Berklee College of Music Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Ronald

The academics at Berklee are not easy but they aren't extremely hard. Thats the thing though, if you find things rather easy and you prove that they are easy, you can test out and be moved up. If things are a little shaky the teachers will stick around and provide you with the help that you need.

Lauren

The professors definitely know your name, as classes are incredibly small. As aforementioned,the professors are amazing musicians, but not always the best teachers. They will cancel class for a gig (or sometimes a tour in the case of my Private Voice teacher), and will not always make up for it. My favorite class was Ensemble and Writing & Communcations. Ensemble self-explanatory, it was an ensemble. Simple! Lots of fun. However, the ensemble you're in it will depend on your ratings. W&C was a general English class. I've always been great at English, so it was just a fun class to me. My least favorite class was Artistry, Creativity & Inquiry. Seriously, a waste of time. It's a class that all freshman are required to take. I don't know a single person who wasn't angry that they had to pay for a class that made us trundle around Boston taking pictures for homework, when we could have been practicing or working on a project. Some students study, some don't. Depends on the individual. Most students are pretty serious musicians, so would definitely dedicate a lot of time to homework/projects etc. We knew that the work was relative to us becoming better musicians, so it was certainly worth it. That could've just been my circle of friends though. I wouldn't say there's much intellectual stimulation at Berklee, as it's a music school. It kind of sucked, because I'm definitely into that kind of thing. You can definitely find it, but you certainly have to search. Students are VERY competitive. Be warned, a "jam" session, isn't really a jam session. It's really a chance for everybody to scope out how good (or bad) their peers are. Everybody is a critic. There isn't much love for one another in the Voice department. I'd actually say it's the most competitive of all. A lot of the other departments praise each other and are willing to help, share their skills etc. In the voice department, this does not happen. I didn't spend any time with professors outside of class, but they do have dedicated office hours you can go to if you need help. Berklee has borderline "no" academic requirements. I think that's a good and a bad thing. It's great for musicians who aren't academic but amazing at what they do, but I don't think it sets a great example. A student might lag through high school, knowing they can get in purely upon musical merit. Not everybody is going to be a star, and you might have to actually get a job after school. I don't think a lot of students are prepared for that. The education at this school is purely geared toward becoming a better musician. The school is great for networking. The retention rate is low, as people usually find jobs through networking before they graduate, drop out due to financial issues, or simply just don't want to come to school anymore and start gigging on the road.

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