Music In The News

It is strange to think that in spite of the stumbling music industry and dying record industry, an increasing number of students continue to persue collegiate careers in the many subjects of the field, be they theory, composition, performance, education or management. For the upcoming Fall 2009 school year, for example, Boston’s Berklee College has received an increase in applications of 40 percent. Though one could argue that many musicians have never been in it for the money, it is indeed counterintuitive. In response, the musicians’ staple of Boston has taken advantage by putting the ‘ARTeria Valencia’ project into action.

Though ‘ARTeria Valencia’ is set to be modest in size with only 1,000 students at its outset, people like Berklee president Roger Brown believe it will attract interest from countries all over the world. This belief is also supported by the fact that 25 percent of students at Berklee itself are from overseas. The 25-story building will be the largest American music institution based outside the United States. It will house all faculty and students, and it will provide multiple performance spaces, including a 1,000 seat outdoor amphitheater. Aside from the interior, the architectural design is simply stunning. It sports elevators that ride upward along large vertical beams adjacent to the structure, allowing people to walk along pathways stories above the ground to their state of the art facilities.

Additionally, in spite of recent economic woes, interest has remained stable if not increased, causing Larry Monroe, Berklee VP of International Programs, to move ahead with the $145 million dollar project without worry. Brown and Monroe see the growing opportunities for musicians (video game and alternative film soundtracks, personal business and legal knowledge) to be indicative of growing opportunities in the respective education industry.

It is difficult to say how this will impact the industry as a whole. The increased number of professionals entering the music business could simply run smack into a wall of joblessness. On the other hand, it is encouraging to think that students have considered and are preparing to invest time and money into pursuing unconventional revenue streams like video game, movie or commercial music. The institution also provides the opportunity to expand the music business overseas, which could be good for everyone in an industry that can be shared and translated so easily on a global scale.

-Ike
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