October 29 - 31

Registration Deadline October 22



Register by September 28 to receive the early bird rate

Early Bird Registration for Network Members, Berklee Alumni and Memphis/Shelby Educators: $150, or $75 per day

Early Bird Registration for Non-Members: $300, or $125 per day

Regular Registration for Members: $200
Regular Registration for Non-Members: $350, or $175 per day

The Berklee City Music Network in partnership with Stax Music Academy is proud to announce our second annual network conference.


The BCMN Conference will give you the opportunity to explore themes directly related to your work in providing access to a quality and diverse music education for your students, as well as to deepen your understanding of how to make the most of your relationship with the Berklee City Music Network. Additionally, the conference will cover topics directly related to your mission of creating access to a state of the art music education for students in undeserved communities across the country. The conference will highlight expert speakers in the field of music education.

Conference at a Glance


PULSE Pre-Conference Training - October 27 - 28  header

Berklee City Music Network members currently utilizing the PULSE curriculum are invited to participate in the PULSE regional pilot training. (Please contact our office for stipend information).

Two-day Institute: Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Meals provided. 



  • Music and Teaching for Social Change - Panel Discussion
  • Keynote Speaker - Al Bell
  • Educator Track - Techniques for Teaching Artists - Classroom Management and Methodology
  • Administrator Track - Preparing the "Whole Student" for a College Bound Journey
  • Bridging the Technology Divide
  • Performance and Masterclass with George Clinton 


  • Community Building and Support - Panel Discussion
  • Keynote Speaker - David Wish
  • Educator Track - Exploring Student Experiences and Values
  • Administrator Track - Networking, Social Media, PR Markets, Leveraging Berklee's Brand, and Blogging
  • Educator Track - Adaptive Learning Enviroments
  • Administrator Track - Project Management, Action Plans, Prioritizing and Timelines - Part 1
  • Recording Studio Masterclass 


  • The Urban Educator - Panel Discussion
  • Educator Track - Teaching in Urban Settings
  • Administrator Track - Project Management, Action Plans, Prioritizing and Timelines - Part 2
  • Educator Track - Assessment and Evaluation
  • Administrator Track - Volunteer Database and Fundraising


Conference Highlights



George Clinton (Dr. Funkenstein), Intergalactic Master of Outer Space Funk

George Clinton is an American musician, songwriter, bandleader, and music producer. He and his band, Parliament-Funkadelic explored and invented new sounds through funk during the 1970s and early 1980s. He has been cited as one of the foremost innovators of funk music.  Clinton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 with 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. 

H. Mark Smith, Facilitator, YouthReach Program Manager, Massachusetts Cultural Council

Since 1996, Smith has been at the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency supporting public programming in the arts, humanities, and sciences.  Through this position he consults and trains on the development and evaluation of arts-based youth development programs across the state and nationally.  Smith brings a combination of experiences in the arts, education, social service, and business.
 headerMichele Rosewoman, Educator, Pianist, Composer and Bandleader

Michele Rosewoman, a vanguard and pioneering artist in her field, mines acoustic modern jazz, sophisticated funk, dynamic electric fusion and elements of Cuban folkloric music, to create a distinct musical experience. Her command and rich vocabulary elegantly expands jazz’s horizons and boundaries, while remaining firmly rooted in tradition. With a more than 30-year history, Rosewoman stands out in her class as a visionary pianist, composer, bandleader and gifted performer.


Kirk Whalum, President and Chief Creative Officer of the Soulsville Foundation, Grammy Award Winning Artist

Whalum has been an in-demand session player for top artists like Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones, and Whitney Houston, among many others. In 2006, Whalum became the first Artist in Residence at the Stax Music Academy. Just four years later, he became the president and CEO of the Soulsville Foundation in April 2010, which operates the academy along with the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and The Soulsville Charter School. He is now the foundation’s Chief Creative Officer, focusing his time on the Stax Music Academy and The Soulsville Charter School.

 headerAl Bell, Producer

Al Bell is a Memphis music icon.  He is a record producer, songwriter, and record exective. Bell started as a promotion man and became a co-owner of Stax. He grew the company into the second-largest black-owned business of the '70s. Incredibly ambitious, he famously released 27 albums and 30 singles in one month. He was "hands-on," producing and even writing hits for the label including "I'll Take You There" for the Staple Singers.


David Wish, Little Kids Rock

David Wish is the founder and executive director of Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that funds and operates one of the largest, free instrumental music programs in U.S. public schools, and provides free instruments and curriculum. He has initiated and managed the launch of campaigns to restore and revitalize music education for more than 160,000 low-income children in more than 25 cities in 12 states. 

Deanie Parker, Soulsville’s first President and CEO, Emmy Award Winner and 2011 Legends Award Honoree for Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis

As Soulsville’s first President and CEO, Ms. Parker led the nonprofit organization to build and manage the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Stax Music Academy in an area dubbed Soulsville, U.S.A. in the 60’s. Deanie then established the Soulsville Foundation and served as its President to fund the Museum and Academy operations. In 2009, Ms. Parker was awarded two Emmy’s for the “I Am A Man” documentary for which she was executive producer and title song composer. 

