On Campus

Student in a BerkleeICE classroom

Startup Lab (ICE-P425)—Three Credits

The Startup Lab, inspired by the Stanford, is an intensive course in design thinking and entrepreneurial mindset development taught off campus at the global design firm IDEO. In this course, students gain resumé-building experience by taking a startup concept or their own musical career from idea to launch.

This course will guide students through the process of exploring the design brief, understanding users, and designing actionable solutions for the Berklee community. Students will leave this course with the relevant, competitive, real-world ability to apply the design thinking process to their own musical careers, brands, and startup concepts.

A team of IDEO designers will guide the 13-week class, teaching the process, inspiring concept development, and mentoring project groups. The resulting student projects will be experiments for the Berklee community to try and prototype following the course, a first step toward ultimately creating a better culture of career-mindedness.

Developing Technologies: Music + Health (ICE-P435)—Offered in Fall 2016—Two Credits

This special seminar, offered in fall 2016, will have students design and prototype devices to explore music's effects on health and brain functions (sleep, anxiety, athletic performance, and learning). The course will include literature review and presentation of current scientific evidence to support the use of music to regulate health, plus research on devices and technology for measuring health performance.

Students will design a study to validate hypotheses related to the benefits of music, perform data analysis of the results from group research study, and present findings. Teams will develop and prototype product concepts. The course will include numerous special guest lectures from experts in the music therapy and tech innovation fields. Note that this course is open for cross-registration by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Berklee students, but there is limited enrollment by permission of the instructors.

Innovator's DNA (MB-P493)—Two Credits

This course is designed to help students learn how to creatively solve business problems. More specifically, students will learn about:

  • the innovation process and the role of the individual in generating innovations; and
  • the attributes, habits, and skills of individuals who have successfully started innovative new businesses.

Teams are then given opportunities to build their skills at creative strategic thinking so that they will be more successful at generating novel and potentially valuable ideas for their companies.

Students will receive a creativity assessment to get a sense of their own creative abilities. They will also learn how individuals who started new companies (or who significantly added value to existing companies) came up with their new ideas. Finally, teams will be asked to apply the knowledge acquired in class by coming up with a creative idea for a new product, service, or business.

Entrepreneurial Practicum (MB-P493)—Two Credits

Offered to all music business/management entrepreneurial track majors, this practicum is designed to offer students the real-life experience of working within an actual startup environment. The range of work may include new product development, marketing campaigns, new product testing, and/or event planning and production.

Throughout the semester, students will work shoulder to shoulder with entrepreneurs and executives from the music, technology, advertising, and media industries on defined challenges offered by the participating companies, each of which is active in the classroom and meets weekly with student groups.

Music + Devices (ICE-P455)—Offered in Spring 2017—Two Credits

Learning to play a musical instrument or read music, or even learning a new concept with the help of music, touches special parts of the brain and soul. In this special seminar combining MIT and Berklee students, the current landscape of learning science and music education will be explored. Students will imagine how devices such as tablets, wearables, or virtual reality platforms might use music to help people learn, and how these devices might make learning music more accessible to all.

Students will work with local startups to design and prototype new devices, apps, or other creations to innovate how music is taught. They will also build upon insights gleaned from music education to inform new approaches in teaching any subject matter through music. By partnering with prominent startups and music technology companies, students will have access to real-world tools and design challenges. There will also be opportunities for motivated students to extend their projects into a summer launch program. 


Creativity and Entrepreneurship | edX MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

Tap into your inner creativity and learn how to leverage it for career development or business innovation. Recently rated the best free MOOC in business by FastCo and Business Week editor John A. Byrne, this course, offered for free on edX, features interviews with world-renowned entrepreneurs, innovators, songwriters, producers, creative directors, educators, performers, visual artists, and chefs as they discuss parallels between the creative and entrepreneurial journeys.

The course applies concepts from the creative and musical creation process, such as observing, prototyping, iterating, and embracing failure, as a means of guiding students through the concept of thinking like a startup. It approaches entrepreneurship as a creative process, a fundamental human instinct that we all possess and can unlock.

Students will develop the basic mindset, knowledge, and insights required to pursue an entrepreneurial career, whether as the steward of their own careers or as the founder of a new business in any field. This course is about the side of entrepreneurship students won’t learn at a business school but, instead, in the music studio.

Creative Entrepreneurship | Berklee Online

Being a musician is an exercise in listening, experimenting, overcoming repeated failure, self-discipline, and collaboration—the same skills found in successful entrepreneurs. Creative Entrepreneurship, offered as an online course through Berklee Online, teaches students how to use their creativity to improve business innovation and career development.

The course approaches entrepreneurship as a creative discipline and features examples from jazz improvisation and from musical innovators such as the Beatles as a means of guiding students through the entrepreneurial process. The course also features interviews with many prominent founders and entrepreneurs working in music, technology, design, education, and advertising.