Berklee Today

Berklee-Korg Partnership Benefits Youth

  Front row from the left: Students Akeylah McTaggart, Amira Nwokeji-Iwuala, Tayler Fernandes, Sara Arias, Kimberley Gonzales, and Marcel Baez, and teacher Shelley Irvin (back row) pose with Korg keyboard equipment at the Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School.
  Photo by Jesse Hayes

A partnership between Korg USA and Berklee has provided new educational opportunities for students at three Boston-area youth agencies. Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Roxbury, the West End House Boys & Girls Club in Allston, and the Colonel Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club in Dorchester have received a total of 18 Korg digital pianos and three teacher modules to serve a combined 250 students at the sites.

The Korg digital keyboards networked to a group teaching console at each site will facilitate instruction in keyboard technique, sight-reading, improvisation, harmony, and other subjects. Members of the Berklee City Music Faculty Outreach Project will utilize the labs at Orchard Gardens to enhance the music program originally established there through an anonymous donation from a local education foundation. Donations from the State Street Foundation and the Rowland Foundation have also provided support to bolster the program.

Berklee students will teach at the West End House Boys & Girls Club and the Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club. Under the Community Service Work-Study Program, the college spends more than $60,000 per year to pay 30 students to serve at community-based organizations.

In addition to providing instruction at the three sites using the Korg labs, Berklee faculty and student teachers in the outreach project will also offer private and group lessons in woodwinds, brass, percussion, and voice and will direct student ensembles at Orchard Gardens.

"The keyboard teaching labs will have a substantial impact on these programs," says Lee Whitmore, Korg's managing director for education in the United States. "Korg USA is a proud supporter of music education endeavors and has been an active Berklee partner for more than 15 years, encouraging rising generations of music makers."