BerkleeNYC to Offer Master of Arts in Creative Media and Technology

By 
Tori Donahue
August 11, 2020
Press release
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Launching in fall 2021, the one-year graduate program will consist of three specializations: songwriting and production, live experience design, and writing and design for musical theater.

BerkleeNYC will launch its first Master of Arts degree program in fall 2021.
Power Station at BerkleeNYC is a state-of-the-art facility where students will learn, perform, create, and collaborate.
Image by Ryan Nava
Image by Ryan Nava

BerkleeNYC, Berklee's campus in New York City, will launch its first graduate program starting in September 2021. The Master of Arts in Creative Media and Technology is a one-year, on-campus program consisting of three specializations: songwriting and production, live experience design, and writing and design for musical theater. All three specializations will share a core curriculum focused on creative entrepreneurship, design thinking, and collaboration. Research undertaken by the college found an acute demand in theater, live events, and festivals for creatives with strong technical skills, and a lack of graduate programs devoted to current practices and technology. 

Songwriting and Production

The songwriting and production specialization will take an integrated approach to current practices in collaborative, technology-aided songwriting. Students will bolster and refine their artistic expression by analyzing current hit songs, writing music and lyrics, and furthering their technical skills through the examination of modern production styles and beat-making. They will use the latest industry-standard software and hardware in the renovated Power Station at BerkleeNYC facility to gain direct experience and enhance their creative visions.

Live Experience Design

The live experience design specialization will focus on a forward-thinking approach to the design, management, and execution of both live and virtual productions for music, the arts, and corporate and sporting events in a post-pandemic world. Students will receive training in performance technologies, including sound design, lighting design, projection mapping, LED panel technology, stage management, computer-aided design, video production, and livestreaming, all supported by experiential opportunities in New York City.

Writing and Design for Musical Theater

The writing and design for musical theater specialization equips students with theory and experience in the collaborative art of musical theater. Immersion into storytelling, character development, songwriting, cast-recording production, book writing, theatrical visual environment conception, entrepreneurship, innovation, and design thinking will provide a comprehensive toolkit for students in the musical theater space. Working with the top-of-the-line technology on-site, students will gain real-world insight from active professionals in the field while creating and executing artistic works.

Watch a video about the new BerkleeNYC graduate program:

“We are thrilled to announce our innovative and experiential degree program at BerkleeNYC for the fall of 2021,” said Stephen Webber, executive director of BerkleeNYC and dean of strategic initiatives. “The world is rapidly changing, and performers, artists, and creative innovators are learning to adapt to the new industry standards. Our specializations prepare students with the skills needed to thrive and create in this new artistic landscape.”

In 2017, the college, with the help of singer-songwriter and Berklee trustee Pete Muller and the New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, purchased the historic Power Station studios. Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, the cast of Hamilton, and others have all recorded iconic albums in the space, and it remains a center for the New York City music industry. Power Station at BerkleeNYC is currently finalizing a $15 million renovation, which will include a high-tech black box theater, video control room, 4K video capability with film-stage-quality lighting, 360-degree cinematic virtual reality (VR) capability, writing rooms, and ensemble rehearsal classrooms, along with enhanced facilities and infrastructure. BerkleeNYC will reopen as a state-of-the-art recording facility and a hub of education and creativity.  

BerkleeNYC's programs will include a variety of inspiring and informative events for everyone from students to working professionals across the spectrum of music, art, and creative expression. With the support of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and Pete Muller's vision, Berklee will preserve and build upon the legacy of Power Station by reinvigorating the studios and transforming them into the world’s premier destination for large-format recording and forward-thinking arts education programs. BerkleeNYC will also launch an artist development grant program and host free and tuition-based educational programs, performances, and resources for New York–area musicians.

Applications for BerkleeNYC’s Master of Arts in Creative Media and Technology program are open now. For more information, visit BerkleeNYC online at nyc.berklee.edu.

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