"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"I teach exactly what happens in the real world, and I'll summarize what's going on in my recording studio that week—the 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."
"The big advantage of being here is to have the ability to try different types of technology—not only the latest one but the original ones at the same time. Not only the most expensive microphone but a cheap one and lots of them in between. The fact that I started my career in a third-world country and lived in another third-world country for several years gave me the perspective of being forced to work only with limited resources most of the time, trying to be creative with whatever you have, not whatever you would like to have."
"The culture of Berklee, as well as the curriculum, recognizes that technology is every bit the instrument as is a saxophone, piano, guitar, or any other musical instrument. Students must be proficient on their tech instruments just as they would their musical instruments. But being a professional requires transcending the proficiency on your instrument and focusing on a deeper communication in creative and artistic ways. It is my goal to bring my students to that understanding."
"The ongoing goals for the Music Production and Engineering Department are centered in three critical areas: curriculum, faculty, and facilities. Every topic, class, and assignment has been evaluated for its relevance, emphasis, timing, and balance. And with 12 studios operating 22 hours per day, seven days per week, it is critical to maintain a state-of-the-art technical infrastructure."
One of the unique things about Berklee is the turntablism course it offers under faculty Stephen Webber. Some of Webber's students have been involved in the group Universal Skratch Assassinz, and will present and perform. Topics include the evolution and history of DJing as an art form, a scratching techniques tutorial, and challenges facing the new era DJ and the impact of digital. The group includes Aries Deng, Kevin Luu, and Nick Zeigler. Don't miss it!