Kevin McCluskey

Associate Professor
617 747-8218

"Pro music has always attracted really good musicians who are self-directed and know what they want to do. But they don't necessarily know how to do it."

"Right now in Career Planning, we're doing some writing exercises called the passion list, where you do a list of everything you love to do and everything you're good at doing. Then you marry those two lists, find the common part, find where the jobs are, and then you list the skills needed to get a job doing something that you're good at and you love. So you're starting with the emotional/spiritual side, then you marry that to your competency, and then you list the jobs."

"We used one young man as an example. What it boiled down to is this: Long-term goal, 3-5 years from now, he wanted to be making a living as a studio musician. The mid-term goal that he set for himself was, between the end of year one and the beginning of year three, to have played on 10 releases as a studio musician, so he could have something in his resume and on his demo. It seemed pretty reasonable, 2 or 3 records a year. Coming back to short-term goals, what do you have to do today to make that happen? And where we found him was: he needs a business card, and he has all the raw source material for a demo, but he needs to edit it and put it online. And once he has those two simple marketing tools, he's going to communicate to everyone in all of his classes his willingness and desire to play on their sessions. He's going to reach out to the Percussion Department and try to establish professional collegial relationships with the other half of the rhythm section, to recommend him. So we identified what he needs for a promo and what his niche market is. Not in three years, but right now. I think if he works at it, he may have a number of those intermediary goals actually accomplished before he even graduates next year."

Career Highlights

 

  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • Performing artist, songwriter, and guitarist
  • Boston Music Award nominee for Best Debut Album
  • Recipient of the New England Broadcasting Award for radio production
  • Music business consultant and seminar leader
  • Author of the textbook Make Music Your Day Job
  • Toured the former Soviet Union on behalf of the U.S. State Department
  • Teaches and performs in Costa Rica every year in conjunction with Jazz Revelation Records
  • Acting faculty advisor and executive producer for Berklee's student-run record label, Jazz Revelation Records
  • Currently studying lap steel guitar styles and contemporary reharmonization techniques