Berklee Abu Dhabi offers open clinics led by world-renowned faculty members and music industry experts. Various music industry subjects will be covered such as: Artistic identity and visual branding, musical identity and signature sound and business development and marketing strategies.
These sessions will be held remotely and are all open to the public.
Multiple session packages are available.
Courtney Harrell has penned songs for Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Kelly Rowland, Mary J. Blige and many more. Her work has been featured in several hit films and television shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Think Like A Man and STAR. As a result, her success has led to a Grammy Award certificate and multiple nominations.
Courtney put her first love of singing and her dreams on hold after life led her down an unexpected path: young motherhood. While focusing on raising her son, she went on to build a successful career as a songwriter, writing tunes for some of today’s biggest stars.
Days after her son’s graduation from high school, Courtney joined the cast of the Emmy Award-winning show The Voice in 2016. Her standout Blind Audition performance of Let It Go was the first time she had sung in public in 15 years. It was then that her story and incredible voice captured the hearts of America, landing her a coveted position in the Top 10 and later as a coach on FOX Network’s #1 trending show, The Four: Battle For Stardom.
However, it was her occupation as a mother and as a music teacher for Boston Public Schools in which she found the purpose for her life's work.
Using humour and vulnerability, Courtney shares her journey from welfare to wealth, empowering her audience with truth, strength and the courage to live fully in the face of fear and uncertainty.
Dolly Makhoul is the Regional Manager for the Middle East and North Africa at Believe, leading digital distribution and Artist Services activities.
She has Masters degrees in ecology, immunology and entomology, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and History of Religions. Dolly integrated the Industry of Cultural Products in 2004.
Dolly managed the main branch of Virgin Megastores in Beirut, Lebanon, where she worked for four years, followed by six years in a 360° Music company, developing experience and skills in artist management, production, live events and branding.
In 2014, she moved to Paris and joined Believe to develop the company’s distribution business and services in the Middle East and North Africa.
Gael Hedding is a Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning engineer, music producer and entrepreneur. He is the Director of Berklee Abu Dhabi and is a former faculty member at Berklee's campus in Valencia, Spain, where he lectured and developed curriculum on the subjects of music production, sound recording techniques, mixing and live sound, at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Gael has also given masterclasses throughout Latin America at colleges like Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Tecnológico de Monterrey and Universidad La Salle.
He has worked on more than 50 albums and more than 500 live shows around the world, for artists such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, Mexican mariachi singers Aida Cuevas and Pepe Aguilar, jazz legends John McLaughlin and the Caribbean Jazz Project. Some of his corporate clients include Samsung, BBC, McDonalds, Universal Music and Warner.
Gael created the Sandia Sound Studio and Sandia Live ventures in Cancun, Mexico, devoted to music production in the studio and onstage. He is also a founding member and has served as Secretary of the CPI (Circle of Producers and Engineers) at the Latin Recording Academy, and actively serves as an adviser of foundations in Mexico and India devoted to the improvement of culture and the music industry.
Habib Achour started his career at EMI in the early 1990s, promoting labels such as Blue Note Records and Emi Arabia. Later, in his capacity as manager or booking agent, he represented artists such as Erik Truffaz, Anouar Brahem and Dhafer Youssef. He also has experience managing and/or programming festivals in Morocco, Lebanon and France (among them the Festival d´Île-de-France in Paris).
Following on from Marseille-Provence’s tenure as European Capital of Culture in 2013, for which Habib was responsible for music and urban culture, he joined the New Morning nightclub in Paris as Deputy Director. Today, he is Head of International Development for Africa and the Middle East at SACEM (Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music).
Lamont L. Leak is a music industry consultant, television producer and event curator. In his most recent position as Casting Producer for the Emmy Award-winning television show NBC’s The Voice, Lamont has been instrumental in discovering new talent for the past three seasons. He has also worked in the independent music sector for more than a decade, through a series of entrepreneurial ventures. Lamont is also the founder of ‘TheLivePlaylist’, an indie concert platform which has grown to provide performance opportunities for more than 100 artists across the United States of America each year. Lamont received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Tennessee State University in 2010 and a Master’s degree in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University in 2016.
