Berklee School of Music
|Motto||Esse quam videri (Latin)|
Motto in English
|To be, rather than to seem|
|Type||Private music college|
|Professional Arts Consortium|
|Endowment||$338.8 million (2020)|
|President||Roger H. Brown|
|Colors||Red and gray |
|Mascot||Mingus the Jazz Cat|
Berklee College of Music is a private music college in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. Known for the study of jazz and modern American music,it also offers college-level courses in a wide range of contemporary and historic styles, including rock, hip hop, reggae, salsa, heavy metal and bluegrass. Berklee alumni have won 310 Grammy Awards, more than any other college, and 108 Latin Grammy Awards. Other notable accolades for its alumni include 34 Emmy Awards, 7 Tony Awards, 8 Academy Awards and 3 Saturn Awards.
Since 2012, Berklee College of Music has also operated a campus in Valencia, Spain. In December 2015, Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory agreed to a merger. The combined institution is known as Berklee, with the conservatory becoming The Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
In 1945, pianist, composer, arranger and MIT graduate Lawrence Berk founded Schillinger House, the precursor to the Berklee School of Music, after quitting his job at Raytheon.Located at 284 Newbury St. in Boston's Back Bay, the school specialized in the Schillinger System of harmony and composition developed by Joseph Schillinger. Berk had studied with Schillinger. Instrumental lessons and a few classes in traditional theory, harmony, and arranging were also offered. At the time of its founding almost all music schools focused primarily on classical music, but Schillinger House offered training in jazz and commercial music for radio, theater, television, and dancing. At first, most students were working professional musicians. Many students were former World War II service members who attended under the G.I. Bill. Initial enrollment was fewer than 50 students, but by 1949 there were more than 500 students. In 1954, when the school's curriculum had expanded to include music education classes and more traditional music theory, Berk changed the name to Berklee School of Music, after his 12-year-old son Lee Eliot Berk, to reflect the broader scope of instruction.
Lawrence Berk placed great emphasis on learning from practitioners, as opposed to academics, and generally hired working musicians as faculty members. Several of the school's best-known musician-educators arrived after the school's name change. In 1956, trumpeter Herb Pomeroy joined the faculty and remained until his retirement in 1996.Drummer Alan Dawson and saxophonist Charlie Mariano became faculty members in 1957. Reed player John LaPorta began teaching in 1962. Like many of Berk's ideas, this practice continues into the present. Although far more emphasis is placed on academic credentials among new faculty hires than in the past, experienced performers such as Gary Burton, Mick Goodrick, Pat Metheny, Arif Mardin, Aydin Esen, Hal Crook, Dave Santoro, Ed Tomassi, Ted Pease, Joe Lovano, and Danilo Perez have served as faculty over the years.
Another trend in the school's history also began in the mid-1950s. During this period, the school began to attract international students in greater numbers. For example, Japanese pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi arrived in 1956.Multiple Grammy-winning producer Arif Mardin came from Turkey to study at the school in 1958.
In 1957, Berklee initiated the first of many innovative applications of technology to music education with Jazz in the Classroom, a series of LP recordings of student work, accompanied by scores. These albums contain early examples of composing, arranging, and performing by students who went on to prominent jazz careers, such as Gary Burton, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, Ernie Watts, Alan Broadbent, Sadao Watanabe, and many others. The series, which continued until 1980, was a precursor to subsequent Berklee-affiliated recording labels. These later releases provided learning experiences not only for student composers and performers, but also for students in newly created majors in music engineering and production, and music business and management.
Berklee awarded its first bachelor of music degrees in 1966.Members of the first graduating class to receive degrees included Alf Clausen, Stephen Gould and Michael Rendish. Gould taught film scoring at Berklee and is currently the Program Director for the Educational Leadership PhD program at Lesley University. During the 1960s, the Berklee curriculum began to reflect new developments in popular music, such the rise of rock and roll, soul and funk, and jazz-rock fusion. In 1962, Berklee offered the first college-level instrumental major for guitar. The guitar department initially had nine students, and today it is the largest single instrumental major at the college. Guitarist Jack Petersen accepted an invitation by Berk to design and chair the first formal guitar curriculum. Berk discovered Petersen through his affiliation with the Stan Kenton Band Clinics. Trombonist Phil Wilson joined the faculty in 1965. His student ensemble, the Dues Band, helped introduce current popular music into the ensemble curriculum, and later as the Rainbow Band, performed world music and jazz fusions. In 1969, new courses in rock and popular music were added to the curriculum, the first ever offered at the college level. The first college course on jingle writing was also offered in 1969.
