Professional Music Courses
This course provides a detailed overview of essential strategies and techniques related to developing a strong foundation for success in the new music industry. Students explore topics such as professional communication (e.g., written, verbal, creating a brand, technology), leadership, goal setting, time/project management, and the role of personal reflection on career planning and engagement. Further, students study key topics in the music industry related to culture, music, and society. Assignments blend projects with inquiry-based research to ensure that students apply concepts throughout the course of the semester and demonstrate an ability to evaluate the ideas of others and express (and defend) personal and professional opinions.
This project-based course introduces and explores the vast skill set necessary for the emerging independent musician to be successful in today’s music industry. Through individual and collaborative work, the arc of the course involves the creation of a class album which is used as the basis for the development of promotional materials, such as artwork, video, various types of text documents, a website, and a mailing list. Each student contributes a recording to the album, then works both alone and collaboratively to develop and customize a promotional package. By working together towards achieving a common goal through sharing ideas and skills, students develop their interpersonal, technology, and creative skills, giving them real-world experience inside the classroom. The course examines five key software areas: productivity; DAWs; image creation and editing; video recording and editing; and website creation. While skill building using various software is threaded throughout the course, the content is largely student-generated. Composition or songwriting skills are not necessary for the course, but intermediate level skills using a DAW (Logic Pro, Ableton, or Pro Tools) are highly recommended.
This hands-on, experiential course provides a detailed view of strategies, techniques, and practices of running an independent record label and skills needed for DIY artist management. Topics discussed and explored include marketing, brand management, budget development, artists and repertoire (A&R), collaborative working environments, project management, time management, effective communication skills, and recording and engineering. Each year Berklee Revelation Records creates and showcases original works by Berklee student artists and/or faculty. Students will develop, design, organize, and promote effective strategies for completing all stages of a release.
A course focused on all aspects of artistic and business development, organization, and learning required skills and techniques for creating and operating a successful professional-level event and general business band. This class also includes a performance component. This course meets once weekly for two hours. Techniques taught include how to form a general business band, marketing and production skills, demos, auditioning and showcases, repertoire development, staging, movement, audience communication, and effective organizational behaviors and business development as applied to a professional performance setting. Each week’s class will include a general business lecture component and a performance component in an ensemble-like setting. As part of the class, students will practice performing on their instrument in a setting designed to simulate the practices and techniques required in the professional general business band environment. Assignments will be tailored to build on knowledge and gain skills in important aspects of founding, directing, marketing, and operating effective performing groups.
Overview of the financial planning process, including budgeting, risk management, taxes, retirement planning, estate planning, and investments.
This course focuses on the personal investment portfolio. Review of securities such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments, along with principles of portfolio management, will be included. Goals, objectives, risk tolerance, and time constraints will determine the strategy that is used to build a portfolio of mutual funds, stocks, or bonds. Review of events in today's dynamic and complex markets will be discussed. Special attention will be paid to interest rates and their impact on securities.
Aspects of private studio teaching including pedagogy, literature, technology, and business considerations. Philosophy and attitudes essential to the successful private instructor. Choosing appropriate methods and materials. Overview of new technological resources for the private teacher.
A detailed overview of how to successfully start and grow a music-related business as an artist-entrepreneur, from initial idea and planning to effectively managing and marketing your company. A primary course outcome will be imagining a business idea expressed as a written business plan.
This course will provide a strategic, step-by-step process to producing a fully customized plan for marketing one’s music and career as a serious DIY musician while taking advantage of new technologies to independently build awareness. This course teaches students complete marketing process from vision through execution utilizing fundamental concepts employed by top innovative companies, while encouraging students to find their creative niche, and uphold their artistic vision. Topics include an integrated mix of online and offline strategies that extend beyond just the traditional marketing methods and the latest Internet and social media promotion tips.
This course develops students’ awareness and provides hands-on, real-world experiences of music and entertainment as a business. Students will conduct self-directed research into their future career path in addition to developing and applying strategies for independent music success. Areas covered include (but are not limited to) research, resources and techniques used in making the transition from college to career, entrepreneurship, self-promotion and self-presentation skills (written and verbal), digital marketing and social media techniques, networking in a new music economy, leveraging opportunity, copyright, performing rights organizations, financial management, and general business techniques (contracts, negotiating, intermediaries). Business development planning will also be discussed and applied.
A seminar in which students receive individualized guidance in the preparation and completion of their graduation project.
A seminar in which students receive individualized guidance in the preparation and completion of their final project. Students will develop an approach and timeline, self-evaluative criteria for assessment of their project upon completion, and gain an understanding of current and future trends in the music industry as they relate to both the final project and the student's broader career goals. This course is a remotely delivered version of the current PM-475 Professional Music Capstone Project.