Category Archives: Valencia Campus

Veni. Vidi. Vici.

Carmen WoodruffCarmen Woodruff is a Contemporary Vocal Performance graduate student at Berklee’s Valencia campus. Originally from the Detroit Metropolitan area, Carmen attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. After working for 10 years in the marketing field and some serious soul-searching, she went back to school to complete a second degree in Music at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is now living her dream at Berklee College of Music in Valencia and encourages others to do the same. It’s never too late! Follow Carmen’s musical journey on Facebook or Reverbnation.

“Veni; vidi; vici.” – Julius Caesar

We came; we saw; we conquered. We did it! We made it through our first semester as graduate students at Berklee’s beautiful Valencia campus. We sure are lucky to be a part of this progressive phenomenon where we’re able to create and explore amongst friends we now call our family. As we prepare for Spring semester, I can’t help but to reflect on the past five months we’ve shared.

I think about the study abroad students from the Boston campus who’ve touched our hearts with their infectious energy and talents. One in particular blew me away as she scatted Ella-style while simultaneously playing the drums at Café Mercedes one night. Another student with his wacky hairstyles and witty banter had us all in stitches in keyboarding class every Wednesday. At one point, I started to feel like their mother, instructing them to alert me when they arrived back from a trip to London and worrying about them throughout their weekend journey.

BerkleeBlogPicture1 Continue reading

Bron Don – Valencia Blog #1

Berklee-Valencia-Bron-Don-Study-AbroadBron Don formed in the fall of 2013 at Berklee College of Music. In January 2014, they recorded their first EP entitled “The Vibes Project”, which was released on February 6th, 2014. Now they’ve decided to experience a semester abroad at Berklee’s Valencia campus in Spain.

18:00, Somewhere Over The Atlantic

Believe it or not, this day, January 9th 2015, marks the official one-year anniversary of Bron Don. At this time last year, Mitchell Cardoza and I (Michael Cangemi) arrived at John Cattini’s house in Albany, New York, after completing our 1st semester at Berklee. There we recorded what turned out to be our first EP, “The Vibes Project.” Little did we know that in one year’s time we would be on a flight to Valencia to Study Abroad and play music around Europe.

Shortly after the formation of Bron Don, we heard about the Study Abroad program offered by Berklee. After a quick discussion with our friends, we all decided that it was clearly a no-brainer. Four months abroad, in Valencia, with our band, AND our closest friends? What’s there to debate! So we all applied during our 3rd semester and in the Fall 2014, we found out that we had all been accepted to go abroad. Unfortunately, our good friend and drummer, Cody Flores, had opted to not Study Abroad in order to stay in Boston and pursue his academics and musical career. Drummer-less and with Europe fast approaching, we held auditions and soon after found fellow 3rd semester-er Colin Mohr. With an EP and Album, “De La Cosmos.”, under our belt, we quickly got to rehearsing and gigging with Colin in preparation for our trip abroad.

As John, Mitchell, and I sit here on our flight to Valencia, we can’t help but be excited. In a few hours we will be in Valencia, and be reunited with Colin and the rest of our friends. We have a once-in-a-life-time semester ahead of us, with the opportunity to get learnt in some stimulating classes and travel around Europe spreading the Bron Don vibe and love. Stay tuned for more news about our time abroad!

Peace and love,

Bron Don
~Michael Cangemi
~Mitchell Cardoza
~John Cattini
~Colin Mohr

Music Business Seminar – The Japanese music industry

Berklee Valencia Benny RubinStudents Ryan O’Leary, Danel Illarramendi, and Fernanda Gomez from the global entertainment and music business master’s program reflect upon the ninth of the Music Business Seminars, where they had the chance to learn more about the Japanese music industry with guest speaker Benny Rubin.

