Students work with their advising committee members, along with their faculty advisor, to complete their culminating experience—a practical or research project enabling the student to make a contribution to his/her field of study and to develop their academic and career goals. Meetings between the student and the committee member will occur throughout the semester. Students present ideas, receive feedback, advice, support, suggestions, guidance and more from their committee members as they execute their culminating experiences. Committee members guide students in meeting the various deadlines and milestones required as students complete their culminating experience, prepare for graduation and prepare for their careers.
Students participate in a diverse array of professional development experiences to facilitate their career success. These experiences may occur throughout the school year as well as during the Professional Development Week at the beginning of spring semester. These experiences assist students in refining their career goals and focus and in developing a career plan. Students also assess their professional skills, remediate gaps, enhance their professional profile, and sharpen their job search skills. More importantly, students strengthen their skills in career exploration and career resilience.
In this course, students take an historical and cultural journey through the development of American music culture and artistry, seen through various genre/style windows. These include classical, roots, folk, spirituals, blues, jazz, rock 'n' roll, theater music, global music, soul and social protest, mainstream rock, hip-hop, pop, punk, and modern contemporary. Students explore how American musical artistry is defined as well as the values and beliefs that are at the root of American music and movements. This exploration is enhanced by a study of sociology and ethnomusicology to bring further clarity to the ways music impacts the American cultural experience. Students consider the sociopolitical conditions of American culture and the aesthetic—style, trends, production concerns, and business developments—that have shaped it as they also examine the impact of historical trends on the musical world of today. Additionally, students interpret the artists of the past and today within the context of our own lived conditions.
In this course, students compare visual and musical art with a special focus on the essential features of avant-garde art forms and practices. Students explore how these forms and practices have evolved throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and into the twenty-first, analyzing how art forms outside of music inspire musical thinking and creation. Additionally, students discern how visual arts operate according to structural and poetic devices. Interpreting these devices as a sort of language, drawing parallels and comparisons among art forms that appear distinct, students explore the ethical implications of works of art and musical creations. Students also create sonic works that are based on visual art. They explore works of art and key philosophical texts, with the aim of sharpening their ability to see visual ideas in ways that relate to how they hear musical works. Students articulate major sea changes in how art itself has been conceived. They listen to musical compositions that are based on, or modeled after, specific works of art or poetry. In analyzing the many different ways in which musicians have responded to works of visual art in the near and distant past, students make connections among different art forms that exist today, and work toward creating new forms of interdisciplinary art and new ways of conceiving musical sound, structure, form, improvisation, and performance.
Through this seminar, music educators master principles and practices involved in teaching contemporary and popular music within in-school and out-of-school-time (OST) programs. Students especially examine best practice case studies, with significant attention given to the Berklee City Music® program, its PULSE® online teaching resource and its pedagogy. Students refine their own pedagogical skills, analyzing and applying principles of contemporary music instruction. Additionally, students apply technology, contemporary music repertoire and informal instruction techniques as they develop instructional plans and practice. Integrating principles of authentic cultural relevance and positive youth development into contemporary music instruction, students also gain experience with assessment tools and explore the best methods for assessing and documenting student learning and program progress. As they plan instruction using best practices as well as core, state and national standards, students develop as classroom and ensemble teachers, as well as educational leaders.
This course provides students an opportunity to integrate professional and academic experience through internships. The internship site must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor and/or the program director and must provide a learning experience that enables the student to meet academic and/or career goals. Through the internship, students apply theories learned in their graduate studies and explore aspects of the music, entertainment, and/or other industry as appropriate.
Please note: Students are responsible for securing their own internships. The internship must be secured prior to course registration. Students must complete approximately 100-300 hours during the internship. International students in F-1 status must obtain authorization on their Form I-20 from their International Student Advisor prior to beginning an internship.
In this genre-inclusive course, performing composers explore a palette of colors as they assemble ensembles to play their music. Students examine well-known performing composers from a variety of genres, analyzing how they put together bands and wrote for specific musical personalities, choosing their instrumentation and performers to create a specific sound. Exploring these sounds and writing for unique musical personalities creates an intimate and meaningful dimension to the music, as well as a personal sound for the composer. Students listen to and analyze music from many genres and cultures, examining the various orchestrations and compositional techniques that help the performing composer create a signature sound. Students create their own works, developing compositional skills through writing, playing, listening, analyzing, transcribing, arranging, reading, and improvising. Students explore, compose, and improvise in a wide variety of musical styles including jazz, global, and classical. Topics of exploration include: melodic construction; rhythm; melodic and rhythmic counterpoint; harmony; instrumentation and arranging; musical form; use of non-musical sources as inspiration for composing; and the relationship between composition and improvisation. Students should be prepared to play their works for each other during each class session.
Fellows learn interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship and creative work. They develop on their individual projects, working in close contact with their faculty mentor. They explore various concepts of creativity, aesthetics, and scholarship, with a focus on developing their own project. Students learn to critique each other as they present their own work to other fellows and to the college feedback and advice. Joining this discussion with fellows will be guest lecturers and artists-in-residence from a variety of diverse backgrounds: performers, composers, scholars in liberal arts, music educators, music therapists, and more.
Seminar 2 continues the learning in Seminar 1. Fellows learn more about interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship and creative work. They develop on their individual projects, working in close contact with their faculty mentor. They explore various concepts of creativity, aesthetics, and scholarship, with a focus on developing their own project. Students learn to critique each other as they present their own work to other fellows and to the college feedback and advice. Joining this discussion with fellows will be guest lecturers and artists-in-residence from a variety of diverse backgrounds: performers, composers, scholars in liberal arts, music educators, music therapists, and more.
Seminar 3 continues the learning in Seminar 2, and requires that fellows complete their projects. Fellows apply interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship and creative work. They complete on their individual projects, working in close contact with their faculty mentor. They explore various concepts of creativity, aesthetics, and scholarship, with a focus on developing their own project. Students learn to critique each other as they present their own work to other fellows and to the college feedback and advice. Joining this discussion with fellows will be guest lecturers and artists-in-residence from a variety of diverse backgrounds: performers, composers, scholars in liberal arts, music educators, music therapists, and more.
This course is a continued exploration of major key harmony, particularly secondary and extended dominant relationships. Additionally, students continue to study melodic construction and motif development. Students learn principles of linear harmonic continuity and guide tone lines; minor key harmony; subdominant minor; blues theory and chord progressions. Students also learn melodic rhythm, form, and melody/harmony relationship.
Students continue their analysis and application of major and minor key harmony; elaboration of subdominant minor and modal interchange; and chord scale theory. Students review melodic construction and the melody/harmony relationship. They also review the individual note analysis of melodies. The course introduces substitute dominant and related II-7 chords, diminished chord patterns, and modulation.