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Berklee College of Music: Lea Washington

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Music Lea Washington

Lea Washington studied music at Berklee College of Music.

How did you discover your passion for Music?

My first exposure to playing an instrument came from watching my cousin play the piano for our family’s church services. He taught me how to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and I was hooked! I asked my parents to get me an electric guitar on display at our local supermarket. I received the guitar for my 10th birthday and still have it. That was when I realized I couldn’t live without playing as many instruments as I could get my hands on!

Why did you pick Berklee College of Music?

I knew that if I was going to study music in college, it had to be at a college that I could learn how to write for and produce every instrument that I heard in my head as I wrote songs. I wanted to study at a college that looked fun!

What’s your favorite part about performing at Berklee?

Berklee College of Music admits students every year who play nearly every instrument. I’ve met banjo players, opera singers, hip hop/rap vocalists, and Cuatro virtuosos! At any time, students can strike up a “jam” and improvise to make music that sounds unlike anything you can imagine.

What’s the hardest part about performing at Berklee?

Berklee attracts the most talented young musicians in the world. You make the most out of every opportunity to play with someone who is better than you and learn from them. Once you open up, ask questions and enjoy the music that everyone else is making, the challenge is absorbing all of the knowledge fast enough!

What has been your favorite part of Berklee?

As a black female student who is a piano principal studying Contemporary Writing and Production, well… there aren’t a lot of students like me at any college! At Berklee though, I never felt like I couldn’t pursue what I’m passionate about. I’ve inspired and encouraged other students like me to do the same; that’s truly empowering.

How do you think Berklee will help in what you want to do next?

The projects and homework I’m assigned every week imitate the type of professional work that I’ll be doing in the modern music industry, which in my case is writing, production and performing. I feel confident that I could write a pop song, or write background music for a commercial; my Berklee education has helped teach me versatile skills.

Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?

I see myself using my Berklee degree by writing, producing and performing hit songs that people all over the world can listen to and enjoy! Berklee partnered with Harvard Law School to operate a pro-bono entertainment law firm called “Harvard Law School Recording Artists Project.” I’ve been a student legal adviser for three years now and I work with attorneys and Harvard law students to represent artists, producers and record labels. This inspired me to apply to law school and I hope to be a point of contact for my Berklee friends who have legal questions about their music careers!