Lucia Kaminsky is a digital marketing specialist born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Industry and worked as a Live Production Coordinator for Walt Disney Entertainment in São Paulo, Brazil. She credits her fluency in Spanish and proficiency in Portuguese as reasons why she received these early opportunities. She joined the staff at the Memphis Chapter of The Recording Academy (GRAMMYs) and remained there for six years. Starting out as the Assistant to the Executive Director and ultimately becoming the Senior Project Coordinator, Lucia focused on event production, membership outreach and digital content production for the GRAMMY sites. She then moved to Nashville where she managed Strategic Partnerships at Warner Music, working on brand partnerships for artists like Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge and Ashley Monroe. She joined Borman Entertainment as the Director of Digital and managed streaming partnerships for the roster, which included Keith Urban, Alison Krauss and others. Within a year she had worked her way to Head of Digital, overseeing the digital/web strategy plus international distribution.
Lucia now oversees the digital department at Sandbox Entertainment; a deparment that she was tasked with restructuring. Having noticed that, in most cases, design lives independently but is a crucial element of digital marketing, she aimed to hire for that role specifically within her department. She then hired a social media and platform manager to complete the team. Her main focus is to strategize programmes with DSP and social media partners such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon, Google, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Her primary focus is to optimize digital strategy, fan engagement and content. Her team manages social media, UX (user experience), streaming platforms and creative design for the roster. Sandbox artists include Kacey Musgraves, Dan + Shay, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini and Faith Hill, among others.
FUN FACT: What do Eminem and Celine Dion have in common? They both recorded songs written by Michael Jay.
Michael has more than 30 years’ experience in the music business, which includes a background in radio, promotion, marketing and A&R. He also has in-studio experience as a creative talent, with hit credits as a songwriter, lyricist, record producer and musician. His songs have sold more than 75 million records worldwide.
Michael entered the music business as an A&R executive at Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records in Chicago. After moving to Los Angeles he was signed as a songwriter to Famous Music, the music division of Paramount Pictures, where he instantly landed a song on the multi-platinum Top Gun movie soundtrack.
In the 1980s, Michael discovered, developed and shopped a record deal for Martika from the Disney Channel’s Kids Incorporated TV show. He co-wrote and produced Martika’s million-selling debut album which included the worldwide #1 hit Toy Soldiers. Years later, rap superstar Eminem recorded a new version of Toy Soldiers and it became a hit all over again.
In the 1990s, Michael wrote the song Declaration Of Love which Celine Dion recorded for her Grammy Award-winning ‘Album Of The Year’ Falling Into You.
Panos A. Panay (Bachelor of Music, 1994), is the Senior Vice President for Global Strategy and Innovation at Berklee College of Music and leads strategic initiatives. He is the founder of the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE). He also spearheaded the founding of the Open Music Initiative, which brings together more than 300 music, media and technology industry organisations, and academic institutions focused on streamlining metadata and payment tracking for artists.
Panos leads Berklee’s global strategy to create an interconnected ecosystem of campuses, centres and partnerships around the world that foster and inspire new artistic expressions, idioms and ideas, through leading pedagogy; development of cross-cultural fluency and creative capacity; and seamless integration of technology and online learning.
Prior to Berklee, he was the founder and CEO of Sonicbids, creating the leading online platform to match bands with music promoters, resulting in more than one million new artist shows around the globe, over a 13-year time span.
Richard Furch is at a sweet spot in his career as a mix engineer. After graduating from Berklee College of Music and the SAE Berlin, starting out in New York, he was part of some of the seminal albums of the 2000s such as Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, and Usher’s Confessions, as well as hits such as the Fountains Of Wayne’s Stacy’s Mom.
Moving to Los Angeles led to him working with all-time music greats such as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. He was then tapped by the legendary Prince as the mixer and engineer for his chart-topping Lotusflower/MPL Sound albums. Richard has amassed credits on six Grammy Award-winning albums, from 23 nominated albums.
With more than 25 million records sold, including two diamond-selling projects, one billion YouTube views and more than 350 album credits to his name, he continues to craft profoundly emotional mixes with exceptional sonics for the likes of Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, Tyrese, BJ The Chicago Kid, Tobi Lou, Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg, The Game, Leela James, India.Arie, TGT, Boyz II Men, The Weeknd, Ledisi, K Michelle, Chaka Khan, JJ Lin, GEM, Tanya Chua and many more.
Growing up on SSL consoles and having learnt from legendary mixers such as Michael Brauer, Chris Lord-Alge and Tchad Blake, Richard obtained an in-depth knowledge and appreciation of analog and digital mixing techniques, an arsenal of vintage and modern gear and, finally, his own no-holds barred mixHaus studios in Los Angeles.
