As an associate professor of liberal arts at Berklee, Kevin Block-Schwenk has taught a course very similar to Math for Musicians since 2005. In addition to creating this course and teaching it since its completion in 2013, he operates a small real estate business and studies the career paths of Berklee graduates who make a good living outside of music. He lives in Boston with his wife and six cats, and enjoys biking, games, history, vegan cuisine, and being on the receiving end of music.
- Career Highlights
- Plays bass guitar
- Creator of Berklee's Math for Musicians course
- B.A., Brandeis University
- M.Ed., University of Massachusetts, Boston
In Their Own Words
"The trick is to present the material in a way that is unique to Berklee. There might be classes with similar names at other institutions, but they're going to be nothing at all like what students are going to get here because pretty much every problem in math involves music in some way. We calculate the frequencies of notes under various tuning systems, looking at the math behind it. In economics and statistics, most of the articles we read are related to the music industry."
"Of course, sometimes students say, 'I have a gig in New York this week, so I'll see you later.' You have to be flexible at Berklee and understand that we're just part of their lives and not try to crush their other endeavors, which may well be what their careers are based on. But students understand that there is work to do, and they're going to get it done."
"A good thing about music business is that it gives somebody a wonderful fallback, so that after graduation while they're working on getting their footing in the music industry, they will get a decent job. That's important."
"People love working in the music business, and there are a lot of opportunities there. The days of 'I'm going to be a really good musician, and I'm going to get signed to a major label, and I'm going to be set for life,' they’re ending. And, frankly, they were never really here as much as people pretended they were. There's an exception to every rule, but in general to be a successful artist, you have to be at least a halfway decent business person or you're just going to be taken for a ride. So majoring in music business is helpful for students in their careers, both in terms of earning money and as artists."