The Best Free “Serious” Music Courses Online

1:01 pm Music

What would you say if I told you that you can take complete music courses for free at excellent music schools. Well, first a cautionary note: this is not for everyone. No the schools woun’t turn you down, but it’s a question of whether or not you are an autodidact or not.

However, if you do have the drive, discipline, and interest to do it on your own, you should check out some of the music coursework available online for free.

I visited a few dozen sites, looked at their music course offerings, and have a few recommendations to make. Other than being free and open to the general public, my main criteria for recommending courses and platforms were quality of courses, and ease of navigation. I am confident you will explore these web sites and find many jewels that will be of interest to you. Enjoy and feel free to report back or recommend other free courses and lectures.

1- Berklee School Of Music

One of the top conservatories in the US makes many courses available for free on the web. Not bad, huh. Thank you Berklee. Many courses are available in video, audio or PDF formats. Especially suited for already-trained musicians wishing to explore new things, such as the arranging, improvisation, and education.

Start at the Berklee Shares home page and have a good time

2- iTunes U

A few dozen universities and colleges offer audio and video podcasts of hundreds of courses on iTunes University. This is fairly addictive if you have wide interests as you will find excellent quality podcasts on nearly everything.

Open Itunes, click “iTunes store”, click “iTunes U”. Click “Universities and Colleges”. Choose a school and have fun.

3- Gresham College

Offers transcripts, streaming audio, and streaming video of lectures and talks on many subjects. Here are a few that you might find interesting.

4- Open University (UK)

Lecture notes and course outlines are available. You can also enroll in “units” for free, which allows you to participate in the discussions.

Here is a list of the music courses I found

5- UC San Diego

Makes many current semester courses available via podcasts. The music course selection is not exactly great. In fact, there’s just one: Introduction to Western Music. But the course quality is good. So why not get introduced.

6- MIT Open Courseware.

One of the first that I have come across some time ago. Lecture notes of all courses are available. Student assignments and projects, exams and study guides, and listening and reading lists are also available. Videos are said to be available but I didn’t find any for music courses. Here is the music OCW page.

My point is that it is our job to keep inspired. Sometimes it takes external stimulation to do that. Musicians being a largely autodidact group of individuals (having to learn and practice primarily on our own), and also a group that keeps a problematic schedule (3AM is the best time to do dishes, right?) these courses are a pretty good way to keep inspired. The fact that they are free courses surely doesn’t hurt at all.

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