The school became Berklee College of Music in 1970and bestowed its first honorary doctorate on Duke Ellington in 1971. Vibraphonist Gary Burton joined the faculty in 1971, helping to solidify the place of jazz-rock fusion in the curriculum. As Dean of Curriculum from 1985 to 1996, Burton led the development of several new majors, including music synthesis and songwriting, and facilitated the school's transition to technology-based education. Curriculum innovations during the 1970s included the first college-level instrumental major in electric bass guitar in 1973, and the first jazz-rock ensemble class in 1974.
In 1979, Berklee founder Lawrence Berk stepped down as president.The board of trustees appointed his son, Lee Eliot Berk, to replace him. Under new leadership, the school underwent further growth and diversification of its curriculum. The college offered the world's first undergraduate degree program in film scoring starting in 1980. Beginning in 1981, the string department curriculum expanded to include many stylistic idioms besides classical music. In 1986, the world's first college-level major in music synthesis was offered, followed by the world's first college songwriting major in 1987. Instrumental majors also expanded to include the first college hand-percussion major in 1988. The college was also the first third-level institution in the world to offer a course in Electric Bass Guitar. While many conservatories offer a major in Double Bass, Berklee's former bass chair Tim Appleman was a pioneer in bass education and understood the impact this change could bring.
The number of international students has grown steadily to 24.2% of total enrollment in 2010 and 28% as of the 2012–2013 academic year [update] .
Berklee expanded its community outreach efforts in 1991 with the launch of City Music, a program designed to make music instruction available to underserved youth in the Boston area.On a more global scale, Berklee partnered with selected music schools around the world to form the Berklee International Network in 1993. Another new major, in music therapy, was offered beginning in 1996. In 2003, the school began offering classes online through Berkleemusic.com, now called Berklee Online under the leadership of Dave Kusek. Other curriculum developments included the incorporation of a hip-hop course in 2004.
In 2004, Lee Eliot Berk stepped down as president of the school his father had founded, and Roger H. Brown was installed as the college's third president.Under Brown's leadership the college's enrollment has grown and diversified, admission has become highly selective, and significant increases have occurred in the retention (above 80% in 2016) and graduation rate (above 60% in 2015). In 2006, mandolin and banjo were accepted as principal instruments for the first time. The college also initiated an Africana Studies program, the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, and an American Roots Music Program. In October 2013, Berklee Online launched its online degree programs, and began accepting applications for the Bachelor of Professional Studies in two majors: music production, and music business. In January 2014, the college launched the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (Berklee ICE), a new campus center which offers courses, workshops, research and an incubation environment to encourage music businesses startup companies.
In June 2015, Berklee College of Music and The Boston Conservatory announced that the governing boards for the two schools had approved plans to pursue a proposed merger.On January 19, 2016, the two schools announced that they would be merging. The agreement was signed the next day, with Berklee College of Music being renamed Berklee, and the Conservatory being renamed The Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
On October 22, 2020, Berklee announced its new president-elect, Erica Muhl, as President Brown announced his retirement. Muhl previously worked at the University of Southern California (USC), where she was dean and founding executive director of the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.
For the fall semester of 2020, the college taught classes remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.The college then moved to a hybrid model learning system in the spring semester of 2021.
In November 2017, the Boston Globe reported a culture of sexual harassment exists on the campus with three male professors allowed to quietly leave the school after student reports of sexual misconduct with teachers. Berklee's administrators released a statement saying, in part, that the college has rigorous policies and procedures in place to deal with claims of sexual harassment.
On November 13, students staged a silent protest and class walkout to address the allegations of sexual harassment by teachers and staff.