Japan has established itself as the world’s second largest music market. Despite its evident power, the Japanese market remains predominantly domestic. A dismal 20% of the music consumed in Japan comes from outside markets. To a foreign musician, the cultural and societal differences of Japan can be intriguing and intimidating. Regardless of these inevitable obstacles, countless musicians continue to take their talent to Japan. The evolution of Japan’s music industry has been punctuated by trends of foreigners gaining success and esteem. Launching a successful career in Japan is far more complicated than simply being popular in your home country or having a unique sound. Instead, there are identifiable patterns and methods that are congruent to surviving in Japan. The three demands that must be met by a foreign trying to infiltrate the Japanese music scene are: pre-existing demand, overspill demand, and satiated demand.

Pre Existing demand: When an artist has a momentum in their home country or some kind of event has escalated their career, Japanese market might have heard of it. This makes the foreign artist create some demand for a market and style that hadn’t existed before.

Spillover demand: Lady Gaga, One Direction, Madonna, Katy Perry…These are A-list artists that have acquired a massive global demand. Their popularity will inevitably spread to
Japan. The spread of their popularity will be intrinsic upon Japan’s rapidly progressive culture of technology.

Satiated demand: Japanese music consumers are constantly exposed to a diverse and eclectic music scene. In Japan, only 20% of the music consumed is foreign. This allows the Western musician to maintain a sense of novelty and mystique in an otherwise domestic market.

Berklee Valencia Benny Rubin2Berklee Valencia Benny Rubin3

Japanese record labels have historically struggled to adhere to a business model that properly creates a demand for new talent. However, this is a music industry that thrives in its ability to expand its popularity of an already popular artist, relying on the early adopters, the trend setters and opening the artist from there.

Japanese record labels have historically struggled to adopt a business model that embraces foreign talent. However, this by no means signifies that there is no hope for foreign artists. Japanese music market thrives in its ability to a musician into a celebrity, and a celebrity into an icon.

All this is due of the nature of Japanese culture as a trend-centric society. The culprit of success is often popularity. Consequently, a substantial amount of music sales are intrinsic upon what is “cool” at the moment. An artist trying to break into the Japanese music scene must adhere to the principles of this trendsetting society. Doing so, the artist can reach listeners that would never have reached without that cultural affiliation.

All of the above discussed, is focused on mainstream artists with record deals. But how do you account for the independent artists trying to make it in Japan? What path does an indie artist need to set forth? The indie artists should direct their attention toward niche markets and sub genres. The demographics and geography of Japan provides hope for the indie artists. Japan is a small country with an extremely dense and urbanized population. These factors mean that an indie artists can garner attention from a large population that easily accessible.

Music Business Seminar – Creative Entrepreneurship Week

Students Michael Deacon & Tre’von Griffith from the global entertainment and music business master’s program reflect upon the eighth of the Music Business Seminars, where they attended the Creative Entrepreneurship Week with guest panelists Panos Panay, Ken Zolot, Thanos Giamas, and Stéphanie Moretti.

Creative Entrepreneurship Week

The first week of December brings lots of things, the Festive season for one; but at Berklee Valencia, this heralded the arrival of Creative Entrepreneurship Week, an impressive weeklong bootcamp to help hone our entrepreneurial skills. This entailed a series of seminars, panel discussions, workshops, and consultations filled with entrepreneurial tips, tricks, and industry insights with attendance from Panos Panay (Founder of Sonicbids and Berklee College of Music’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship), Professor Ken Zolot (Founder of Innovation Teams Initiative and Senior Lecturer on Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and Thanos Giamas (Investor and Music Producer), with a special guest appearance by Stéphanie Moretti (Artistic Director of the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation).

By all accounts a massive week for the Global Entertainment & Music Business program students, this week was invaluable as a culminating experience for the term to bring our studies to a head in time for our major Entrepreneurship presentation next week, Berklee Valencia’s own version of ‘Venture Day’, and our approach to our lives outside of the Berklee Valencia program.

“Nobody cares how
much you know, unless
they know how much
you care.”

