Network Lunch at NAMM!

Hello from NAMM!  NAMM is a trade show that stands for National Association of Music Merchants. Every year it is held in Anaheim, California at the Convention Center with upwards of 100,000 people in attendance. For the past three years, Berklee City Music staff have attended in order to meet with industry partners that can help benefit our City Music Network Members and School Districts.


Every year that we have gone to NAMM, City Music has hosted an annual lunch for Network Members. This year, five members where represented: Phoenix Conservatory of Music, A Placed Called Home, RYTMO, The Roots of Music and Notes for Notes.

The lunch is always a great opportunity for everyone to connect and give updates on new projects and initiatives they are working on.  It is also a place to start collaboration, as many conversations at the lunch, much like at the Berklee City Music Summit, have lead to cross member projects.

L to R: Joey Arreguin (RYTMO), Lee Whitmore (Berklee City Music), Regina Nixon (Phoenix Conservatory of Music), Charyn Harris (A Place Called Home), Raymond Jacobs (Notes for Notes), Alex Kies (Notes for Notes), Clint Valladares (Berklee India Exchange), Arin Canbolat (Berklee City Music), John Bigus (Berklee PULSE), Morgan Steward (The Roots of Music), Mike Anderson (RYTMO) and Angela Han (Berklee City Music)

At this year’s lunch we received updates from our Vice President for Education Outreach, Lee Whitmore, on the Grammy Music Education Coalition, The Boston Conservatory and Berklee merger and news on our online music resources, the Berklee PULSE Music Method, that is now open to the public and will be translated into Spanish in the coming year.

We also heard from each Member on news from their organization.

  • Phoenix Conservatory recently moved locations to a larger facility that will better accommodate their growing student population and program offerings.
  • RYTMO recently launched a new partnership with Learn 4 Life charter school in Anaheim where they are teaching course levels 1 and 2 and will soon be implementing levels 3 and 4.
  • The night before A Placed Called Home and Charyn Harris were honored with the She Rocks Motivator Award from the Women’s International Music Network. Charyn is the conductor of the Music Program at APCH.
  • Note for Notes has recently opened three new studios with their partners at Boys and Girls Clubs in Cleveland, Memphis and New Orleans and plan to open another five new locations in 2017.
  • The Roots of Music is also looking at expanding their program with moving into a new location and creating an arts campus in New Orleans with other partners, including another Network member in New Orleans, Tipitina’s Foundation.

And what lunch would be complete without a traditional selfie?  Check out our Instagram to see it.

L to R: Charyn Harris (A Place Called Home), Sandy Jordan (Casio), Angela Han (Berklee City Music), Regina Nixon (Phoenix Conservatory of Music), Joey Arreguin (RYTMO), Stephen Schmidt (Casio), Arin Canbolat (Berklee City Music), Clint Valladares (Berklee India Exchange), Morgan Stewart (The Roots of Music), Lee Whitmore (Berklee City Music), and Bev Tryon (Berklee College of Music)

After lunch we headed from the Marriott to the Convention Center to say hello and thank you to our friends and partners at Casio. The Casio Musical Instruments Division has been a fantastic partner over the past two years, donating more than 150 keyboards to Network Members, including those who attended the lunch.

If you plan to attend NAMM next year in 2018, please make sure we know so we can see you at the lunch and connect!


Sarah McLachlan School of Music Joins the Berklee City Music Network


On August 15, 2013 Sarah McLachlan School of Music became Berklee City Music’s first international member organization.

Based in Vancouver, British Colombia, the organization has a vision to “encourage students to develop a lifelong love the the arts and a greater sense of themselves.” Through music education, they work to inspire “Confidence, Connection, Creativity Collaboration, and Community.”

Sarah Mclachlan School of Music serves at-risk youth in Vancouver at no cost. Students in 4th-12th grade are offered high quality instruction in contemporary and classical forms of guitar, piano, percussion, voice, choir, songwriting, ensemble, music and video production, DJing, beatboxing, and electronic music.

Berklee City Music Network Site Explores a New Side of Professional Development

Eagle Rock

When the American Honda Motor Company decided they wanted to explore a new kind of corporate philanthropy in 1980s, education reform was at the forefront of the discussion.  “After talking with folks in big cities and small towns all over the country, the challenged state of public education came back as a resounding cry for help, “ explains Dan Condon, Associate Director of Professional Development at Eagle Rock School.

The early idea around Eagle Rock was teaching professional development. After that came an idea for having learning laboratories in high schools to serve as channels towards education reform, renewal, and reinvention.  We are both a professional development center and a high school, that’s how we partner with Berklee City Music Network,” explains Condon.  “We have kids from all over the spectrum with three main things in common: They want to finish high school, they want a diploma, and because we are fully funded by Honda, we are interested in serving young people whose families do not have monetary resources.”

The Professional Development Center at Eagle Rock provides  an array of tours, visits, fellowships, and residencies through their Professional Development program, but their main focus is working with external schools and organizations. “Much of our high leverage work is focusing on consulting and staff development work in schools, “ says Condon.

But Eagle Rock has a unique approach to their work. Condon emphasizes, “Our vision to our approach to consulting is different than other professional development models. We don’t use an expert model. We aren’t interested in going into a school and telling them all of the things they are doing wrong and coming up with a list of solutions for them. We don’t think that is sustainable.”

Music Students at Eagle Rock School Rehearsing

Condon says the approach is focused around specific steps. “The first step we take is to listen to the aspirations of the school. Then we immerse ourselves in the school and look at all of their assets, the things they are doing well. Even in schools that think nothing is going well, we are able to go in there and root out some things that are working.”

After the initial “aspirations and observations”, the Eagle Rock team engages students and staff on the ground to move toward their aspirations. “We do that a few times throughout the year, “ says Condon. After that, there are video conferences and leadership coaching over the phone. For whatever group they are working with, they do a post visit survey asking a few questions to see how well the process went.

“ The studies around professional development are showing that there are a certain amount of hours over multiple years that are necessary for sustainability plans to kick in. Our interest is in allowing groups to crowd source their solutions so that Eagle Rock can step out. It’s not a ‘blow in, blow hard, and blow out approach.’ We are very interested in sustainability, “ explains Condon.

So what are Eagle Rock’s plans for the future?

Condon is optimistic:

“We are pretty excited. We are in our 20th year of operation. About ten years ago we were able to increase capacity in terms of staff. We are currently in exciting talks for our professional development center where more resources are going to be allocated to increase our capacity to serve other schools around the country.”

How can the Berklee City Music Network support Eagle Rock’s initiatives?

“Currently we only have two full-time consultants who go out and consult with schools around the country. Throughout this past year we have been trying to figure out how to increase our staff capacity. We have brought school leaders and instructors into the mix. Ike Leslie is one of those folks. We know his ties to PULSE and the City Music Network. He has come on the road with us and has been instrumental in delivering a professional development school reform mission related to us. If there are schools in the Berklee Network that resonate with our mission about urban, high school reform and renewal, we would love for them to reach out to us. In addition to traveling on the ground level, we also have a professional development center here on site. We can host folks at a cheap rate. We don’t charge anything for our services. We only charge $30 per day for meals and lodging. So that’s an open invitation.”