Exclusive Interview with Berklee College of Music


Berklee College of Music

Music Lab

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Berklee is the preeminent institute of contemporary music and the performing arts, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs at its campuses in Boston, Massachusetts and Valencia, Spain, and through its award-winning distance learning program, Berklee Online. Dedicated to nurturing the creative and career potential of the world’s most inspired artists, Berklee’s commitment to arts education is reflected in the work of its students, faculty, and alumni—hundreds of whom have been recognized with Grammy, Tony, Oscar, and Emmy awards.

At Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee, students explore interdisciplinary approaches to music, dance, theater, film, business, healthcare, education, technology, and more. Our pioneering youth programs reach underserved classrooms throughout the U.S. and beyond. With students and alumni from more than 100 nations and educational partners across the world, we are forging new connections among art forms, musical traditions, and technologies to build a dynamic, diverse, and collaborative global arts community.

Where are you based, Since When the school is open? 

Berklee’s primary campus is in Boston, MA. Berklee was founded in 1945 by Lawrence Berk as the Schillinger House and was the first college-level school in the United States where jazz was the basis of the curriculum. Berklee was also the first college to recognize guitar as a principal instrument, the first to establish an undergraduate degree in film scoring, and the first to offer a major in songwriting, among many firsts for the college. Berklee College of Music merged with the Boston Conservatory in 2016, adding dance and theater to the curriculum.


What language do you teach in your school?

Courses are taught in English at the Boston campus and at Berklee’s campus in Valencia Spain. The Berklee Latino program, which has taken place in several Latin American countries, is taught in Spanish.


Are there other branches of schools around the world?
We have a campus in Valencia, Spain mainly dedicated to graduate programs where we also run a study abroad programs for Boston undergraduate students and several summer programs.  Other than the Valencia campus, we have around 23 partnering institutions (Berklee Global Partners) around the globe where applicants can take classes to have them directly transferred to Berklee after going through the admission process and get fully accepted to the college.

*Photo from berklee college

What are the requirements for getting a student to your school? 

Applicants must submit an online application, go through audition and interview process and submit required supplemental documents such as transcripts, TOEFL. Then the board of admissions will review and issue decisions based on students’ qualifications. 

Tell us about the variety of courses at the school:

Berklee College of Music has 12 majors, students at the college must declare their major by their second year. Berklee provides diverse courses of study ranging from traditional composition to business to technology that are relevant to what current job opportunities in the market require. The 12 majors include the following:

- composition

- contemporary writing and production

- electronic production and design

- film scoring

- jazz composition

- music business and management

- music production and engineering

- music education

- music therapy

- performance

- professional music

- songwriting 

*Photo from berklee college

160 Caf by Don Hamerman_420.jpg

Tell us about familiar artists who have studied at your school - 

Hundreds of Berklee alumni are familiar artists who have been recognized with Grammy, Tony, Oscar, and Emmy awards. These include Gary Burton, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones composer) Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Melissa Etheridge, Juan Luis Guerra, Lalah Hathaway, Bruce Hornsby, Quincy Jones, Diana Krall, Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton orchestrator), Aimee Mann, Branford Marsalis, John Mayer, Danilo Perez, Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings composer), Esperanza Spalding, and Susan Tedeschi.

Do you give guidance and help in finding work for students who have completed their studies at your school? 

Yes, Berklee’s Career center hosts an annual day-long Career Jam that brings artists and industry leaders - including alumni - to campus to share their expertise and connect students to pathways that will broaden the scope of their career possibilities. The day includes speakers and panels; workshops; break-out mentoring sessions; employer recruitment tables; and opportunities to audition for high-profile gigs and hear from successful alumni and industry experts

The Career Center also assists current students and alumni, posting exclusive job opportunities for Berklee community members, offering career advice, assisting with job search strategies, offering simulated interviews, and holding networking events and workshops on negotiations, Linkedin and other job search tools, and obtaining work in the US for international students.

What is the best advice you can give to a new student who is starting your studies? 

Learn and take advantage of all the resources Berklee provides and actively engage in collaborating with fellow musicians on campus!

*Photo from berklee college

Career Jam 2019 by Mike Spencer.jpg

*Photo from Berklee college

Whethan Interview | Out Now
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