He continues to advance engineering knowledge and to give back to the next generation, with masterclasses at Berklee, the SAE in Cologne and Berlin, the Contemporary Music Academy in Beijing and in online videos.
Rob Lewis is a music arranger, composer, record producer, musical director, film composer, musician and entrepreneur. In his 25 years in the music industry, Rob has worked on several Grammy Award-winning singles and albums, and his production, songs and arrangements have been featured on #1 albums, gold and platinum albums, films, live productions and television shows.
Rob is one of the premier names in the music industry for musical direction. He remains the musical director for global powerhouse superstar Christina Aguilera (for the past 18 years), and served as the longtime arranger and musical director for New Kids On The Block (for 10 years) and Toni Braxton (14 yrs). He has also produced music content and toured with the global artists Backstreet Boys, TLC, Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees. He has sustained a career as a musical director for more than two decades, working with pop stars Fifth Harmony, The Pussycat Dolls, Leona Lewis and Jessica Simpson, as well as R&B stars Brian McKnight, Eric Benét, Deborah Cox and Fantasia, as well as the legends Patti LaBelle and Babyface.
Rob is also a co-writer of Anderson Paak's first single Tints, featuring Kendrick Lamar, from his album Oxnard, produced by Om'Mas Keith and Dr Dre. Most recently, he was the music supervisor and principal arranger for Christina Aguilera's Vegas residency show The Xperience, which debuted in May 2019. Most recently in January 2020, Rob was an on-air personality and music director for the new Nickelodeon music competition show America's Most Musical Family and worked with the contestants to enhance their weekly performances as they advanced in the competition.
Professor Tonya Butler, J.D., LL.M. is Chair of Music Business/Management at Berklee College of Music. She is the first woman and the first person of colour to lead the department in its 30-year history.
A seasoned veteran of the music industry, Prof. Butler has more than 14 years of expertise as an entertainment attorney and record label executive, as well as 16 years’ experience running music business programmes and teaching classes in entertainment law. She has a Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law and a Master of Laws degree in Entertainment and Media from Southwestern University School of Law, with an international component from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, England.
Prof. Butler is an award-winning motivational speaker, Toastmaster and author of the self-published career guide, The Music Business is Corrupt or Maybe You Just Can’t Sing?, a book about how to take responsibility for your struggling career. She also hosts a bi-weekly podcast called the B.O.M.B. (Business of Music Bootcamp) Podcast, which highlights the business and legal aspects of the music industry, using high-profile cases and celebrity disputes.
|BRIAN DUBB||Develop Your Own Narrative: What is Your Story?||Sunday 11 April at 6 PM|
|LAMONT LEAK||Develop Your Visual Brand: How Do You Stand Out?||Wednesday 14 April at 6 PM|
|MICHAEL JAY||Turning Your Feelings into Songs||Sunday 18 April at 7 PM|
|ROB LEWIS||Building Blocks: Recognising the Art in Producing||Tuesday 20 April at 6 PM|
|HABIB ACHOUR||Protect Your Rights and Maximize Your Publishing Revenue||Sunday 25 April at 6 PM|
|PANOS PANAY||Creative Entrepreneurship in Today's Music Industry||Tuesday 27 April at 6 PM|
|LUCIA KAMINSKY||Connection Through Innovation: How to Tackle the Digital Ecosystem||Thursday 29 April at 6 PM|
|TONYA BUTLER||Music Business: How Not to Get Scammed — the Challenges of Networking in the Age of Covid||Thursday 6 May at 6 PM|
|COURTNEY HARRELL||Rehearsal Techniques and Stage Performance Skills||Saturday 22 May at 6 PM|
|DOLLY MAKHOUL||Digital Music Distribution||Tuesday 25 May at 6 PM|
|GAEL HEDDING||Recording Tips and Tools||Thursday 3 June at 6 PM|
|RICHARD FURCH||A Remote Connection: Mixing Internationally in the 21st Century||Thursday 10 June at 6 PM|
Sunday 11 April at 6 PM
Finding one’s artistic voice and identity and the practice of good management are essential to an artist’s success, however they define success. During this session, we will break down the process to find and develop one’s artistic voice and identity, as well as discuss the concept of what ‘good management’ is, from the point of view of the artist.
