Successful Berklee Alumni #13: Michael Hazani

Michael Hazani

Michael Hazani 3

Listen to the interview (around 90 minutes), or download it.


Graduated in 2010 with a major in Songwriting.  Principal Instrument:  Guitar

Position:  Freelance web developer.  He works primarily as a contractor for Rift Solutions.

Overview:  Michael spend four years in NYC trying to make it as a songwriter, and doing internships at a studio and a music publishing firm.  He concluded that he couldn’t make a good living in either the short or long term.  As a transition, he formed a band and did a brief tour, building their website and some 3-D interactive components to go with the music, and enjoyed that.  Michael then moved to Seattle to be with his girlfriend.   “A lot of my friends are in high tech, and I don’t hear them complaining about how hard it is to make ends meet, how it’s about who you know when looking for work. (etc)”  So in late 2014 he decided to learn website programming, taking many free online courses and getting an almost-free “nanodegree” from Udacyty.  Within two weeks of getting his degree, Rift Solutions found his profile online and contacted him with work, as they needed something in his niche field done, and as he had done good work the amount of work & responsibility he is given has increased.

You can view his LinkedIn profile here.

Choice quotes:  “That’s a big difference from the music industry.  There’s so much thirst for programmers and web developers sot you get reached out to a lot.  A lot moe than Tech is just a whole other paradigm of supply and demand.”

” “One advantage of (independent contracting) is I can be anywhere. I recently toured to play music and made good money on the tour by doing my website work.”


Michael Hazani 1


“By making money as a computer programmer, I’m able once again to treat music as the higher calling that it always has been rather than soiling it by looking for the perfect pub deal.  I get the make the exact music I want and play it on my own terms.  The ability to say ‘no’ is a huge luxury.”

Michael continues to play local shows (in Seattle) and do small tours, sometimes with his girlfriend who also is a Berklee graduate.











Michael Hazani 2“I received an “Ivy League level education” at Berklee, and it opened my mind in so many ways!  Berklee turned me into who I am today, fueled my curiosity and made me more curious about the beauty of the world.”















See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.