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Topic: A visit to Berklee?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    A visit to Berklee?

    I have a niece who is just about to start her senior year in high school. Like other members of her family, she loves music. Unfortunately, she is not a great instrumentalist. Knowing her limits, she wants to get into music management.

    After some research she discovered Berklee – they are supposed to have a great program. After looking a little farther she found that require an audition for that major.

    Since then she has been looking at schools closer to home (northern Ohio).

    Well, she was saying she would still like to take a look around Berklee. So, next Tuesday she is going to show up on my doorstep (I’m a little over an hour out of Boston) and we’ll head into town on Thursday. Later I’ll meet with my sister and send her home.

    Sounds great except I have no idea what I am going to do with her – “See that building over there: they hold music classes there! Anyway, ready to go to the Prudential Center for lunch yet? Maybe some Legal Seafood?” Doesn’t sound exciting.

    So my question is, does anybody know what I can do with a 17 year old girl in or around Berklee? Someone who is very interested in the school but doesn’t want to even attempt an audition? And her uncle, who attempts to be a composer but can’t even think of classes of any type at this time? Something open to the public?
    Trent P. McDonald

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: A visit to Berklee?

    Hi Trent

    As a member of the Advisory Council at Berklee, I am there from time to time and am now qualified to advise.

    Berklee is one of my favorite places. There's quite a bit to do in the immediate area. Symphony Hall is a couple blocks away and there may be a concert. Lots and lots of good places to eat all within a few blocks (pick your taste). And then there's the nation's largest Apple store that opened up a few blocks away. Berklee runs quite a few concerts, events and recitals (and very excellent ones) and well worth attending. Your niece may be able to sit in on some classes too. You could spend a great deal of time checking out the facilities.

    Berklee is the most unique music school I know and prepares students to be successful musicians more than any other institution. Once your niece sees the school and the surrounding area, she just may audition.

    All the best


  3. #3

    Re: A visit to Berklee?

    Ahhhh. . . Berklee. . . . The memories. . . . . . .

    Oh, trentpmcd. . . your niece. . . . . .

    Class of 1982, here! Heck, I even graduated from Berklee! . . .

    Anyway. . .

    I hold a lot of very fond memories my time spent at Berklee and living in Boston. A lot of things have changed since the years I spent at Berklee, though (1978 to 1982). One, the audition, back then, was NOT to get into college. Back then, those auditions were to place you in level-appropriate ensambles.

    Two, the tuition and room and board. If I remember correctly, the cost for one year at Berklee (tuition, room and board) was around $4,000 bucks. I don't think I need to tell you this year's cost to attend Berklee.

    Three, the experience there was what you made it. Unfortunately for me, I attended Berklee right out of high school. The only thing I KNEW I wanted was to visit my girl-friend every weekend. (She attended Johnson and Wales as a culinary student; visiting her was good for many reasons.) Those who attended Berklee and networked and practiced and networked and practiced and networked and practiced probably got somewhere musically. For example, Steve Vie was there when I attended Berklee. He practiced and networked! Sadly (and this truly is a deep regret of mine), I wasn't one of them. I did well. Graduated with honors! But seeing my girlfriend was way more important than practicing and networking.

    And finally, four. the boy-girl ratio. Ummmm. Did I say that I visited my girlfriend at Johnson and Wales?? That college is located in Rhode Island. Back then there was about 1 female to every 20 or so males. I honestly don't know that boy/girl ratio now. But let's just say that I'm sure your niece will have no problem meeting men.

    Tell your niece to focus on practicing and networking! She should do just fine if she does.

    Yep. Practice and network!! I tell that to EVERY high school student thinking about attending Berklee or any music college. Actually, I tell that to EVERY high school student. Period.

    Have fun in Boston!

    (Full-time, and proud, ICU/CCU Nurse. VERY part-time musician.)
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  4. #4

    Re: A visit to Berklee?

    I was looking at Berklee a year and a half ago as a Junior in High School (and I am going there next school year!).

    We contacted the school office of admissions and they scheduled us for a visit with them and a tour of the campus, after which we went to the world music concert they had that night. Then the next day I went to visit the film scoring department, as that is the area I am thinking about majoring in, and I sat in on a class.

    Since we were in Boston for a week, we also did some sightseeing in the historical district of Boston.

    Hope this helps,


  5. #5

    Re: A visit to Berklee?

    It is a great school. A good friend of mine graduated from Berklee - he was into arranging, jazz and more. He now works in LA (been there probably 20 years) and is an in-demand vocal artist - both for singing and dialog work - he can do any voice - any accent - he is unbelievable. He has done voice work in animated movies - Ice Age 2, Happy Feet, some Disney stuff and a ton of commercials. He is also a vocal arranger for Barry Manilow.

    So Berklee was great for my friend, Randy - he worked hard and networked like crazy I am sure.
    MacPro 2.66 - Tiger & Snow Leopard / 16GB RAM / several TB of HD space/ Garritan Libraries / EWQLSO Platinum PLAY / Omnisphere/ Kontakt 2 & 3 / Finale 2010 /DP5/ a VERY patient wife!

  6. #6

    Re: A visit to Berklee?

    Music management (or Music Business) is becoming more popular and more schools are offering a major in it. I'm sure there must be schools in LA (USC, UCLA?) and Nashville (Belmont?) that would also be worth checking out as well as other areas of the country. I'm sure a quick Google search would turn up significant results.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: A visit to Berklee?

    Thanks everyone (Gary, Ted, Richard, indianamusic and Paul) for your advice and memories. And Gary, being on the Advisory Council shows in the quality of advice given.

    When I talked to my niece a couple of weeks ago I suggested she call and see if she could make an appointment with somebody. I’m sure not everyone who visits a collage applies. And who knows, maybe she will practice up and apply. Though, as I said before, she is already looking at a couple of schools 9she didn’t tell me which ones) and may already have her heart set on one.

    I looked at the schedule and there are a few concerts the evening we plan on going. I was planning on trying to get out of the city early and beat the rush, but I may turn it around and leave late.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in that area – I’ve been getting subscriptions to the symphony for the last 4 years and spend a few weekends every year down there.
    Trent P. McDonald

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