University News

Brown, Berklee to launch music program

Music, entreprenuership program to help high school students lead social change through creativity

Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

High school students will participate in an 11-day program held on both Berklee and Brown’s campuses to develop leadership skills for careers.

In July, Brown’s Leadership Institute will collaborate with the Berklee College of Music on a creative entrepreneurship and leadership program for high school students. The program is a subset of Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship, a curricular program that teaches Berklee students that the skills they develop in music are applicable to entrepreneurship.

Last year, Berklee hosted a similar summer program only for students from China and Taiwan. But with Brown’s collabration, the 11-day program will now be held at both Berklee and Brown’s campuses for students from all over the world. Between 20 and 30 students will participate, wrote Kisa Takesue, director of leadership programs, in an email to The Herald.

The name and quality of Brown’s Leadership Institute made it “a natural partner” for the BerkleeICE summer program, said Panos Panay, founder of BerkleeICE. Brown’s name will broaden the program’s exposure and increase the number of applicants, Panay said. It will also validate the program and promote BerkleeICE’s “outlook and philosophy” of a commitment to social change and leadership, he added.

Panay began the high school summer program in 2014 to “broaden students’ perspective of what’s possible with a music degree,” he said, adding that students often only think of careers in music as being performance-based. This program will “break away” from the stereotype by teaching that the creativity and collaborative skills developed in music are precisely what can enable students to become business leaders and promote societal change, he said.

“Good listening skills, experimenting, overcoming repeated failure, self-discipline, successful collaboration” and having a “unique voice” are essential elements of both successful musicians and entrepreneurs, according to Panay’s personal website.

You have to “think quickly on your feet” in both the music and business worlds, said Nicole d’Avis, operations and events manager of BerkleeICE.

Takesue echoed d’Avis’ sentiments, noting that the program advances Brown’s mission of “cultivating creative entrepreneurship and leadership.” Takesue wrote she hopes that it will “increase students’ motivation to engage in social action.”

Panay was impressed by Brown’s expediency in joining forces with Berklee, noting that the schools launched the program after first meeting in November. Such efficient collaboration would not have been possible at any other Ivy League institution, he said, adding that he hopes to collaborate further with Brown in the future, perhaps on executive education programs or online courses.

Students will partake in workshops and lectures by leading musicians and entrepreneurs. Last year’s guests included Grammy award-winning producer Prince Charles Alexander and Michael Hendrix, a partner at design firm IDEO, the Business Wire reported. During the portion of the program at Brown, workshops will be conducted by Takesue and Robin Rose, senior associate dean of the School of Professional Studies and founder of the Leadership Institute, Takesue wrote.

Students will also collaborate on and present action plans focused on pressing issues in their communities, Takesue wrote. A team in last year’s program designed an art exhibit with the goal of bridging the gap between youths and adults, d’Avis said.

“Society today demands a lot more from us. It’s not just about having skills,” Panay said. It’s about being “broad-minded and creative,” and programs like these will “enable young people to be better prepared for life and for careers,” he said.

Whether or not a student will become a musician, the skill set and mindset gained from creating music are “what is needed in today’s economy and the workforce,” d’Avis said.

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  1. Phil Marsosudiro says:

    Per Wikipedia, Berklee founder Lawrence “…Berk changed the name to Berklee School of Music, after his 12-year-old son Lee Eliot Berk, to reflect the broader scope of instruction.” in 1954.

    Lee Berk would graduate from Brown in ’64, and become president of Berklee in ’79.

  2. With A.B. Computer Science and A.B. Music Brown ’87 I can only say, “I agree completely!”

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