Alexs Pate, Associate Professor of African-American and African studies at the University of Minnesota

Alexs is most proud of his POETRY OF RAP class. His essays and commentary have appeared in the Utne Reader, The Washington Post, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, and USA Weekend. His fiction and poetry have appeared in The Butterfly Tree, Indigene, Artpaper, and The North Stone Review. Other novels include the New York Times Bestseller Amistad, commissioned by Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks/SKG and based on the screenplay by David Franzoni.


Libby Chiu, Chief of Staff, Illinois Arts Council 

Libby Lai-Bun Chiu is the senior advisor for learning initiatives at the Illinois Arts Council where she serves as the project director of the education leaders institute, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts. She is concurrently leading the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Arts Council Partnership and is an adjunct professor of arts education at Goucher College in their distance learning program. Libby is an overseer of the Boston Conservatory, a board member of the Boston Dragon Boat Festival, and an active member of the Asians and Asian Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. 


Andrew Davis, Music Empowers Foundation

Andrew Davis founded the Music Empowers Foundation in 2010.  Music Empowers provides financial support to nonprofits that offer innovative music education to children in communities with limited or nonexistent music programs.  He began his career as a seasoned marketing executive with over 30 years of leadership experience at companies such as Procter & Gamble and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.  He is a member of the board of trustees of Little Kids Rock and the board of directors of the Craig School, and through his foundation, the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium.


Schuyler "Sky" Traughber (aka Prof. Funk), Stax musician, CBS and Motown Records Executive

Sky was the bandleader for the popular Stax-Memphis recording group of the early 70s, Temprees. He then worked at CBS Records in radio promotion and product management, working with acts the likes of The O’Jays, Earth, Wind & Fire, George Duke and Herbie Hancock along with co-producing film scorer Lalo Schifrin (Mission Impossible, Rush Hour). Sky joined Motown Records in Los Angeles as a Staff Producer/Associate Director, developing the early career of Teena Marie and DeBarge. Additionally, Sky was recruited as Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music in the Music Business/Management department and served in this capacity for 15 years, helping to negotiate a venture between Berklee business students and the Harvard Law School Recording Artists Project (RAP).


Areas of Focus

I. Panel Discussions, Workshops, and Events

Panel discussions with renowned industry figures, artists, and educators from around the country will engage the audience on the impact of popular music in education. Will focus on telling the “whole story” of the rich cultural history of American music, consequently giving students something that they can relate to, energizing student learning, and promoting a willingness to explore multiple genres.

Workshops with cutting-edge leaders in the arts and afterschool programming and advocates for community work will discuss ways to galvanize and support collaboratives between community-based music programs, schools, civic, business and other sectors, as “it takes a village to raise a child.”

Master Class with the Master – George Clinton

II. Learning Tracks:

A.     For Educators:

  • Best practices in popular music education – integrated instruction and assessment models from private lessons to ensemble.
  • Learning from the masters in the recording studio – visit a recording studio and learn from the pros on how to engage your students in a quality sound recording learning experience with a professional outcome.
  • “Cultural Context,” from teaching in the urban classroom, to creating an adaptive learning environment where all students and teachers can connect and move in pathways of deeper understanding.

B.     For Administrators:

  • Building capacity to deepen the impact of your work within your community.  
  • Best practices developing a target-relationship plan, maximizing recruitment and retention.
  • Advocating for your work, advocating for youth with popular music as a means for reaching all youth.
  • Telling your story: networking, media, PR markets, blogging, and leveraging your relationship with Berklee.
  • Project management: action plans, prioritizing, timelines and more; making smart choices and having effective timing.

III. Keynote Addresses:

Keynote addresses from renowned and historic figures to include: Al Bell, David Wish, and Deanie Parker.


Conference Benefits


  1. Learn about corporate fundraising
  2. Utilize the Berklee brand as a leader in music education to market your program
  3. Network with fellow BCMN sites and create opportunities for students to collaborate and have cross-regional experiences
  4. Present your ideas and learn for best practices
  5. Explore fostering growth within your community and beyond while penetrating your site deeper


Registration Deadline October 22



170 Lt. George W. Lee Ave., Memphis, TN 38103
Reference Berklee College of Music to receive a discounted hotel rate of $149.

Rate is based on availability
2012 Conference Sponsor


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Read Some Facts

What is the Berklee City Music Network?

Berklee City Music is a nonprofit program that provides music education to 4th through 12th graders in underserved communities. With year-round instruction, expert faculty, individualized mentoring, and a comprehensive curriculum, Berklee City Music combines the breadth of Berklee resources, facilities, and available scholarships with an environment of attention and encouragement. Kids get the tools and support they need to flourish as students, musicians, and confident and well-rounded individuals ready to shape
their world.

These music education goals are achieved using the Berklee PULSE music method, a collection of lessons and materials delivered online that support classroom instruction. PULSE focuses on musical styles that originate in American popular culture and emphasizes the study of instrumental technique, theoretical understanding and an awareness of historical context.

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