Increasing the Amount of Enjoyable Music in the World

“We hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.” – from Coursera.org

Apparently Coursera’s mission includes increasing the amount of enjoyable music in the world, because they’re offering free full-length Berklee courses with world-class teachers. Check it out:

Introduction to Music Production

Taught by Loudon Stearns.

Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music

“Creativity is a product of the mind and will stay there, unexpressed, until the right tools are used in the right way to share it with the world… You bring the dedication and creativity, and this course will bring you the knowledge to make that happen.” – from the course description.

This course is an entry-level overview of production: recording, editing, and mixing. If you’ve got a digital recording setup, and you want to make the most out of the tools available to you, this is a great place to find your feet.

Workload: 6-8 hours per week.
Click here to learn more or sign up.

Songwriting

With Pat Pattison.

“There’s a songwriter lurking somewhere inside you, peeking around corners, wondering if it’s safe to come out. Now it is.” – from the course description

Too often we think of songwriting as a talent that one either possesses or doesn’t. The truth? Songwriting is a set of skills. It can be taught, it can be learned, it can be practiced, it can be mastered. All you need are time, diligence, and the right tools.

Let me intrude with a personal note here: I’m a huge fan of Pat Pattison’s teaching. I own a thoroughly dog-eared and scribbled-in copy of his classic book Writing Better Lyrics, and I was lucky enough to make a small cameo in his newer book, Songwriting Without Boundaries. Will I be attending this free course? You bet.

Pattison’s done an amazing job for decades now of noticing, clarifying, and teaching songwriting techniques to some of the best scribblers in the business. If songwriting is a talent, then Pat will make you talented.

workload: 6-8 hours per week.
Click here to learn more or sign up.

Introduction to Guitar

With Thaddeus Hogarth

If you’re just starting out with guitar, or you know somebody who is, this course will be a great introduction to the instrument. Thaddeus will take students from total newbie to basic soloing concepts in the course of six weeks.

workload: 6-8 hours per week. Course is six weeks long.

Click here to learn more or sign up.

But just in case you’ve already got the most basic basics nailed down, instead you might want to take on…

Introduction to Improvisation

with Gary Burton

“Learn the basic concepts of improvisation from Gary Burton, one of the most renowned improvisers in the jazz world, including the mental, melodic, and harmonic processes that contribute to the instinctive skills that an improviser puts to use when taking a solo.” – from the course description

This is the course that I’m really drooling over. Gary Burton’s a hell of a vibraphone player and overall musician. Even if you don’t usually play solos, the skills learned here will help you write music of your own in a wide range of situations. If you’ve got the energy, pair this with “Songwriting” (see above) and watch what happens.

course load: 6-8 hrs. per week for five weeks
Click here to learn more or sign up.

Please note that all courses featured here don’t start until April 2013 – but you should sign up now to reserve your spot. Coursera also provides some primer material via email to get you started long before the course begins, so even just those free goodies make a pretty good reason to sign up.

  • Be sure to use the share links at the top or bottom of this page to share with all your friends – it’s not every day you can get a world class education for free!

 

Nicholas Tozier (82 Articles)

Nicholas Tozier is a book hoarder and songbird from the woods of Maine. In 2012 he made a small cameo in Songwriting Without Boundaries by Berklee professor Pat Pattison, and was named one of CDBaby’s top 10 Songwriting Resources to follow on Twitter.