Wednesday 14 April at 6 PM
This course will give the artist an overview of brand identity and artist storytelling. Artists will be equipped with the fundamental elements necessary to build their prospective brands. The course will cover a wide variety of topics from understanding the psychology of consumers to creating a winning brand image. Artists will leave this course with a clear and concise brand statement and execution plan for their projects.
Sunday 18 April at 7 PM
Through studying the structure of hit songs, this session will help you indulge in practices geared towards helping you to sharpen your songwriting skills. Elements will involve going over tips and tools to help better shape your songs in terms of dynamics, texture, hooks and form, which will help you get to professional-sounding songs ready for commercial success.
Tuesday 20 April at 6 PM
An overview of a variety of techniques and tools to be used in music production, from conception to end result, gaining relevant takeaways to be applied to the production of music in any genre.
Sunday 25 April at 6 PM
Author’s rights are considered to be the most mysterious and arid/tricky part of the music business.
Knowing better the role that publishing plays in the global music ecosystem is definitely a key-element in developing an artistic career.
This session will allow attendees to get a better understanding of the publishing world. More specifically, this course will allow the students to gain a precise overview on the following subjects:
Tuesday 27 April at 6 PM
Learn how to think like an entrepreneur and leverage your creativity for business innovation. This session will help you to develop the mindset and to receive knowledge and the insights required to pursue an entrepreneurial track, whether as the steward of your own career or as the founder of a new business in any creative field.
Elements will involve:
Thursday 29 April at 6 PM
Today’s artists must be both creators and entrepreneurs, influencers and digital marketers. Their job begins with a song and ends with a marketing plan. Every single aspect of an artist’s career is distributed through the digital space and the artist’s voice is a crucial component to finding their audience.
Learn how to plan and support your release by creating and executing an integrated marketing campaign. Explore the tools and emerging technologies that artists can use to generate interest in their music, and to acquire new fans, as well as how to distribute their music online.
This course will provide a bird’s eye view of the ever-changing digital landscape, with the goal of helping you to create a cohesive presence across digital platforms. We will discuss optimising your social media channels, applying streaming strategies, intentional content creation, plus data acquisition and analytics. You will ultimately understand how all these components play an important part in building and maintaining your core fan base.
Thursday 6 May at 6 PM
During this age of Covid-19, there are thousands of people desperately in search of new ways to make a living with their music. Most of those ways involve legitimate practices that generate legal sources of income, while others rely upon taking advantage of those hit hardest by the pandemic — the musicians. In this session, Professor Tonya Butler will outline what to look for and how to identify a deceitful person or a fraudulent scheme, as well as how better networking can help to protect your rights and your music.
By the end of this session students will be able to:
Saturday 22 May at 6 PM
This course develops performance skills and is specifically directed at the self-accompanying singer/songwriter and small instrumental combinations. The course is designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for effective performance presentation: movement, microphone technique, stage dress, in-depth examination of causes and controls of stage fright, rhythm development and internalisation, and professional attitude. They explore the concept that good performances involves not only excellent musicianship but also a high level of stage presence and audience interaction. Students explore the different kinds of stage performance techniques that are appropriate in different settings.
The course is recommended for vocalists and instrumentalists focused on music performance live or in the recording studio, or who are interested in developing on-stage performance presentation skills.
This clinic will allow you to:
Tuesday 25 May at 6 PM
Explore how music is made available to listeners all over the world, who the stakeholders are in the digital distribution circuits and what their various roles are. Understand the types of distribution contracts offered in the market, their business models and their services.
Digital streaming platforms are evolving quickly, and each offers a particular user-experience. Learn about their models, how they monetise and how artists and rights-owners are paid accordingly.
Learn what a successful release plan consists of and why data is as valuable as royalties for an artist seeking to develop their career.
This clinic will allow you to:
Thursday 3 June at 6 PM
In this clinic students will learn what goes into creating professional sounding multitrack recordings. From selecting microphones and appropriate placement techniques all the way to studio etiquette and effective recording session planning.
Thursday 10 June at 6 PM
In this clinic students will learn how the sound engineering business has changed with the advancement of technology. There will also be a discussion and analysis of the mixing techniques of international hit songs.
Study many popular disciplines of contemporary music, theatre and dance, with workshops and masterclasses led by world-renowned artists and instructors.SEE ALL PROGRAMMES
The PErformance ARtistry and Leadership certificate programme is a competitive, project-based, experiential learning artist accelerator that will arm selected participants with powerful tools and strategies in songwriting, production, marketing and entrepreneurship.