OUR HISTORY AND OUR PHILOSOPHY
Our History & Philosophy
I completed my 40-year career at Berklee College of Music in the summer of 2010. First a faculty member, teaching harmony, ear training, and other core Berklee classes, I became Director of Admissions for over two decades. Later named Assistant Dean of Students, I finished my career at Berklee as a Vice President leading all admissions, financial aid, scholarships, and student employment efforts.
At that juncture, I hadn’t planned on consulting, but families were seeking advice about finding the right music institution for their college-bound kids. The demand grew, and word quickly got out about what I was providing. It became apparent that students and families benefited greatly from my services. So I established IMS, an independent collegiate consulting business, with unmatched expertise and diverse music professional network access.
Unlike many other advisors and even colleges, my time and orientation at Berklee taught me to be open-minded, nonjudgmental, and pivot with the times. Students today are far more technologically savvy than before, so my knowledge and advice must take that into consideration. Performers want to be producers; producers want to be songwriters, that want to do it all. Even classically-minded young musicians, as well as musical theater students are listening to every genre of music imaginable: hip hop, house, ambient, breakbeat, dub, edm, electro/electroacoustic, the permutations go on and on.
Classical players admire new young performers with a modern presence like violinist Ray Chen, trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth, and violinist Nicola Benedetti, while musical theater kids are hooked on Lin-Manuel Miranda. Film composers such as Howard Shore, Hans Zimmer, and Alan Silvestri have become household names and composing for video games has become a major part of the music industry. You can’t be stuck in the past while at the same time honoring music’s history and heritage.
Four Areas of Musical Study...
At first, I focused on students interested in contemporary music schools because that was Berklee’s focus during my tenure, and my natural area of expertise. I knew all of the other schools across the country, and internationally, with contemporary music programs, and the points of differentiation, strengths and shortcomings of each. Within a short amount of time, students interested in other performing arts disciplines began coming to me for advice. I found there are a lot of young people aiming to pursue a career in musical theater, and in consultation with my professional network, I identified the key criteria college programs in that arena look for in successful candidates for admission. Today,
Inside Music Schools helps students interested in four main areas of study:
- Classical music (instrumental, vocal, composing)
- Contemporary music (performance, composing/songwriting, & more)
- Musical theater
- Music production and engineering
Since the launch of my music consulting business, I’ve worked with over 150 students and their families. The success rate at Inside Music Schools is remarkably high: around 90% of the students I work with are accepted into their 1st or 2nd choice conservatory, college, or university.