Why Spain?

When I tell people that I’m going to pursue my Master’s degree at Berklee in Valencia, I’m often asked the question, “Why Spain?”

…because that’s where the program is. That was easy.

To be perfectly candid, before I found out about Berklee in Valencia, for as much as I enjoy world travel and expanding my cultural horizons, Spain had never ranked particularly high on my list of places to visit. For some of my future schoolmates, the opportunity to go to Spain, especially in the context of one of their new Master of Music programs, fulfils a lifelong dream. For me, however, the dream is to advance my career as a screen composer and complete the transition from hobbyist to professional, and one of the best schools in the world for studying this craft is Berklee College of Music.

I found out about the program quite by accident. A year ago, as I was researching things to do while visiting my Boston-based best friend, I came across Berklee as being a notable fixture of the city. Well, of course it is. I thought, just for fun, that I’d perhaps pay them a visit and try to arrange a tour of the facilities, being a musician and composer and having been a music student in university myself. I noticed a link urging me to click for more information about their new Master’s program in Scoring for Film, Television and Video Games on their Valencia campus.

Two thoughts ran through my head in that instant: “Master’s in Everything You Want To Do As A Career, David,” and “Valencia is a nice-sounding name for a campus.”

I just about fell out of my chair.

Clicking through, I fell in love with the program. Everything resonated so strongly with me: the description, the values that were espoused by the school and the program, and the curriculum – for a one-year Master’s, I felt that I couldn’t have designed it better myself. Eagerly searching for more information, I saw that the application fee was in euros.


Oh, that Valencia.

I just about fell out of my chair. Again.

While I was considering that I may have to venture farther afield than Toronto in order to get the education or training I need for career advancement, an overseas sojourn like this had honestly not been on my radar. New York or L.A.? Sure, but Spain?

To be sure, this would promise to be an incredible, life-changing opportunity, to say nothing of taking me about as far out of my comfort zone as it gets. Even though it felt like such a long shot (a Master’s in film scoring from one of the best schools in the world? Seriously?!), I resolved to do whatever it took to make the best application possible and give myself the best possible chance of passing the audition. It has already been such an incredible boon for both personal and professional growth in the past year as I have made my preparations to take this next step. I look forward to what lies ahead as I embark on this grand adventure.

Still, at the time, dumbfounded as I was, I asked, “Why Spain?”

…because that’s where the program is. That was easy. 🙂

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