essential Rock Grooves for Bass. He is an alumnus of Ithaca College and a Berklee graduate.

Matilde Heckler
‘24, Violin: Music Business and Violin Performance, minor in Creative Entrepreneurship

Ayn Inserto and Daniel Morris, Berklee Faculty

Matilde Heckler, ‘24, Violin (Majors: Music Business/Management and Performance; Minor: Creative Entrepreneurship)