Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Life After Berklee: Just Go With the Flow!

Life doesn’t always go as planned, Jen Ketrow ’09 made the most of the unexpected! Her story is below…

I graduated from Berklee in 2009 with a B.M. in Songwriting and did something most Berklee folks would think to be quite ordinary; I moved to New Jersey.  My original intention was to gather my belongings from my childhood home, raise money and in a year, hit the road and move to Nashville.  Let me tell you what really happened and what I learned from the whole experience…

In our shattered economy, I struggled to find a job.  At one point I was substitute teaching, teaching guitar lessons at two music schools four nights a week and Saturdays and working nights at a local retail pet store just to pay for living expenses and student loans.  Saving for Nashville was no longer a palpable idea. With each passing month while working all of those jobs my goal of moving to Nashville was moving further and further out of reach. This was a hidden blessing because the more time I spent in NJ, the more time I spent honing my songwriting skills and becoming involved in a vast array of music projects and networking opportunities which continue to help my music career as a performing songwriter and composer.

Finally, I was offered a full time job that has nothing to do with music, but pays the bills, which allowed me to quit most of those jobs you read about above and gave me more free time to create, gig, network, and most importantly have fun with this entire music thing that has driven me throughout my life.  Just this year, I met a wonderful group of musicians, Itay Keren and Liz Gonzalez and together we formed Jenny And The Felines. Check us out here:

After coming very close several times, none of my music has been licensed (I know, this is about the most milestone thing to happen for a songwriter). However, I continue to have my music featured on Rukus Radio and WZZO, so at least people are hearing my work…and I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty darn cool to hear yourself on the radio.  Lately, I’ve been working a lot with Sonicbids, a Boston based company that allows bands to create an electronic press kit and submit it to selected gigs that appear in their database.  So far, Jenny And The Felines have been selected through Sonicbids to perform January 2nd 2012 on The Real Radio Show and we’re set to play the Village Lantern in New York City on February 25th 2012.  There are many different ways to go about self-promotion, and other than my local contacts, Sonicbids is a fun experience. Granted you may not get every gig or offer on your page, even if you think you’d be a perfect fit, but it is still something to check out.  The service doesn’t cost much and many venues only accept submissions through Sonicbids. Besides, it is a perfect way to increase your list of important contacts.

Honestly, time and circumstance can change your life path in unimaginable ways.  I have learned that it is best to go with the flow, especially in creative matters, and whatever you really need will come to you when the time is right.


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1 Comment

  1. Hello from Canada

    Great stuff Jen; way to be, way to think… I’m an alumnus as well (from a different era to be sure!) and after many years, I still think as you do and am more excited than ever. All the best!

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