Berklee Today

Lead Sheet - Our New Signature


How we present ourselves to the world is critical to our long-term success. Early in the college's history, Berklee developed an international reputation as the best place to receive a practical education in music and to develop valuable career contacts. When we planned Berklee's future for the years 2000-2005, a common theme to emerge was that our reputation should be more widely known. This led to a strategic initiative to increase visibility for the college and its mission.

In the spring 2002 issue of Berklee today, I wrote about the benefits of name recognition and summarized our work on this initiative. Since that time, we have been working with Siegelgale, a New York-based communications firm, to help us develop a positioning statement to support our goal of greater recognition and visibility.

How do we define today what is essential about Berklee in a way that is understandable, credible, memorable, and supportive of our long-term goals? After interviewing many members of our community and researching our history, Siegelgale articulated Berklee's unique position in the world as follows.

Berklee was founded on two revolutionary ideas: that musicianship could be taught through the music of the time; and that our students need practical, professional skills for successful, sustainable music careers. While our bedrock philosophy has not changed, the music around us has and requires that we evolve with it.

For over half a century, we've demonstrated our commitment to this approach by wholeheartedly embracing change. We adapt our curriculum to make it more relevant, upgrade our technology, and attract diverse students who reflect the multiplicity of influences in today's music. We prepare our students for a lifetime of professional and personal growth through the study of the arts, sciences, and humanities. And we are developing new initiatives to reach and influence an ever-widening audience.

More than a college, Berklee has become the world's singular learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow. We are a microcosm of the music world, reflecting the interplay between music and culture; an environment where aspiring music professionals learn how to integrate new ideas, adapt to changing musical genres, and showcase their distinctive skills in an evolving community. We are at the center of a widening network of industry professionals who use their openness, virtuosity, and versatility to take music in surprising new directions.

I hope you find this description of Berklee as powerful as I do. To visually support it, we are introducing the new Berklee signature next spring. We will use it and the Siegelgale statement to shape a communications plan that will help us achieve greater recognition for Berklee. We hope it will lead to well-deserved support for the college and position us as a more powerful advocate for contemporary music.