Berklee College of Music Mission and Philosophy

Berklee College of Music’s mission is to educate, train, and develop students to excel in music as a career.

Developing the musicianship of all our students is the foundation of our curriculum. We believe that the lessons and qualities derived from that work—the self-discipline needed for excellence, the empathy required of music-making, and the openness and curiosity essential to creativity—are critical to achievement in any pursuit, musical or otherwise. We also believe that music is a powerful catalyst for the kind of personal growth central to any collegiate experience.

Founded on jazz and popular music rooted in the African cultural diaspora, our comprehensive curriculum is distinctly contemporary in its content and approach, and embraces the principal musical movements of our time. Through a course of scholarly and practical learning experiences integrating performance and writing, our curriculum covers the variety of influential styles, relevant technologies, and career opportunities open to today's music professional.


  • To define and refine the individual talents of our students by providing a broad range of major programs offered by a distinguished faculty, and to prepare them for careers in music that reflect the diversity of expression and opportunities that define music today.
  • To enable our students to employ their musical education in a global society by providing a coherent liberal arts curriculum that informs their thinking about issues that have shaped our time.
  • To encourage our students to appreciate and apply music's enormous force for the enrichment of society and intercultural understanding.
  • To cultivate a supportive learning environment by actively promoting a climate of respect for personal and cultural differences, and by offering a range of services and activities to support the needs of the student musicians who come to us from around the world.
  • To maintain the vitality of our college community by encouraging and supporting continuing professional development for all of its members.
  • To provide an environment in which all know that they are full and valued members of the community.
  • To value ethical behavior in all aspects of personal and professional life by establishing a community that values integrity in all relationships.
  • To retain our leadership position in music education and to ensure that our curriculum remains relevant by pledging to value academic freedom and innovation.


Berklee was founded on two revolutionary ideas: that musicianship could be taught through the music of the time; and that our students need practical, professional skills for successful, sustainable music careers. While our bedrock philosophy has not changed, the music around us has and requires that we evolve with it.

For over half a century, we've demonstrated our commitment to this approach by wholeheartedly embracing change. We update our curriculum and technology to make them more relevant, and attract diverse students who reflect the multiplicity of influences in today's music. We prepare our students for a lifetime of professional and personal growth through the study of the arts, sciences, and humanities. And we are developing new initiatives to reach and influence an ever-widening audience.

More than a college, Berklee has become the world's singular learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow. We are a microcosm of the music world, reflecting the interplay between music and culture; an environment where aspiring music professionals learn how to integrate new ideas, adapt to changing musical genres, and showcase their distinctive skills in an evolving community. We are at the center of a widening network of industry professionals who use their openness, virtuosity, and versatility to take music in surprising new directions.

Berklee College of Music is one of the distinctive learning environments that contribute to Berklee’s unified mission and vision.