Ken Zolot paraphrased
this motto when inspiring us to
look more closely at why we
do what we do and how we
can make it matter to our
consumers or clients in the
User Centered Design seminar.

Empathize. Define. Ideate. Prototype. Test. Repeat. Weaved into arguably the most popular session, these six words would prove to be the centre of an interactive seminar by Ken Zolot entitled User Centered Design. Ken explained how every human had a basic instinct, which has been buried by society. Using this process and the techniques involved would help re-discover those instincts to help people become more self-sufficient. By learning about each other more intricately through a design framework, this seminar would prove to be, after further discussion with the students involved, one of the most valuable, as life and being a businessman or woman is about being able to improvise and adapt to your surroundings, your ideas, your duty to society.

Michael: One of the key things that I took from this weeks’ series of seminars and workshops was the notion of honing in on why we do what we do, and to make sure that what we do and why we do it is prevalent at the core of our thinking. On the face of it, it seems to be a very simple idea and should be commonplace in business thinking, but ultimately something that we tend to forget to focus on.

Tre’von: Many people would wonder why it’s important to teach entrepreneurship at a school such as Berklee; a school that is already filled to the brim with creativity, a key trait of entrepreneurs. Most importantly, being entrepreneurial is not something taught – it’s practiced. Having not only courses in this subject, but weekly sessions like the Creative Entrepreneurship Week, has helped students this semester become more disciplined in their own practices, and enabled them to have an avenue to express ourselves in the world. It has also activated our brains to think and function in a new capacity, especially with the focus of why we do what we do.

After all, it’s not just about making a great business; it’s about the method behind the madness used to execute that great idea. This week has helped me realize that being in the entertainment industry takes a lot more than just skill set alone. We should challenge ourselves in our environment including culture, history and current news. As we are aware of our surroundings as creative beings it allows us to help our innovation tell stories to help change the word. This sentiment was best echoed this past week by Ken Zolbot, “People focus on the next plan so much that they don’t realize what’s in front of them”.

“Being innovative is a
way to tell childhood
stories that impacted
you, to help interact
with the world.”

Panos Panay during
the one-on-one interview
with Ken Zolot of how
important it is to draw on
past experiences to help
you develop.

Some Key Tips For Being An Entrepreneur:

• Be driven (*personal traits are more important than technical ones)
• Be aware — pay attention to your environment.
• Be a good listener
• Develop relationships/network
• Use any and all available resources
• Be willing to adapt

Also, for more information regarding the Design Process, head to and you can download the PDF employed in part
by Ken for User Centred Design entitled ‘Bootcamp Bootleg’.

Music Business Seminar – The Next Big Thing in Music is Not Music At All

Students Alán Hensley and Laura Shand from the global entertainment and music business master’s program reflect upon the seventh of the Music Business Seminars, where they were able to listen to Chris Carey during his talk ‘Big Data’.

Last week we had the distinct pleasure of hosting Chris Carey, an acclaimed economist and insight specialist, for our Global Entertainment and Music Business Seminar to give a lecture on big data analytics. Initially, one may find it odd for a music school to ask an economist to give a lecture on statistics and analytics, but soon into the lecture it becomes easy to discern the useful application for such knowledge. It would be safe to say that most of us Berklee students wouldn’t list math or statistics as our favorite academic areas of study, in fact, the two subjects wouldn’t make most of our top 5 lists. The thought of even doing a regression analysis pushes most of us students to instead devote time honing our musical craft with our instruments or fortifying our techniques in the studio. The rationale is that if we perfect our artistry, statistics and complex math may never have to be part of our career. While a quantitative analysis of music preferences in Europe may not be in the foreseeable future for most Berklee students, Chris Carey quickly opened our eyes as to why we should consider learning about one of the increasingly influential areas of the music industry. Chris’s lecture illustrated that data analytics is a growing sector in the music industry that is rapidly shaping the business environment and how organizations react to the market.

