Ariyanna Vellani

Class of
Berklee College of Music

Pronouns Used: She/Her

Hometown: Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada

Principal Instrument: Piano

Majors: Contemporary Writing and Production

Languages Spoken (other than English): French

Describe your favorite Berklee experience so far.

Definitely studying abroad for my first year in Valencia! I was able to immerse myself in the music of a completely new culture and it is something I will carry with me forever.

When you think about your favorite class so far, what is one example of why you enjoyed it?

I really loved my private instruction. Coming to Berklee from a strictly classical piano background has definitely been a struggle, and it has become a goal of mine to break out of my comfort zone in my playing. My PIs have been incredibly helpful and it is so cool to work with such experienced and talented musicians!

What is your favorite part about studying and living in Boston? 

I actually haven't even been to Boston yet! I have my apartment and roommates all lined up but I am so incredibly excited to explore the city and meet so many more wonderful people.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone applying to Berklee College of Music or Boston Conservatory at Berklee?

Do not compare. The most detrimental thing you can do to yourself as a musician is compare yourself to other people (especially those with the same principle). Something I am still learning is that everyone at this school is so different and we come from hundreds of different backgrounds. It is so harmful to compare yourself to someone who has lived an entirely different life; Everyone has different strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations. Prioritize and focus on yourself!

Where is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite places in the Valencia campus were definitely the teaching studios, and I'm sure anywhere in the Boston campus that I can work on my craft will be my go-to.

Why did you choose Berklee?

I chose Berklee because of the extremely progressive route it has taken with teaching, learning etc. Canada's music schools are still heavily based in classical styles of playing, writing, and learning, and I wanted to follow a more contemporary route and learn things that would help me in this constantly changing world of technology and composition! It was definitely a big decision for me and my family, especially because of the limited resources international students have, but I was (and still am) 100 percent sure that Berklee is where I am meant to be!

What are your plans for after graduation?

My main focus will be finding a community wherever I settle. I think it is crucial to have a support system and a group of people you can really trust; It helps me focus more on my work rather than on social issues, and as a musician it is vital to feel like you are not alone.

What have you enjoyed most about the live shows you’ve been involved in at Berklee?

I was fortunate enough to play for the Lagos concerts in Valencia with an incredibly talented group of musicians! Our set was focused on flamenco style music (with a little twist) and being able to perform with my friends in front of an appreciative audience was an incredible feeling. 

Where do you hope to perform this coming year?

I'd love to perform at some smaller local venues where I can meet people before and after the set. That was definitely one of my favorite things about performing at small venues in Spain and I would like to keep that up!

Your social media channel/web URL?

Instagram: @ariyannavellani