Berklee Announces First Graduate Programs at its Boston Campus

Beginning in fall 2015, students can pursue graduate education in music therapy and contemporary performance.

June 23, 2014

Berklee is launching its first graduate degree programs at the college’s Boston campus. Beginning in fall 2015, students can pursue a Master of Arts in Music Therapy or a Master of Music in Contemporary Performance degree. Berklee’s four inaugural graduate programs launched in September 2012 at the college’s new international campus in Valencia, Spain.  Application and tuition details will be available in summer 2014.

“Building upon the success of the college’s first graduate programs at our international campus in Valencia, we are proud to expand our graduate-level offerings with these new degree programs,” said Berklee president Roger H. Brown. “Many students come to Berklee having already completed an undergraduate degree, and we believe student interest in these two programs will be quite strong, particularly given the leaders shaping these programs: Dr. Suzanne Hanser, a leading light in music therapy research and pedagogy, and world-renowned jazz pianist Danilo Pérez of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute orchestrating the performance program.”

The Master of Arts in Music Therapy provides advanced instruction for practicing music therapists as it pertains to the burgeoning holistic approach to treating patients. The program pays particular attention to research methods, enabling leaders in music therapy to document the impact of their work and meaningfully demonstrate its efficacy, as well as conventional/integrated medicine, giving students the skills they need to work within the healthcare system. Cohorts of 20 students will move through the five-semester program together, taking online courses and attending three weekend symposia held on the Boston campus. Utilizing Berklee’s award-winning online and creative media teams, the interactive online courses are designed to present information using diverse teaching methods while inviting music therapists from any location to interact in the courses and bring ideas from across the globe. Students will attend meetings each semester to present and share ideas, meet local experts, and visit clinical settings. Students will compete a culminating project or thesis to demonstrate their learning.

“The Master of Arts in Music Therapy is geared toward the qualified music therapist who is ready for the next level of leadership,” said Suzanne Hanser, chair of the Music Therapy Department. “Students will focus on integrating new skills and models into today’s very challenging healthcare environment and will learn how to incorporate innovative approaches to music therapy while documenting the impact of the effective techniques they are learning.”

The Master of Music in Contemporary Performance is a highly selective, three-semester program aimed to deepen entrepreneurial skills among leaders in performance. Designed to teach students about music business and production from a performer’s point of view, the program offers instrumentalists and vocalists the opportunity to develop their skills through a wide array of performance and studio projects. Taught in an “institute style,” students will work with master musicians at the college’s Boston campus in private lessons, ensembles, and directed study. The program’s first students will join the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, directed by internationally renowned, Grammy Award-winning pianist Danilo Pérez. The BGJI provides a comprehensive contemporary music environment, where students develop their musicianship and creativity through unique performance and community service experiences in Boston and across the globe. In the future, students will be able to pursue this degree under the direction of additional institutes, like the college’s American Roots Music Program and Planet MicroJam Institute.  

"Berklee's Master of Music in Contemporary Performance educates trailblazers who will go on to lead their own projects, setting students up for sustainable careers while pursuing their passion for music," said Matt Marvuglio, dean of the Professional Performance Division. "In addition to hands-on instruction with master musicians like Joe Lovano, Terri Lyne Carrington, and John Patitucci, the program's career-focused curriculum sets it apart from other performance-based graduate degrees."


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