The beginning of the lecture began with Chris divulging his backstory telling us how he graduated from Kent University in 2006 with a degree in Economics. After working in banking for two years he attained the position of Senior Economist at PRS for Music where he analyzed industry trends and applied them to the music industry. In October 2011 he moved to EMI Music where he was the Global Insight Director. Soon after, Universal Music Group bought EMI which retained Chris and all the work he had done. As Global Insight Director he worked alongside the Global Consumer Insight team to deliver partner and country insight. Partner insight is the analysis of how people interact with an organizations music and artists while company insight analyzes the market in the music and technology industry. Boasting a resume that includes his recent feature in Music Week’s 30 under 30 list for 2014, Chris’s credentials quickly captivated the attention of the lecture audience. Despite his impressive background, it was his insight on the use of data and statistics that really opened our eyes to the endless applications data analysis can yield.

Having helped embed the consumer insight team at Universal, Chris left to create his own company, Media Insight Company, where he could have the freedom and control of whatever he wanted to pursue. Media Insight Company is a consulting company used by large and small organizations to address the growing need for data analysis and expertise. Big data can vastly attribute to a company’s growth or regression. Data gives you the ability to make predictions about a company’s future using quantitative and qualitative data gathered from the market. According to Chris, “The funny thing about predicting the future is that you can influence the future.” This statement is very telling of the influence data analysis can have for a company. Information gathered to forecast years ahead of a company’s operations utilizes behavioral data of current and past operations. When companies see their projected routes, they gain the ability to harness this data and reroute the course of their organization through changes of their business operations. Data itself is valuable, but knowing what to do with it is even more important. Many companies already have a lot of the data that they need, but they just don’t know how to use it. This is where Chris’s company comes in to help. Chris believes that big data is beginning to “fill the gaps” of the entertainment industry. For example, if a Spanish music label wants to begin selling their music outside of Spain they can utilize a consulting service, like Media Insight Consulting, to help them analyze the sales breakdown of a country or region. This paints a clear picture of the market state the Spanish label is trying to enter by displaying consumer preferences such as physical album sales compared to digital, or a market’s music consumption trends (whether they own vs. stream records). This then allows for strategic marketing tactics to be put in place by the Spanish label to help attain the best strategy to capture a new market. Ultimately we see how big data can pilot decisions within music business.

Big data analytics is beginning to manifest itself as a main driver of business decisions. Before we had the technology to capture all these metrics and ratios, the industry utilized know-­‐how and narrow KPI’s to fuel their decisions. Now the floodgates have opened and we know more information than ever before about customers in the entertainment industry. With the advent of social media, there has never been more information about consumers and their behaviors. Many companies partner with Facebook (i.e. “Log in using Facebook”) which gives them access to even more personal information. Today this information is often overlooked by many music companies, when in fact it is the most important data they have at their disposal. With the forecast Chris Carey’s lecture conveyed, we learned that big data is going to be the future of the entertainment industry. Many companies are intimidated by the price of harnessing a service like Chris’s company because it looks quite expensive at first as one study can cost up to £70,000. Chris tells us that this can actually be quite affordable, £5,000 per month, when spread over the course of a year.

As the word gets out on the tantalizing usage of data analysis and metric literacy, we can see a future where music company’s devote more resources to employing services like Insight Media Consulting. It is not absurd to imagine a future where companies within the music industry have insight and data analysis as just a prominent aspect of their business as a sales department. Top industry decision makers will be empowered with the best tools to make executive decisions and mobilize the most appropriate strategic actions. This use of data analysis could lead to organizations refining their companies to operate more efficiently and offer better services tailored to the exact needs of consumers. Chris Carey’s lecture showed us the influence harnessing the power of data can have on businesses. While only a handful of companies currently embrace the value of analytics within music, it is just the beginning of a growing data movement soon to influence the whole music industry.