Also on November 13, college president, Roger Brown addressed over 1,200 students and apologized to the affected students and pledged to "root out abusive behavior." He also stated that the school has terminated eleven faculty members in the past thirteen years due to sexual harassment and sexual assault.
The college has worked to strengthen policies to prevent sexual harassment and abuse and has taken a number of measures to create a better and safer environment, including instituting "training courses, creating a working group, and diversifying leadership.”
Berklee College of Music is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).It offers multiple bachelor's and Master's degrees as well as diplomas, all focused on music.
Berklee's admission process is holistic: It focuses primarily on an audition, an interview, and on the applicant's academic record.
For the 2017–2018 school year, the acceptance rate for the Berklee College of Music Boston was 33.8%for the Boston Conservatory it was 38%, and for Berklee Online it was 66%.
From 2014 to 2017, Berklee reported acceptance rates ranging from 28 to 36%. As of fall 2018, Admissions updated its applications reporting to count only paid applications. Previous years' totals includes all partial applications, regardless of status or payment.
Berklee offers three different terms for entering full-time students: the traditional fall semester, spring, and summer. Unlike other colleges, entering students may choose their own entering semester. Typically, the deadlines are November 1 (early action) and January 15 (regular action) for fall semester, July 1 for spring semester, and December 1 for summer semester.
As part of the application to the college, applicants are required to complete a live audition and interview. An integral part of selecting the entering class is the audition and interview experience, designed to show applicants' strengths while helping the school to assess applicants' talent and potential to succeed in Berklee's dynamic environment. Although there is a general format for the audition and interview, each experience is unique. Berklee considers all applicants for both admission and scholarship through the audition and interview process.Starting in 2014, the college will audition some applicants online using high speed internet technology.
Berklee is known for its high cost of attendance, with the total undergraduate cost without aid at $73,391.The high cost of attendance has forced many low-income students to quit after the first two semesters, or take out large loans, as the school offers very few merit-based scholarships, and close to no need-based grants.
In July 2016, Berklee announced a dual bachelor's/master's program with Harvard University.Upon completion of the program, students will earn Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) at Harvard College and a Master of Music (M.M.) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) at Berklee.
As of the 2013–2014 academic year, total enrollment at Berklee was 4,402. Of students enrolled in degree programs, 29% were female, 11% were African American, and 10% were Hispanic. Students from 100 countries outside the U.S. accounted for approximately 30% of the student population. South Korea, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and China were the top five countries of origin. In addition to students attending the Berklee campus in Boston, in the 2012–2013 academic year, approximately 5,000 students took online courses through Berklee Online.
Berklee remained at its original location at 284 Newbury Street from its founding in 1945 to 1966, when it moved into the larger 1140 Boylston Street building, the former Hotel Bostonian.Beginning in 1972 an era of more rapid expansion began with the purchase of the Fenway Theatre and the adjoining Sherry Biltmore Hotel at 150 Massachusetts Avenue. The theater was renovated and opened as the 1,227-seat Berklee Performance Center in 1976. The former Biltmore Hotel provided additional classroom and practice room spaces and residence halls. It also houses the library, which was renamed the Stan Getz Library and Media Center in 1998. The 150 Massachusetts Avenue building is also the site of the Berklee Learning Center, which when it opened in 1993, was the world's largest networked computer learning facility for music education.
The Genko Uchida Center at 921 Boylston Street opened in 1997 and houses the offices for enrollment, admissions, scholarships and student employment, the registrar, financial aid, bursar, rehearsal and classroom space, and the 200-seat David Friend Recital Hall.At 939 Boylston Street, Café 939, the nation's only student-run, all-ages night club, hosts a full program of student performers, local and national acts, and community programs.
As of 2014 [update] , Berklee occupied 25 buildings primarily in the Back Bay area of Boston, near the intersection of Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue. Within these buildings were 40 recording studios, 5 film/video scoring and editing facilities, and 9 music synthesis facilities. The studios of the five-channel, commercial-free Berklee Internet Radio Network (BIRN), which launched in 2007, were also housed on campus. A new Liberal Arts building at 7 Haviland Street was dedicated in 2010. It houses the Liberal Arts, Music Therapy, and Music Business Departments, as well as the Africana Studies program.
