Online Master's Degree Course

Culminating Experience in IDMS 2


Authored by Sean Hagon


Course Code: OIDMS-695

Next semester
starts June 24

12 Weeks

Level 6 - Degree Only

Level 6

The second Culminating Experience course requires you to complete a significant culminating project based on the designated areas of concentration in the interdisciplinary music studies master's degree and represents the highest expression of your learning at the graduate level. The project content and/or enactment must match the quality and scale of the demands of the current industry environment.

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You spent the first course learning to foster your creativity through a number of lenses and then began developing the culminating experience project proposal. The proposal is a written document that describes your intentions regarding the culminating experience and also describes the contribution that you plan to make to the profession. In Culminating Experience in IDMS 1, you began developing and creating your project.

Upon completion of Culminating Experience in IDMS 2, you will have developed an aesthetic and critical vision of quality work in the designated areas of concentration, defined quality using both general and musical criteria, and will have synthesized, applied, and demonstrated those criteria by formulating your own work and to that of others and within the professional music industry.

Collaborative Interdisciplinary projects may include (but are not limited to):

  • Performances (recorded)
  • Studio/live recordings (a fully produced, mixed and mastered EP)
  • Recorded music with notated scores
  • Books (method, biographical, literary, etc.)
  • Composition/songwriting portfolios
  • Research/business/marketing plans or lessons plans
  • Musical transcriptions
  • Website for your company, product or service with e-commerce and company one-sheet
  • Artist website portfolio and artist one-sheet
  • A different type of research/dissertation-based project not described above

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Synthesize and integrate knowledge in chosen area of concentration (e.g., songwriting, production, music business)
  • Lead a creative professional project from conception to execution
  • Apply entrepreneurial skills
  • Communicate effectively in business and/or performance environments
  • Synthesize secondary areas of knowledge as related to chosen elective courses (e.g., songwriting, production, music business)
  • Evaluate your creative output, assessing the contribution made to the profession
  • Analyze the trajectory of your own artistic, professional, and personal growth
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors Request Info


Lesson 1: Your Project is Scholarship

  • Scholarship and Research
  • Scholarship and the Four Principles of Progressive Education
  • Revise, Revise, Revise
  • The Role of Producer and Project Revisions
  • Assignment 1: Project Status Report 1

Lesson 2: Final Thoughts on Fostering Creativity

  • Ruts
  • Grooves
  • Know When to Stop Tinkering
  • Turn Ruts into Grooves
  • Assignment 2: Project Status Report 2

Lesson 3: Pursue Breakout Opportunities

  • Success Equals Opportunity
  • Do the Hustle
  • Take Intelligent Risks
  • Invest in Yourself
  • Assignment 3: Project Status Report 3

Lesson 4: It’s All Plan A

  • Pivot As You Learn
  • Continue to Invest in Yourself
  • Relationships Matter
  • Network Intelligence
  • Assignment 4: Project Status Report 4

Lesson 5: Presentation Refresher

  • Art of Presenting Refresher Part 1
  • Art of Presenting Refresher Part 2
  • What Makes a Good Presentation?
  • Presenting via Zoomland or Equivalent
  • Assignment 5: Continue Work on Culminating Experience Project

Lesson 6: Final Submission of Project

  • It’s Go Time!
  • Micro-Time Block
  • Assignment 6: Final Project Submission and Prepare Presentation

Lesson 7: Final Presentations 1

  • Presentations
  • Assignment 7: Peer Assessment: Presentation Feedback

Lesson 8: Final Presentations 2

  • Presentations
  • Assignment 8: Peer Assessment: Presentation Feedback

Lesson 9: Final Presentations 3

  • Presentations
  • Assignment 9: Peer Assessment: Presentation Feedback

Lesson 10: Reflect and Assess

  • Reflection as Habit
  • Career and Project Execution
  • Overcoming Challenges
  • Forming Solid Connections
  • Crafting an Elevator Pitch
  • Assignment 10: Reflective Journal

Lesson 11: Career and Project Execution

  • Nurture, Create, and Adapt
  • Focus on Practical Basics
  • Success Earned on Your Own: DIY Style
  • Assignment 11: Next Steps

Lesson 12: Archiving Your Work

  • What’s an Archive?
  • Kinds of Archive
  • The Origins of Archives
  • Why Archive Your Work?
  • Archival Concerns
  • Assignment 12: Archiving Your Culminating Experience (Optional)


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

Prerequisite Courses, Knowledge, and/or Skills
Students must have completed Culminating Experience in IDMS 1 before taking this course.


