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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000028.txt from 2005/05

From: Adam Michlin <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Berkeley Music Institute
Date: Mon, 02 May 2005 12:56:12 -0400


Yes, indeed. I'll reiterate that I have been told that Berklee is heading
away from jazz and into contemporary music and sound engineering (which,
given our industry, makes a lot of sense from a business point of view for
both students and institution).

It is certainly a valid educational philosophy (and a wonderful business
model) to allow anyone who can pay tuition into a program. Structured
properly (particularly in terms of facilities and faculty), this leads to
places like Berklee and the University of North Texas (I can't speak to
IU). Anyone who can pay for a chance gets a chance. It certainly is a nice
option for those who can afford it (regardless of their ability on their

There is nothing wrong with this, as long as the student is informed. When
you hear names like Richie Cole and Branford Marsalis (neither of which, if
I recall correctly, went on to graduate) in context of Berklee it is
important that students know that for every Richie Cole, Berklee has
graduated thousands of people who have done nothing of note. Students need
to know that getting into Berklee means two things:

1. You have a pulse.
2. You have money.

This is very different than the meaning behind being accepted to places
like Juilliard, Eastman, Curtis, and Cincinatti.

Does this make Berklee a bad school? Of course not, what matters is finding
the right fit for the student. Am I worried that students will have
unrealistic expectations when entering into Berklee? Absolutely. Am I
concerned that students will pay an outrageous amount of money to be lost
in the mix because they think they're special by going to a "name" school
with famous "name" alumni? Absolutely. There are plenty of local music
college which provide high quality music instruction at a much more
inexpensive rate and a much more personal level, especially if you can find
the right applied instructor.

I don't really see how quantity of students has any direct correlation to
quality of an institution, but then again, I don't live in Texas (sorry, I
couldn't resist).


PS: As an anecdote, a few years ago a student of mine was offered a $1,000
scholarship for a high school summer camp at Berklee. I thought this was
pretty cool until I found out the camp cost $5000 (and, perhaps needless to
say, he did not attend).

At 11:15 AM 5/2/2005 -0500, Dallas SCUBA wrote:
>Berklee is currently the largest undergraduate music school in the
>country (3800 students). Curriculum is heavy in the jazz, contemporary
>music and composition areas. The school is one of the finest music
>schools we have in the U.S. Indiana is the second largest with North
>Texas University a close third. (the order changes often) North Texas
>and Indiana have about 1800 students each.
>Students sometimes get lost in the shuffle in these larger schools...but
>they offer up three very positive elements:
>1 good instruction
>2 fantastic ensembles
>3 competition at the highest levels

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