Berklee Opens Music Clubhouse in Roxbury

By
Nick Balkin
November 30, 2010

Berklee College of Music, in partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston and the Music and Youth Initiative, is set to open the Music Clubhouse at the Yawkey Club of Roxbury. The dedicated music education facility includes a recording studio, as well as ensemble and practice rooms, and will serve 100 students weekly. A public reception/ribbon-cutting with tours and live music will take place Wednesday, December 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Yawkey Club of Roxbury, Dudley Square, 115 Warren Street, in Roxbury. 

Alumnus Jeremy Butler '09 will serve as music director. Berklee students will work as the program's faculty members, teaching private lessons, group lessons, and ensembles, while alumni, faculty, and staff volunteers will present workshops. Clubhouse students gain access to Berklee's realtime and web-based PULSE curriculum, and can choose to participate in Berklee City Music, which offers after-school music instruction, mentoring, and scholarship opportunities to underserved youth at no cost. 

"Dudley Square is rich in history, talent, and culture, yet it has lacked accessible music education programming for local youth," said Jim McCoy, Berklee's director of community affairs and campus engagement. "Berklee wants to offer neighborhood-based music education programs free of charge—not just music lessons, but a course to take music as far as the students want." 

Berklee's annual cost for the project is $25,000, with $13,000 allocated to pay student teachers, $5,000 for equipment, and $8,000 for clinics, field trips, and other special events. The approximate cost for all three partners is $75,000 per year. The Music and Youth Initiative provides funding for the hire of a full-time music director, and additional musical instruments and production equipment. 

At 1,500 sq. ft., the Music Clubhouse at the Yawkey Club of Roxbury is the largest of eight Boston-area community organization-based music clubhouses that Berklee and the Music and Youth Initative have developed together. Alumnus Rick Aggeler '07 directs the Music Clubhouse at the Blue Hill Boys and Girls Club, in Dorchester. Other sites include Allston, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, Lawrence, and Everett.