In early 2011, Berklee College of Music announced its plan of building 3 new buildings along Massachusetts Avenue. The first building, a 16-story mixed-use building at 160 Massachusetts Avenue that include 370 dorm rooms, a two-story cafeteria, a performance center, 14,000 square feet (1,300 m2) of recording studios, and retail space, opened in February 2014. The Boston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell described it "as (a) very good building". The building received the American Institute of Architects' 2015 Housing Award, being named one of the best 10 residential projects of the previous year. The second building is planned to be built on top of the existing 130–136 Massachusetts Avenue (The Berklee Performance Centre). The new building is expected to house additional 450 students, as well as a performing center, in its 24-story tall structure. The third building is planned to be at 161–171 Massachusetts Avenue, which is expected to contain more academic and administrative space for the Berklee College of Music.
Berklee València is the college's first international campus, housed in the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia. Queen Sofía Palace of the Arts is the final structure built as part of a grand City of Arts and Sciences concept designed by the Valencia-born and internationally known architect Santiago Calatrava, which began construction in 1995 and was opened on 8 October 2005.
Berklee's campus in València regularly offers unique programs in contemporary music. These include clinics, workshops, and seminars as well as short, concentrated sessions in areas such as performance, flamenco, film scoring, music business, technology and production, and education.
It also offers a two-week summer performance program in addition to the five-week program in Boston.
On January 19, 2016, the Berklee and Boston Conservatory announced that they would merge under an institutional umbrella called Berklee, which now consists of Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Berklee College of Music, Berklee Online, and Berklee Valencia.
Berklee Online is the online extension school of Berklee College of Music. The school delivers access to Berklee's curriculum to students around the world.
Berklee Online's online music courses,multi-course certificate programs, and Bachelor of Professional Studies online degree programs are accredited and taught by the college's faculty and industry professionals. The school also provides free Berklee online music resources through Berklee Shares, massive open online courses (MOOCs) including Coursera, EdX, and Kadenze.
From 2005 to 2012, the University Professional Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) awarded Berklee Online with its Best Online College Course Award. Since its inception, Berklee Online has taught more than 30,000 students from 144 countries.
Former Berklee Online students include members of Nine Inch Nails, Dave Matthews Band (Stefan Lessard), Karmin (Amy Heidemann), Sugarland (Annie Clements, Brandon Bush, Thad Beatty), and Train.
In October 2013, the online school began accepting applications for its 120-credit online degree in two majors: Bachelor of Professional Studies in Music Productionand Bachelor of Professional Studies in Music Business. In November 2014, Berklee Online added three new degree majors to its Bachelor of Professional Studies program: Electronic Music Production and Sound Design, Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games, and Interdisciplinary Music Studies, a major that allows students to build their own program based on their musical interests and goals. Since then, the college has continued to expand its online bachelor's degree major offerings, adding Guitar, Songwriting, and Songwriting and Producing Music to the roster. The college is reportedly the first nonprofit music institution to offer regionally accredited bachelor's degrees online.
State University of New York at Purchase is a public college in Purchase, New York. It is one of 13 comprehensive colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. It was founded by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1967 as "the cultural gem of the SUNY system."
Emerson College is a private college with its main campus in Boston, Massachusetts. It also maintains campuses in Los Angeles, California and Well, Limburg, Netherlands. Founded in 1880 by Charles Wesley Emerson as a "school of oratory," the college offers more than three dozen degree and professional training programs specializing in the fields of arts and communication with a foundation in liberal arts studies. The college is one of the founding members of the ProArts Consortium, an association of six neighboring institutions in Boston dedicated to arts education at the collegiate level.
The Oberlin Conservatory of Music is a private music conservatory in Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. It was founded in 1865 and is the second oldest conservatory and oldest continually operating conservatory in the United States. It is one of the few American conservatories to be completely attached to a liberal arts college, allowing students the opportunity to pursue degrees in both music and a traditional liberal arts subject via the five year Double-Degree program. Like the rest of Oberlin College, the student body of the conservatory is almost exclusively undergraduate.
