Our visit to Beijing has proven very informative. Having had the opportunity to meet with and visit a variety of music educators, institutions and alumni living in China, I am struck by the palpable pulse of opportunity and possibility here. Even within the most established of institutions, there is an energy not unlike that at Berklee. No dream is too big. No challenge too daunting. The country is being self-propelled forward at warp speed. All aboard.
We arrive in Shanghai on Wednesday evening. This is the New York City of China, but on a massive scale, a scale you have to be here to truly appreciate. We are informed that Shanghai is the jazz town and Beijing is the rock and pop town. Our first appointment is with the JZ School, a school of about 300 students including kindergarten and up. They teach ensemble courses and jazz theory courses. They also run a JZ big band and a youth jazz orchestra that is just one year young. We end our evening at the JZ Club featuring JZ School Director Lawrence Ku. For a moment, we could be in any number of jazz clubs in NYC.
Friday’s visit to the Shanghai Conservatory is encouraging, with many possibilities for collaboration between our two institutions.
Read more about Berklee’s trip to China: