Our online students come from over 130 countries around the world. Although bonded by a shared love of music, their backgrounds are diverse. Our students include members of Dave Matthews Band, Nine Inch Nails, Sugarland, and Karmin; producers running major recording studios; executives at industry leading technology and business firms; and much more.
Years after joining the Dave Matthews Band as a founding member at age 16, Stefan Lessard decided that the time was right to go back to school with Berkleemusic. After completing multiple online courses—and with 20 years of "street cred" under his belt from his years performing with DMB—Stefan not only knows what works from a musical standpoint, he also knows why it works from a theory standpoint.
"It wasn't a hard choice for me to go to Berkleemusic for online courses. It's always been the go-to school for me whenever it came to music."
In addition to playing guitar in Brooklyn-based band Oceanographer, online student Kevin Plessner is a full-time recording engineer who works extensively with Pro Tools. "I needed a refresh," he says. "I needed to update myself on all the latest enhancements that were going on with the software."
He enrolled in Berkleemusic's Advanced Mixing & Mastering with Pro Tools, an online course authored and taught by production guru Dave Franz.
"I took the course because I didn't want to repeat myself over and over again. I play guitar, but I wanted to explore different instrumentation. This course allowed me to investigate all these different virtual instruments—drum machines, synths, samplers—and they're all working their way into production now."
When YouTube sensation Karmin—featuring Berkleemusic student Amy Heidemann—debuted their cover of Chris Brown's "Look at Me Now," they didn't expect to get over 64 million views (and counting!) in a little over three months.
The duo have since performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, at Lollapalooza, and have taken the stage with hip-hop legends The Roots.
"I actually learned guitar completely on the Internet, in Guitar Chords 101. I was also in a certificate program where I took music production and music business classes."
Ronicle "Niko" Ellison, a vocalist in the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, wanted to further his music education, but needed a flexible program to fit with his busy life on the road. He chose Berkleemusic because it's "head and shoulders above all the other online schools."
Niko chose to complete two online Certificate Programs—a Master Certificate in Music Business and a Master Certificate in Songwriting—in order to advance his music career. He's grateful for all he learned in these multi-course programs, especially the relationships he forged with his instructors.
"I received personal attention from every instructor that I had. They really listened and put in a lot of effort into helping me along my music career path."
Online student Mary Haller recently completed a Master Certificate in Songwriting and, soon after, found success as the winner of the 2011 ole "Hitsville" contest in Nashville.
Recently, her song, "Instead of Roses" was signed to a single-song contract with ole, one of the world's largest independent music publishers, after being named one of two winners of ole's "Hitsville" event in Nashville.
"I really credit my online courses and instructors with teaching me both the craft and business of songwriting. I've been thrilled with the instruction, online materials, and the opportunity to connect with songwriters all over the world."
After working as a research fellow in economics at a think tank in Russia, Ilya Mazeyev decided he wanted to shift into something more creative. After entering the world of music production at Berkleemusic two years ago, Ilya left his research position and is now running a studio in Moscow and working as a recording engineer.
"What I've gotten from Berkleemusic is the order and integrity that is necessary for me to succeed as a recording engineer."
For Lindsay Ell, music became the passion of her life very early on. She started piano at the age of 6, and picked up the guitar at the age of 8. At just 10 years old, she started songwriting, and since then, she has worked with an illustrious list of musicians, including Randy Bachman (Guess Who/BTO), Buddy Guy, CJ Vanston (Spinal Tap/John Mayer), Russell Broom (Jann Arden), Bill Bell (Jason Mraz/Tom Cochrane), Chris Isaak, Shawn Mullins, Suzie McNeil, and Serena Ryder.
"Berkleemusic has helped me to challenge myself in many different ways, but particularly in my songwriting—making sure that the main message of a song is communicated loud and clear. These online courses have truly helped me focus my efforts as a musician and clarify the direction of my journey."
Vanessa Rousso ranks among the top five women in poker history in terms of all-time money winnings, having a total of thirteen World Series of Poker in-the-money finishes. She's also an aspiring DJ, producer and songwriter.
"If I were to think about where I would ideally like to end up with music, it would probably be where I'm traveling around the world playing tournaments, and in addition to tournaments I'm doing DJ gigs and performing songs that I've written recently. If that was my life, I think I'd be as happy as possible."
Online student Don Hertig is the Dep. Chief Financial Officer of the US Federal Government in Washington, D.C.. Don talks about his lifelong passion for music, and how Berkleemusic helped get his music education back on track as a full-time professional.
"I didn't have the luxury of time to go back to music full time. The online program gave me the flexibility to customize my schedule. With Berklee Online, you can go as far and fast as you want."
Electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani recently released a new retrospective compilation, Lixiviation, which received rave reviews from Pitchfork and NPR. Looking to harness the publicity that suddenly came her way, Suzanne enrolled in a Berklee Online marketing course to maximize her exposure.
"We got to know each other in the online classroom. We each had specific personalities, questions, and views on the coursework. Your experience is really enriched by your classmates' takes on the material."
Patrick Egan, an online Orchestration student from Dorchester, MA, talks about his lifelong dream of making music—and making a living doing it. After an attempt at studying bass as a 19-year-old undergrad and his years-long struggle with a 9-to-5 "day job," Patrick decided to return to school with Berkleemusic. He says his experience in the Specialist Certificate in Orchestration for Film and TV has boosted his skills, confidence, and career outlook as a freelance composer.
"I've always lacked confidence to just jump in and take a job in music. After my online studies with Ben Newhouse, I feel like I could take on any job. I feel confident that I have the tools to jump in and survive."
Tom Webber doesn't plan on quitting his "day job" anytime soon. His musical goals are simple: he wants to play piano for himself, as well as his friends and family. After taking private piano lessons for years, Tom turned to Berkleemusic for supplemental instruction online. He noticed a huge advancement in his playing and understanding of music almost immediately—as did his longtime piano instructor. Tom says that both his knowledge and confidence improved greatly through his course.
"I've grown so much as a piano player as a result of my online course. I've really pushed through some boundaries that I had constructed for myself. What a great gift you've given me to help transform this part of my life and to fulfill some long-standing dreams."
Berklee College of Music is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Berkleemusic's online courses have won the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA)'s "Best Online College Course" award seven years in a row (2005-2012).
Berklee Online is Berklee College of Music's online extension school. With world renowned faculty and unparalleled networking opportunities, Berklee Online brings the best of Berklee to students around the world.
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