The New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) is a private music school in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the oldest independent music conservatory in the United States and among the most prestigious in the world. The conservatory is located on Huntington Avenue of the Arts near Boston Symphony Hall and is home to 750 students pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies, along with 1400 more in its Preparatory School as well as the School of Continuing Education. NEC offers bachelor's degrees with majors in classical performance, contemporary improvisation, composition, jazz, musicology, and music theory. The conservatory offers additional graduate degrees in accompaniment, conducting, and vocal pedagogy. Also offered are five-year joint double-degree programs with Harvard University and Tufts University. The New England Conservatory's faculty and alumni, which comprise nearly fifty percent of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, include 6 members of l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, 14 Rome Prize recipients, 51 Guggenheim Fellows, and prizewinners at nearly every major respected music forum in the world. As of January 2020, 11 MacArthur Fellows have been affiliated as faculty or alumni.
Harvard Extension School is the extension school of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Under the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, it offers liberal arts and professional courses, academic certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees, and a pre-medical program. Founded in 1910 to extend Harvard's resources to the Greater Boston community, it has evolved over time to a global reach.
Longy School of Music of Bard College is a private music school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1915 as the Longy School of Music, it was one of the four independent degree-granting music schools in the Boston region along with the New England Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, and Boston Conservatory. In 2012, the institution merged with Bard College to become Longy School of Music of Bard College. As of the 2018–19 academic year, the conservatory has 300 students in its degree programs from 35 states and 23 countries.
Boston Conservatory at Berklee is a performing arts conservatory associated with the Berklee College of Music and located in Boston, Massachusetts. It grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, dance and theater.
The Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) at Boston University consists of the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. Each school offers degrees in the performing and visual arts at the undergraduate and graduate level. Among the College of Fine Arts faculty are artists, scholars, and performers. Since the College of Fine Arts is integrated into Boston University, students at CFA may choose courses in the other undergraduate colleges at Boston University. CFA students can also apply for the Boston University Collaborative Degree Program (BUCOP), where students simultaneously earn undergraduate degrees at CFA and in one of 14 undergraduate colleges of the university. The college offers a study abroad program in London, England, and Dresden, Germany. Students can spend a semester at the Royal College of Music, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, or at the Hochschule für Musik "Carl Maria von Weber".
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Roger H. Brown is an American businessman, philanthropist, and academic administrator, currently serving as president of Berklee College of Music. Brown is also the co-founder of Bright Horizons.
Lee Eliot Berk was President and namesake of the Berklee College of Music from 1979 to 2004. Under the younger Berk’s leadership, the college underwent significant changes. Berklee expanded its curriculum to create new majors, including Film Scoring, Music Production and Engineering, Music Synthesis, Songwriting, Music Business/Management, and Music Therapy. Educational applications of music technology expanded, the college administration was reorganized, more student services were added, and non-music academic offerings increased. In 1992, he established the Berklee International Network that includes music schools with a shared mission around the globe.
Lawrence Berk was the founder of Berklee College of Music, a pianist, composer and arranger, and educator.
The Music Production & Engineering (MP&E) Major at Berklee College of Music is notable for attempting to give students an integrated understanding of the recording and production process, rather than focusing on the engineering aspects alone. Courses cover the technologies for documenting music, as well as the collaborative elements of studio work, and the business of recording.
The Schillinger System of Musical Composition, named after Joseph Schillinger (1895–1943) is a method of musical composition based on mathematical processes. It comprises theories of rhythm, harmony, melody, counterpoint, form and semantics, purporting to offer a systematic and non-genre approach to music analysis and composition; a descriptive rather than prescriptive grammar of music.
In music performance and education, the Berklee method is the music theory, terminology, and practice taught at Berklee College of Music, the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. The "Berklee method" was founded by Lawrence Berk after study with Joseph Schillinger regarding the latter's "elaborate system of composition that employed mathematical permutation and combination process to generate rhythms, harmonies, and melodies". Later, attempting to codify jazz and popular music practice, the Berklee method often differs from common practice harmony and voice-leading rules or guidelines.
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Panos Andreas Panay is a Cyprus-born entrepreneur, executive and author. Panay is currently the Senior Vice President of Global Strategy & Innovation at Berklee College of Music. He is the founding Managing Director of Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship, and the founder of online platform Sonicbids.
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