Student Joey Guglielmo, a music business major and guitarist, accompanied Berklee’s admissions team to Kenya this month. But he wasn’t just along for the ride—he’s a representative of his family’s foundation March to the Top, which supports education, conservation, and health care in Africa. He shares his impressions:
Day 1: Brookhouse School
Today we spoke about the different teaching methods and introductions to certain courses which are offered at Berklee and we asked what the faculty from the other schools were looking to get from the meeting. They spoke about the shortage of technology and how it limits their students.
Ideas involving music and technology included:
– Cell phone use is a big part of Kenya–possibly make software easily accessible on a phone to create music.
– Making equipment (computers, music software) inexpensive to make it accessible for the Kenyan music community.
Day 2: Auditions Begin
The students are all just as nervous as we all are back home and looking for reassurance. They are all very interested in what being a student at Berklee is like and what they need to know. It’s been hard to turn people down because of lack of space but we had a large excess amount of walk-ins this year and many cancellations for people who actually registered online.
Students are also very interested in what the music industry is like in America… “Is it hard to make it there?”… They all explain how small the music industry is here in Kenya and how it is growing day by day. They say the music scene is very hip-hop and Kapuka “booty-shaking music” based. And for “the elite” as they put it, jazz and Afro-fusion is very popular. As for the rock scene it is slowly growing and more of a fad right now for the Kenyan community.