  • No textbooks required; Weekly articles will be assigned utilizing online resources.

Student Deals
After enrolling, be sure to check out our Student Deals page for various offers on software, hardware, and more. Please contact with any questions.

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Classes. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection


Sean Hagon


Sean Peter Hagon (he/him) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and orchestrator for the film, television, and advertisement industries, and the chief creative officer and managing partner of Raging Cloud Studios. As dean of pre-college, online, and professional programs at Berklee Online, Hagon oversees Berklee Online's academic and registrar areas as well as Summer Programs. He previously served as associate dean of career education and services and as chair of the Professional Music Department at Berklee. Prior to his appointment at Berklee, he was the director of continuing education at New England Conservatory. He's also a visiting professor at the Universidad Panamericana School of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, Mexico. An active film and television composer, he has a number of TV and film composing credits to his name, including the History Channel's hit show American Pickers, PBS's Genealogy Roadshow, and the independent films Ride the Wave and Seduction and Snacks.

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A Massachusetts native, Hagon has worked in nearly every aspect of the music industry, from performance, business, composition, and education to technology and production. His educational and administrative philosophy is that he wants students to be able to have the freedom to explore and feel inspired. Most importantly, he wants students to come away with the feeling that what they have learned is relevant, real-world–based knowledge and skills that they can immediately apply, tempered with an entrepreneurial spirit and the mindset to continue to learn and adapt throughout their careers.

Hagon holds a B.M. in professional music from Berklee with concentrations in music education, music production, and film and TV composition; a master's degree in music technology from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis; and a diploma in media composition from the London School of Creative Studies.

Hagon was the recipient of the 2010 Exemplary Music Educator Award from Berklee College of Music in recognition of his outstanding teaching and efforts to advance the music education profession. Read Less

Kirstie Wheeler


Kirstie Wheeler is an educational consultant in the New England area and an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music. She has a strong background in education where she spent 10+ years in a diverse set of public schools in the northeast eventually leading her to consultant-based roles in K-12 education while working in higher education. Kirstie feels strongly that all students need access to an equitable education and that all teachers and faculty need to be supported in order to reach this goal. As a consultant, she worked as an Intervention Coordinator at an independent school in Maine using data to inform instruction and identify students who need additional support. This work led to the opening of the school’s first Achievement Center and several professional development offerings for faculty and staff throughout the year. At Berklee College of Music, Kirstie recently developed and began teaching a new course titled Wellness for the Holistic Artist which is running during the 2023/24 academic year and slated to continue. Kirstie is regularly featured as a speaker and clinician in the New England area.

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As a performer, she sings with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, chorus to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops and continues to perform in her community for various events. Wheeler is a certified McClosky Voice Technician where she currently serves as Vice President, using her knowledge of vocal physiology and pedagogy to prepare students for a lifetime of healthy singing. This commitment is evident in her private teaching. Kirstie’s Voice Studio is limited only by her own time and capacity. Serving students both in person and online, she works with students of all ages and prepares them for their individual goals. Whether a novice who wants to learn to match pitch and carry a tune or a student hoping to be ready for their next audition, Kirstie creates an individual pathway to help them achieve their goals. Students have been accepted to many prestigious music programs and every student she’s prepared received at least one college acceptance. When goals are of vocation based, Kirstie supports students to help them find the joy the desire in making music - many students have gone on to find they love to perform at open mic nights or community choruses. Read Less


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