#1
Hello,

I thought this might be useful information for anyone who is interested. This is the post (with some additions) that I made on another thread about Berklee.

Here’s how you go to Berklee WITHOUT spending 140,000 over 4 years.

First, If you are going to go into debt in astronomical amounts then its not worth it to go to ANY school not just Berklee.

Now, a little bit about their degree. The Bachelors of Music is a 4 year degree where you will do 30 credits (out of 120 total) of non-musical courses (ex. History of art) and 90 credits of music. You can do a dual major which is not a bad idea if you have the time and money

Berklee DOES NOT accept music credits from other colleges but they DO accept non-musical credits from other colleges. Don’t take any of these non-musical courses at Berklee. Take them at a community college where it will cost far far less. Then transfer those credits to Berklee. You can do this before, during or after you go to Berklee; it doesn’t matter. But make sure you get the courses approved first by Berklee before you waste the time and money taking them. Think about it - if you can do a whole year of non-musical courses at a local community college and you pay a few thousand (if that) for one full year, you can save literally tens of thousands just this way. I think its costs about 30-35K per year without scholarships. If you are only pay 4000 for one year at a community college, then you are saving 25-30K right there.

The DIPLOMA is a certificate (not a degree) that you get for doing the 3 years of music at Berklee. (no non-musical courses) I don’t recommend this because you may as well get your non-musical courses done at a community college and transfer them in and get the Bachelors of Music degree.

Second, call Berklee and ask for a scholarship application. Go over the app. with a fine tooth comb and spend months even years, if you have to, creating an unbelievable scholarship package and then send it in. Practice your prepared pieces for months and years if necessary so you can go into the audition and burn. I recommend playing a jazz standard of some sort and a classically oriented technical piece. If it takes you 2, 3, 4 or more years, who cares. You will have a good chance at receiving at least a partial scholarship. I knew lots of students that were receiving full or partial scholarships. DO NOT rush in Berklee. Better to practice a lot and be a good player well prepared for the entrance exam (the testing part of it) and the audition (dont forget to learn how to read!!!!, this ability will help tremendously at Berklee)

Next, get the Berklee Harmony 1-4 and Ear training 1-4 books and take these courses on your own. You can call the Berklee bookstore and they will tell you how you can buy these books. Read and re-read them over and over. Make up tests for yourself and ask other family members and friends to test you. Then when you get to Berklee and take the entrance exam you can “test out” of (some of) these courses thereby saving money and time. I knew someone who tested into Harmony 3 and Ear Training 3 to start thereby eliminating the need to take four classes (Harmony 1 & 2 and Ear Training 1 and 2). You probably wont test out of all of them but even half of them will save you a lot of money.

Third, stay in the dorm the first year and then try to get into an apartment with some friends you meet at Berklee. If you can somehow get an apartment right away with other people then that’s good. But make sure they are serious musicians that will be able to pay the rent and not druggies or losers that are going to make your life difficult. It is well known that if you can shop for your own groceries, cook your own food, and share a 3 bedroom apartment with 2 other people you can save a lot of money than if you live in the dorm and pay for the meal ticket to eat in the cafeteria.

When you add all of this up you can save 10’s of thousands of dollars and if you get a decent partial scholarship and test out of a few courses, take your non-musical courses at a community college, you may be able to save half the money.

If you’re really good and get a great scholarship, test out of a bunch of courses and live cheaply with friends, you can save even more than half in my opinion. A lot of parents have saved at least something for their kids college education. If you combine SOME small school loans that are manageable, do everything I described here, and you parents can help you pay for tuition, it can be done for a lot less than the regular full tuition for 4 years.

I am not sure about financial aid for foreign students but it would be wise to call Berklee and talk to them about your financing options.

BTW, I graduated from Berklee. It was a great time for me and I am very glad I did it.
A lot of people dog Berklee but I disagree with those people. Their are a lot of burning musicians from all around the world that will impress you. Berklee is a little crazy but it is a great source for education, experience, contacts and relationships not to mention having the degree on your resume for the rest of your life. You dont need to be the best to be there, you just need to be good. Someone who has put in the time to learn their instrument and theory beforehand and be able to play AND read. Reading is very important. And of course their are majors there that dont focus on you being a great musician, like getting a teaching degree or Music Production and Engineering. So you need to research Berklee and figure out what you want to get out of it and start planning and working now. If you cant get there now, but you probably will be able to in five years, then fine. Become good at what you need to do and you will do fine and Berklee.

One more thing - There are many graduates and non-graduates from Berklee who go off and become successful. There are also many non-graduates and graduates who do NOT become successful.

The main point is that YOU determine your success whether you go to Berklee, The New School, GIT, Manhattan School of Music, NEC, Juliard, NYU, or a leading university in your area OR you don’t go to music school at all. There are many great musicians from rock to jazz who never went to music school.

