Berklee Partners With Inter-American Development Bank for Berklee Latino

Pamela Hersch
Berklee College of Music’s Spanish-language program

Bank funds Spanish-language music education program in Colombia and on-line.

Berklee College of Music has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank to support its Spanish-language program, Berklee Latino.

IDB has made a $670,000 grant to Berklee through its Korean Poverty Reduction Fund to establish the Berklee/IDB Interactive Music Education Partnership. The Partnership benefits students in Latin America, providing scholarships to attend Spanish-language Latin music clinics.

Sixty students will benefit from the new partnership this week when they attend a Berklee Latino program in Bogota, Colombia. Berklee, IDB and local organizations will cover the costs of the workshops, travel, lodging and expenses for young musicians who otherwise could not afford to attend.

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The Berklee/IDB partnership includes funding for offering online classes to local schoolchildren in the Berklee PULSE® Music Method, and specialized Berklee MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in Spanish and Portuguese. The partnership will also allow for the translation of selected material into Spanish and integration of licensed contemporary Latin music into the programs.

"Coupled with the training of the teachers to use PULSE and providing computers to the local schools, we are creating an unprecedented opportunity for thousands of kids across the continent to experience music education at no cost," Lee Whitmore, vice president for education Outreach and social entrepreneurship at Berklee said in a statement.

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Berklee Latino, the first program at the college to be conducted entirely in Spanish, premiered in Mexico City in 2014. Berklee has since offered programs in Ecuador and Peru, as well as previous clinics in Colombia.

“IDB's goal to improve lives in Latin America aligns with Berklee’s core value to make a positive impact on the lives of young people through music, making the bank and the college ideal strategic partners as Berklee develops music education programs in the region,” Berklee senior vp for institutional advancement Cindy Albert Link said via the Berklee communiqué.