My beat for MassLive.com will be local music. Here are five ideas. Feel free to comment and help me refine my thoughts.
1. “On The Street” interviews with outdoor performers outside of dorms.
2. UMass band/orchestra interviews. Talk to new members or freshman for their perspective/background.
3. Amherst area coffee shop music. Talk to open mic performers or club managers.
4. Campus open mics. In Central I think there is one. There are usually random open mics and battle of the bands throughout the year.
5. D.I.Y: basement/VFW hall shows in the area. Talk to local bands/campus bands
6. (for extra good measure) Preview/review area shows/events in Amherst/Northampton.