Good luck
"How to Become a Better Musician" - is my online course at www.MyOnlineMusicLessons.com. Phrasing and Rhythmic Development, Improv Techniques, Jazz Theory, Ear Training and more. I'm also available for Skype/Hangout lessons.
#2
k, koo.

Good read though, I've been entertaining the idea of going to Berkeley for quite some time now, and this will no doubt prove to be useful information.
#4
Quote by The.new.guy
My god! This information is extremely useful! Thank you sooo much!!! I've GOT to read this like...every day!


No problem. Thanks.
"How to Become a Better Musician" - is my online course at www.MyOnlineMusicLessons.com. Phrasing and Rhythmic Development, Improv Techniques, Jazz Theory, Ear Training and more. I'm also available for Skype/Hangout lessons.
#5
well i go to BIMM in the UK, it's fuggin amazing it's alot cheaper than berklee by the looks of it. How much is it per year on a degree course?
#6
Quote by Zanon
well i go to BIMM in the UK, it's fuggin amazing it's alot cheaper than berklee by the looks of it. How much is it per year on a degree course?


Go for it. There are many other great schools out there no doubt. Sounds like you're in the right place.

Berklee is expensive. If you dont have any scholarships and live in dorm then its about 30-35k (american dollars) per year maybe more now. But you can do it for a lot less. See above. It's still expensive even if you save money by using my suggestions.

But with the Euro much stronger than the dollar this is a good time to be a European and buy things in America, like an education.
"How to Become a Better Musician" - is my online course at www.MyOnlineMusicLessons.com. Phrasing and Rhythmic Development, Improv Techniques, Jazz Theory, Ear Training and more. I'm also available for Skype/Hangout lessons.
#7
Wow Berklee seems really expensive, I live in a ''dorm'' in Brighton [which is by the sea if none of you know where that is] and the typical course fee is about 3500GBP over 3/4 years
#9
Another piece of advice:

If you are from Europe or another country where you can get a "conservatory" education for free like in Italy for example, then I recommend to do that first as it will greatly enhance your chances of getting a partial (or even full) scholarship. This will help you in many other ways not just financially. Getting conservatory training, being a good reader and having good technique will help you tremendously to get higher ratings so you can have a much wider option of ensembles and classes open to you as well as being able to hang and play with the higher level musicians.
"How to Become a Better Musician" - is my online course at www.MyOnlineMusicLessons.com. Phrasing and Rhythmic Development, Improv Techniques, Jazz Theory, Ear Training and more. I'm also available for Skype/Hangout lessons.
#10
From knowing a few international students when I was college age, my understanding is that financial aid is not available in order to get the student visa, but scholarships are. Please verify though if you fall into that boat, because I'm not 100% sure about this.

The only thing I would add to the whole thing - this is true for anyone embarking on college, but especially true for music, and especially true for an expensive college like Berklee. Make sure that you are absolutely positive that this is what you want to do, and think about the financial aspects a lot. It is hard to make a good living with music as your career. For many types of careers, $140k in debt coming out of school is still a lot of money, but if you can quickly find a nice job with a starting salary of 60 or 65k, it is less of a big deal, especially given that peoples living expenses are less in their early-mid 20's, than later on when they have a family.
You have to go where your passion is. If the passion isn't there, you will be useless at whatever you do anyway. But, really, really make sure you have thought it through, because it is a big commitment. A good way of hedging your bets is to minor in something that is interesting to you, but is more of a safe bet job-wise.

The tough thing about planning for college in general is that you are making life altering decisions that require you project a long way into the future. It is very hard for a 16 year old preparing and making decisions about college to know what is going to be important to them when they are 35.

Personally, if I was 16 again and thinking about college, I would absolutely grill my parents (or parent in my case, because my Mom had already died by then) for everything I could learn about their lives and decisions they made, especially when they were in their 20's. It's very important for a person to make his own decisions, but there is a ton of life experience sitting there in your own house, so I would learn everything I could from it, so I could use that knowledge in making my own decisions.

Of course, I was nothing like that when I was 16. Everything had to be my way or the highway. But that's why they say hindsight is 20-20.
#11
I'm 17 a junior in highschool and I most definitely want to pursue music after i graduate but, i also don't want to live in a cardboard box after i graduate. My problem is I would love to focus on solely music in college but im pretty sure that making a decent living off that afterwards is not a very probable idea. But i want to hear what stable jobs the music industry has to offer , could you tell me some examples? (and please to anyone reading this i want like specifics like what the job involves, if you know anyone who works in this position and what they say about it)

Thanks a ton!

(p.s. I'm also interested in exploring psychology as a college major)