Monday, April 22, 2013

Online Learning

Today I submitted the last recording for an online songwriting course I've been taking through Coursera, presented by the Berklee School of Music, entitled simply "Songwriting."

So what do I think of online learning? Well, to give you an idea, I will say that I have enrolled in courses to take me through the year and beyond, including courses in my field—writing, digital sound, music composition, and programming for musicians—as well as courses that just looked interesting. I even signed up for a physics class.

It takes a lot of discipline to get through a class like this, and I did find that circumstances made it difficult to make the deadlines several times, although I managed to get every assignment in just in time. (In my case, the circumstances included Hell Week for a theatrical production I was involved in and a knee injury; life doesn't stop for injuries, and theater doesn't stop for anything.)

What I appreciate most about the courses offered through Coursera is the video lectures, which are not only available after the class has ended, but can be downloaded for later viewing, or viewing on a tablet or phone (a lifesaver for keeping up with the lectures). I'll be watching the lectures from the songwriting course again and again to help me with my future songs.

How did I do? I'll let you be the judge; my final entry The Man In the Mirror, though I don't consider it a finished song, is linked to in the list at right. You'll also find a little songlet called You Broke My Heart that I wrote for another assignment. Don't ask me why these lyrics popped into my head, although I will say that I started out to write a sappy love song and was lead astray by my rhyming dictionary.

I'll probably post some results from some of my other courses here, too. After all, I'll have writing samples, new compositions, and digital sound designs. And as the physics course involves making videos of the labs, I might even have something to post from that class as well.

Never though you'd learn something from this blog, did you?