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Musicians Institute vs. Berklee vs. ACM

metalMommetalMom 10 replies2 threads New Member
edited January 2011 in Music Major
My son plays electric guitar and wants to be a performer - he cannot sing though. We are considering Musicians Institute in LA and Berklee in Boston as well as an overseas location in London - Academy of Contemporary Music.

In particular I am looking for information on how much real contact these colleges have with the real music industry and how many placements do they handle and help with after graduation.

Does anyway have feedback about these 3 places ? I am preferably looking for someone who is attending or has already attended any of these colleges.

My son is finishing High School right now in Bangalore, India - he is applying for admission to Fall 2011 classes - the International Baccalaureate which includes IB Higher Level Music. He is also pursuing the Rock School exams conducted by Trinity of London and plans to take Grade 8 next year.

edited January 2011
12 replies
Post edited by metalMom on
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Replies to: Musicians Institute vs. Berklee vs. ACM

  • SnowflakeVTSnowflakeVT 2458 replies36 threads Senior Member
    If your son wants to start in Fall, 2011, then you should know that that deadline for Berklee is Jan. 15. Auditions are set up after you apply, and would be from now until March. My daughter is starting at Berklee in January as a transfer student. I don't know much about the other two schools you mention, but I understand that MI is a for-profit school.
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  • metalMommetalMom 10 replies2 threads New Member
    Is for profit a problem ? My son attended the Berklee summer program - my only concern is the lack of music industry in and around Berklee.
    The tuition at both colleges is about the same.
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  • mauraquinnmauraquinn 106 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I don't know too much about music majors, but one of my friends chose Boston Conservatory over Berklee because he thought there was a better opportunity for a career after BoCo. He said they had better connections. He was also going into classical/orchestral music though, so Berklee might be better for contemporary.
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  • jazzshreddermomjazzshreddermom 1318 replies42 threads Senior Member
    There is no rock or popular music at BoCo period (they don't even have a jazz program, for that matter).

    For profit basically means it's a trade school - they accept pretty much anyone at any level, even beginners. Berklee is a far more "legit" conservatory than MI. My son is a rock and jazz guitarist who gigs in LA (he also attends USC Thornton), and he would say that Berklee has a far better reputation even here in MI's backyard. We are also family friends with a well known music producer who would definitely agree with that assessment: Berklee has "fingers" in LA.

    Others can verbalize it better, but I would also say that there's not much traditional job "placement" at any music school, particularly in the rock world. Music performance jobs are based on connections and auditions, and in this day and age, every musician must foster, build and promote his/her own career.
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  • 18karat18karat 219 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Berklee is by far much better than MI. 80% of berklee alumni are in the music industry ad have won like 170 grammy's or something crazy. although going to a great school like berklee isn't going to just get you a job it sure helps./ boston is a great city for music especially because it's so close to a lot of major cities. a lot of people think LA is the be all end all for entertainment but it's definitely not.
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  • jazzshreddermomjazzshreddermom 1318 replies42 threads Senior Member
    18karat, Berklee is certainly a great school for the right person, but seriously, where did you get your figures (the 80 percent number)?
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  • 18karat18karat 219 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I had my Berklee audition today and they had a lot of info/booklets etc. etc. and had all sorts of facts including that one.
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  • jazzshreddermomjazzshreddermom 1318 replies42 threads Senior Member
    Yes, we gathered all those same booklets last year, and while Berklee grads (and dropouts) have indeed won countless grammies, nowhere do I remember anything saying that 80% of all Berklee's graduates are working in the music business. That would be quite an amazing feat for the school's grads, not too mention its data-collecting department!
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  • musicamusicamusicamusica 6388 replies80 threads Senior Member
    That 80% figure is something that Berklee tosses around. How they come up with that stat
    is a mystery.
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  • drivingthebusdrivingthebus 4 replies0 threads New Member
    My son did a summer course there this past summer. He loved the instructors and learned a lot in a short amount of time.

    That being said, my son will not be applying there simply because it is in the heart of Hollywood with no dorms, etc. My son isn't old enough, street smart enough, to be in that environment on his own.
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  • loves2singloves2sing 13 replies2 threads New Member
    I just read your post from a few weeks ago and am wondering if you found out much on ACM. My daughter was accepted to Berklee, but is looking at ACM also. I recently spoke with University of Surrey and they said ACM is well-known in England, but Berklee is known world-wide. I also am not sure what their 2 year degree would be equivalent to in the U.S. The tuition was reasonable, which was a plus. None of these schools is very academic. I think your son was it? would be way ahead with grade 8 theory. Most U.S. students may be around grade 5 with AP theory in high school.
    Thanks for your help!
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  • metalMommetalMom 10 replies2 threads New Member
    My husband visited ACM and MI both recently. He says ACM is a newer updated version of MI but smaller - the equipment and facilities are much more updated but yes MI is bigger and may have more connections with the Hollywood industry. ACM also has regular gigs organized and many visiting musicians.

    That said, the heart of rock music is definitely London and there is some serious music industry there as well - what we like best about Guildford which is just about 30 mins from London is that it is an upscale very safe neighborhood - none of the music colleges have dorms so its best to choose a relatively safer area to live in - I think the safety choices are Guildford, UK as the safest and then followed by Boston and then LA.

    And yes the fees is much more reasonable at 8000 British Pounds which is equal to about US$12,000 per year - + they give you an option for an Accelerated 2 year BMus Degree.
    I am not sure how much degrees matter in the music industry - I have similar reservations about MI (Heart of hollywood, lots of distractions and generally LA being a lot unsafer than Boston).
    So my thought was to do 2 years at ACM get your degree and then do specializations in MI or Berklee -both colleges offer shorter term courses too. I have no idea how these courses would transfer to the USA, if, for example someone wanted to pursue a Masters Degree.

    I have heard a lot about MI having access to visiting artists etc. which is why I wanted more feedback - MI seems to have changed a bit in that the admission requirements have become more stringent for the Bachelors programs requiring SAT scores -my son is currently applying to all 3 places. Boston is basically a college town with cultural activities but not much by way of the rock industry I think - recently Steve Vai has joined the faculty which I can tell you is having a definite impact on my son's recent leaning toward Berklee again !!!

    He also attended the 5 week summer Performance course at Berklee and scored all A's. It is really a tough decision I think.
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