"In technology, the only thing we can count on is change. So we prepare our students to go on learning, long after they have their Berklee degree. We believe the best way to do this is to foster critical thinking and adaptability, and give them a broad foundation of recording practices. Our goal is to mold versatile, well-rounded musicians with critical-listening skills, interpersonal skills, and a wide range of technical knowledge, balancing historical context with state-of-the-art methods."
"In music therapy, where the client is the center, people will come with disabilities, with emotional issues, pain of a physical or psychological nature, or cognitive disabilities, and the therapist has to be able to meet whatever comes. To be able to improvise is a critical skill, and not all programs teach that. To mold the method to the client is central to the music at Berklee, and to be able to do that therapeutically is critical. As a result, our students are leaving here able to go out and write their own ticket. The internship programs really want our students. It's live music; it's based on improvisation; it's adaptable; and they love that."
"Our students are encouraged to explore something as abstract, slippery, and hard to define as art and approach it from the standpoint of the aesthetic and the technical. They go fairly deep in both directions and that is unusual. Berklee's not just an art school and it's not just a trade school."
"Professional Writing has to do with all the music that is composed. We try to encompass all the styles that are happening today, all the way from contemporary classical to hip-hop. Although we work with older music, our focus is on what's happening now—which keeps us on our toes. There's been a real blending of musical styles, and Berklee is a perfect place to do that because we have so many faculty experts in all these areas."
"People take it for granted today that jazz is serious music worthy of the same disciplined study as classical music. But when Berklee began teaching jazz improvisation in the 1940s and rock guitar in the 1960s, most other music schools perceived those musical forms as a threat to 'serious' music. It's the same situation with hip-hop and turntablism today."
"Any musician at Berklee—whether you're a therapist, performer, or educator—can learn to use their music for compassion. It can be customized for a child in a hospital, or it can be broader, where you're working with thousands of people at a concert. But how can you begin to really use your music to think of another person, to step outside of your own personal needs and issues, to be there? It just takes a little bit of awareness. What's different about what we do is that we learn to customize our music to meet the needs of an individual or a group, but anybody can get it. It's about consciously thinking about another person and how you can help."
"These days there's a lot of attention to New Age philosophies and approaches to life, and drumming circles have become very popular. People get a lot out of that, and for some it's a spiritual experience. They think that's music therapy. But music therapy is scientific in addition to being an artistic endeavor. It's really a structured and formulaic approach to meeting individual needs. . . . Music has to come so naturally to the therapist that he or she can be totally with the client and tuned in to what he or she needs at the moment, totally empathizing and understanding not only what the person's saying, but what they're feeling."
"In the late '90s I produced a hit record with Barenaked Ladies. I took my royalty check and quit the music business, and in 2000 enrolled as a freshman at the University of Minnesota. I went to McGill University in Montreal to do my graduate work in music perception and cognition. This branch of psychology explores musical behaviors from the psycho- and neurological perspective, in other words, the what, where, how, when, and why of human musical experience. Berklee hired me to teach engineering and production, but also to help implement a more music-centric science program in the Liberal Arts department. They encouraged me to design courses in music cognition and psychoacoustics."
"At Berklee, the Music Therapy Department has developed a strong sense of community among the students and the faculty. Our students really support each other. To be successful, music therapy majors need to be totally committed to their musical development and their academic work. Over four semesters, music therapy majors have the opportunity to gain practical experience in community-based settings. Students work alongside a music therapist in special education, in nursing homes, and with clients in psychiatric and medical settings. In these practicum placements, students take beginning steps in their professional development."
"I teach exactly what happens in the real world, and I'll summarize what's going on in my recording studio that weekthe good and the bad. I acquaint students with the business process; how we estimate how long jobs will take, how we do bids, what the competitive market place is like; how we engineer and master audio, what equipment we use. In the summer, I have an associate's program, where I'll hire four or five extra engineers from the student body, or from qualified applicants who send me resumés. I generally hire some of those students after graduation. Out of the six engineers I have working now, five of them are Berklee grads."