Professional Music

Berklee's professional music major provides students with the opportunity to blaze their own path, and synthesize a variety of skills, ranging from performing and songwriting to production and business. Focusing on the entrepreneurial aspect of a professional music career, students work closely with an advisor to achieve individual goals through intensive curricular planning. Through their coursework, the student will learn the skills, concepts, and methodologies necessary to develop proficiency in the designated area of concentration typical of that found in the professional music industry. The student will complete a major final project in the designated area of concentration whose content and/or enactment is equal in quality and extent to the demands of the current professional music environment.

Through interaction with instructors, the student will develop an aesthetic and critical vision of quality work in the designated area of concentration, will be able to define quality using both general and musical criteria, and will be able to apply those criteria to his/her own work and to that of others. By working with teachers and other students on various projects, the student will learn to work effectively with others in groupings typically found in the context of the designated area of concentration within the professional music industry.

The student will develop sufficient background and depth in the chosen area of concentration to enable him/her to cope with and adjust to changes in the professional music environment.

Entrance Requirements
  • 2.7 GPA
  • Approval of program chair
What the Program Gives You

Upon completion of a major in professional music, students will:

  1. Synthesize and integrate knowledge in chosen area of concentration (e.g. songwriting, production, business management);
  2. Apply entrepreneurial skills;
  3. Lead a creative project from conception to execution;
  4. Play principal instrument in a variety of styles;
  5. Communicate effectively in business and performance environments; and
  6. Synthesize secondary areas of knowledge.
Department: 
Required Courses

30 credits for the major:

Designated Concentrate Courses

  • 16 credits of designated concentrate courses (to be determined by student in conjunction with and by approval of the department chair). Ensembles, liberal arts courses, or repeated labs are not allowed.

Professional Music Core (14 credits required)

Select courses from each of the following areas:

  • Music Production (two credits; choose one of the following):
  • Music Business (two credits; choose one of the following):
    • MB-101: Introduction to the Music Business
    • MB-211: Legal Aspects of the Music Business
    • MB-131: Taxation in the Music Business
    • MB-287: Business Communication
  • Professional Music Courses (four credits; choose two of the following):
    • PM-230: Computer Literacy for the Professional Musician
    • PMH-250: Movement for Musicians
    • PM-P300: The General Business Gig: Artistry and Business Development
    • PM-310: Financial Management for Musicians
    • PM-320: Investment Principles for the Professional Musician
    • PM-330: The Private Studio Teacher
    • PM-340: The Artist Entrepreneur
    • PM-495: Professional Music Internship
  • Approved Specified Electives (two credits; choose from the following):
  • PM-P425: The Business of Professional Music
  • PM-475: Professional Music Capstone Project*

*Requires completion of a significant culminating project, per student, based on the designated area of concentration; project content and/or enactment must match the quality and scale of the demands of the current industry environment.