Berklee Appears at Macworld Expo

Danielle Dreilinger
January 16, 2009
Tony Marvuglio, assistant vice president for academic technology, teaches attendees to go from analog instrument to digital track.
Mike Carrera, senior training and support coordinator, helps people figure out how to use the software to make music.
There's no shortage of gear at the Macworld Expo.
Some fans come back to the music studio year after year.
Photo by John Valerio
Photo by John Valerio
Photo by John Valerio
Photo by John Valerio

For tech fans at home, the annual Macworld Expo is all about the keynote address—learning what new tricks Apple has up its sleeve for iPods and iPhones.

But the people in San Francisco in early January had more fun than that. For the sixth year running, Berklee anchored the Macworld Music Studio—bringing hands-on expertise in music technology to techies who might be more familiar with a guitar-shaped controller than a guitar.

With 50,000–60,000 attendees at the expo, it's "obviously a lot of exposure for Berklee," said Tony Marvuglio, assistant vice president for academic technology. "People get really excited." (Listen to a Macworld podcast with Marvuglio.)

The college has a long relationship with the computer company. Through the Berklee Laptop Purchase Program, every entering freshman is equipped with a Mac laptop with a primo package of music-making software.

Macworld Music Studio sessions offered primers on some of those applications in workshops such as The Home Studio and Mac for the Guitarist. The Berklee instructors recorded tracks ahead of time and showed attendees how to mix them into a completed song.

To up the tech quotient even more, John Valerio of Berklee's Training and Support team created Twitter and a blog/web photo feed to share what was happening there and then.

College staff handed out admissions materials for the college, as well as info about its summer programs and online school. Some prospective Berklee parents got a heads-up and information for their child. "I meet a lot of people who say my son's auditioning in February," Marvuglio said. He and his team could also make stronger connections to electronics companies such as Shure, which sponsored this year's Music Studio.

In toto, it "gives us the opportunity to really be seen as the leader in music technology education," Marvuglio said.

(Speaking of Toto, the song the team used to illustrate the recording software was the recently disbanded soft-rock group's "Hold the Line.")

While the expo may be a unifying event for the Steve Jobs Mock Turtleneck fan club, the music studio has its own followers. "We get people who come year after year," Marvuglio said. (Read one blogger's reaction.)

And one Berklee person even appeared in the keynote address, showing off new GarageBand videos that teach users how to play the guitar. The guitarist on the big screen? Berklee alumnus Tim Blane '03.