Emily Cao

Class of
Berklee College of Music

Pronouns Used: She/Her/Hers

Hometown: San Francisco, California

Principal Instrument: Voice

Majors: Music Production and Engineering

Languages Spoken (other than English): Mandarin 

Describe your favorite Berklee experience so far.

I really enjoyed Career Jam! Every spring, Berklee invites a bunch of industry professionals to come speak to all the students. I had a wonderful time listening to an array of speakers from songwriters, A&R executives, and performers share their experiences and insights as well as how they got to where they are now. The variety of people as well as the level of excellence around was truly inspirational.

When you think about your favorite class so far, what is one example of why you enjoyed it?

I really enjoyed my Production Analysis class. It's one of my first MP&E major classes and it's really cool to have a class in a studio and meet people in the major. Learning to listen to a song through a critical lens as well as breaking a song down to understand what makes it work has been really informative and exciting.

What is your favorite part about studying and living in Boston? 

Living in Boston is a unique experience! Boston is a college town and I have really enjoyed meeting so many students from around the world who are doing amazing things. Boston is also a beautiful city, I love taking walks around the city and running by the Charles River.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone applying to Berklee College of Music or Boston Conservatory at Berklee?

I would advise them to be well prepared and spend some time reflecting on what kind of music they are passionate about making, and who they envision themselves becoming. I would also recommend doing research—whether that be reading articles or watching videos about the school to see if it aligns with what they want to do.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

The 150 building because that's where most of my classes and work is located.

Why did you choose Berklee?

I chose Berklee because even though I was classically trained, my interests lie in contemporary music. When researching music colleges, most schools only taught classical music with little to no focus on the modern music industry. I wanted to pursue a career in music, and Berklee was the best contemporary music school in the world. Berklee allows you to learn about the music industry in depth and learn the skills necessary to thrive in it.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I plan on going to grad school on the East Coast.

What have you enjoyed most about the live shows you’ve been involved in at Berklee?

I really enjoyed performing in the "Duck Project" through the Musical Theater Club during my first year at Berklee. It was so cool to work with writers and music directors to learn how an original project comes together. Being able to perform in an original work was really fun and eye-opening.

Where do you hope to perform this coming year?

I'm excited to continue to grow as an artist and producer, and perform in various venues across campus.

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