Kara DioGuardi Reveals Why She Wanted To Teach at Berklee

She has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry like Pink, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, and Santana not to mention having written, collaborated on, and produced such hits as Kelly Clarkson’s “Walk Away,” Aguilera’s “Ain’t Meant to Be,” and Meat Loaf’s “If I Can’t Have You.”


Now, songwriter, music executive, publisher and Grammy nominee Kara DioGuardi can be found teaching a songwriting course at Boston’s Berklee College of Music as the Herb Alpert visiting scholar.


The Warner Brothers Records executive, who has her own boutique music publishing company, Arthouse Entertainment, recently shared with us some of her students’ success stories, why she wanted to teach at Berklee, and what’s next up for her.

Photo Credit: Kara DioGuardi

How did the opportunity at Berklee come about?

When I decided to move to Maine I knew I would be close to Berklee and I always wanted to teach. A Berklee graduate and good friend, Eve Nelson, put me in touch with Roger Brown the President of the College.

Can you tell us a little about the class itself?

I try to make the class as close to what the day-to-day life of an artist, writer or producer would be if they were not in school. I group students together to create music and then give them honest critiques. I’ve signed some of my students who are doing great and even had students who became well known – Charlie Puth (who became an overnight sensation with hits like “One Call Away,” “We Don’t Talk Anymore” and “See You Again).

Tell us a few of your favorite things about teaching in Boston.

I usually have a quick dinner at The Capital Grille. They have the best bread and crab cocktail. Then I grab a coffee at Pavement and sometimes a frozen yogurt at JP Licks.  When I’m online there, I love hearing the stories about what it’s like to be a college student today.  Makes me feel old and young at the same time!

What can a student take away from your class?


What’s next up for you?

I recently became involved with a restaurant in Maine and we’re hard at work renovating it. It’s called Walkers Maine. Our chef is Justin Walker. I also just shot a renovation show pilot. Design is something I am very passionate about. I also work on Inspired Nation that I co-founded earlier this year. We put on benefit vocal youth competitions that highlight youth talent and put a spotlight on youth need. All proceeds raised go to youth-oriented charities.  Berklee College of Music is a national sponsor and some of the finalists get summer scholarships from them. We had an event in October called New England Sings and sold out the theatre; raising close to $50,000 for our beneficiaries (one of them was The Jimmy Fund).  We have another event called Tri State Rocks (a benefit vocal competition for aspiring artists) on December 3.