Tom Stein

Professor

"The question I often will ask students is 'How will you see a return on your investment of time and money in coming to Berklee?  How do you intend to realize artistic fulfillment and attain self-actualization? What is it that's going to make you feel fulfilled and happy in your career?'"

"There are techniques related to these issues that are teachable. Some of these techniques have to do with marketing. You need strategies for reaching your prospective audience and for presenting yourself effectively to the right people in the industry. Our students are also strongly focused on learning the techniques involved in creating good music. There is a place where these techniques intersect, and I try to help students see it and visualize their niche, where they fit in."

"In our department we cover artwork, demos, websites, artist bios, resumes, business letters, interviewing techniques—typical job search skills. We discuss sales and marketing, how to negotiate fees and execute contracts, taxes, personal finance, how not to get ripped off, how to take advantage of discounts and free services, and things like that. It's not just the income production, but also how you spend, the outflow. How do you invest your money, and do you have a financial plan for your future? There are special challenges for artists, and we prepare our students to deal with those challenges."

"The majority of our students want to be performers, which is why they got into music in the first place. They have come to realize that most musicians don't make their living doing just one thing. It's very rare that you find a musician who just plays or just does songwriting or whatever. Many students want to do something in addition to performing in order to sustain a reasonable lifestyle. Often it's songwriting, composition, arranging. Some plan to teach. Others are budding entrepreneurs."

Career Highlights

 

  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • M.M., New England Conservatory of Music
  • Freelance bassist, guitarist, vocalist, arranger, producer, and director
  • Performances with Al Kooper and the Funky Faculty, Blues after Dark, the Coasters, the Drifters, Barbara Eden, Roy Head, the Marvellettes, the Platters, Pat Upton, and Dennis Yost
  • Administrator, John Lennon Songwriting Contest
  • Extensive private teaching experience
  • Artist development consultant