My Bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music is now complete. I graduated with a B.P.S. (Bachelor of Professional Studies) in Interdisciplinary Studies. It was an amazing experience.
I opted for the online classes because I am usually traveling a lot for my music gigs. I chose the Interdisciplinary Studies because it allowed the flexibility for me to combine classes in business, technology and performance under one degree.
My previous undergraduate studies included Pacific Lutheran University (piano, voice and music composition), UCLA (Extension School of Film Scoring) and Harvard (Human Rights). I transferred in the maximum number of allowed credits and was able to finish my degree in two years.
I started taking classes with Berklee Online back in 2010 when I worked as music director for Cirque du Soleil’s ZAIA show in Macau, China. Cirque du Soleil had an education program where they would pay for approved classes. Through that process I completed a Professional Certificate in Ableton Live which is the software that Cirque uses on their live shows.
Later, when Berklee College of Music started offering the Bachelor’s degree online, I enrolled in the actual degree program. In fact, it was the only college that I applied to. The reputation of Berklee was so high and they were the only high end music school offering an accredited degree program, so it was the only program I was interested in. I am so thrilled that they accepted me and that I was able to complete the degree.
Several people have questioned how a music degree can be completed online with an insinuation that it is “less” somehow. In fact, with the technology of music having a large portion of product creations designed for online consumption, it was actually better online. I was able to view student scores online, download their audio and videos and focus on online marketing and product creation projects.
It is true that Berklee currently only offers their performance degrees at the real world campus and that makes total sense. But for many of us that are already making a living as performers and need to create content for online and digital consumers, it is the perfect match to take our classes online.
As an older student, I can tell you that many of the “secrets” I learned many years ago are integrated into the online classes. A young student can have an incredible advantage by absorbing the material presented in the Berklee classes. The things in the music industry that used to be “secrets” that were held closely by music producers and engineers, are now part of the online education studies.
If by chance you are a parent wondering if it is worthy to enroll your child in the online Berklee College of Music degree program, my short answer is Yes, Yes, Yes. Now I did have the common experience, particularly with younger students in my classes, that many did not really take full advantage of the program offerings. Most notably in the optional chat sessions. The chats are a gold mine of information to speak weekly one-on-one with the professor. Very few students took advantage of this which usually meant that I had the professors for a full hour to myself. And I took greedy advantage of that and learned so much more than just what was in the class.
Can your child enroll in the online Berklee classes and end up a horrible musician living in your basement? Absolutely. But if your child is self motivated and a self starter, these classes can truly propel them way ahead and save them years of learning all their lessons the hard and slow way.
Thank you to Berklee College of Music for your wonderful classes.
And now, I’m off to graduate school!
Berklee Classes I took were:
- BMPR-180.03 Producing Music with Ableton Live
- BMW-103.01 Music Notation Using Sibelius
- BME-133.01 Arranging: Woodwinds and Strings
- BMPR-181.01 Advanced Music Production with Ableton Live
- BMPR-130a.03 Pro Tools 101
- BMPR-162.01 Critical Listening 1
- BMB-196.01 Music Licensing
- OEART-115.06 Basic Ear Training 1
- OLSOC-180.02 Project Management for Musicians
- OPIAN-315.01 Jazz Piano
- OLMSC-130.04 Math for Musicians
- OMBUS-110.02 Music Business 101
- OMBUS-240.02 Music Business Trends and Strategies
- OLART-100.04 Developing Your Artistry
- OMBUS-495.01 Music Supervision
- OMPRD-221.01 Pro Tools 110
- OMPRD-295.01 Introduction to Game Audio
- OSONG-221.01 Lyric Writing: Writing From the Title
- OSONG-380.01 Songwriting for Film and TV
- OHARM-412.01 Reharmonization Techniques
- OLSOC-150.02 The Language of Film and TV
- OCOMP-320.01 Creative Strategies for Composition Beyond Style
- OLSOC-307.01 Music Cognition
- OPIAN-220.01 Blues and Rock Keyboard Techniques
- OLMSC-101.04 Music Production 101
- OENTR-391.01 Creative Entrepreneurship
- OIDMS-480.01 Interdisciplinary Music Studies Capstone
- OMBUS-360.01 Music Business Leadership and Ethics