Berklee College of Music can trace its roots back to 1945 when pianist and composer Lawrence Berk established Schillinger House in Boston's Back Bay - advocating the Schillinger System of music theory and composition. In 1954, the organization changed its name to the Berklee School of Music. During a time when other conservative music schools refused, Berklee recognized popular forms of music like jazz and rock and roll. By 1970, the school finally settled on its current name as the Berklee College of Music, presenting its first honorary degree to Duke Ellington a year later. Today, Berklee is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world.
According to its stated mission, Berklee exists "to educate, train and develop students to excel in music as a career. Developing of musicianship of all our students is the foundation of our curriculum. We believe that the lessons and qualities derived from the work - the self-discipline needed for excellence, the empathy required of music making and the openness and inquisitiveness essential to creativity - are critical to achievement in any pursuit, musical or otherwise; and that music is a powerful catalyst for personal growth, which is central to any collegiate experience."
Those living in student housing or an off campus apartment at Berklee have access to the school's unique academic programs and fields of study. Students may pursue undergraduate degrees through the Department of Professional Education, the Department of Professional Performance and the Department of Professional Writing and Music Technology Division.
Student living and university living revolve around a variety of traditional campus student programs and organizations. Students may also enjoy visiting Boston landmarks such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Fenway Park, TD Garden, Boston Common, Charles River and Quincy Market.
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