Berklee College of Music Gives MOOCs a Soundtrack, draws 80,000 students

When Berklee College of Music's massive open online courses (MOOCs) launch in January they will be the first attempts to bring music education to the world of MOOCs.

The courses, which are being offered through MOOC provider Coursera, will include an introductory improvisation class taught by six-time Grammy winner Gary Burton and an introduction to guitar class taught by Thaddeus Hogarth. Additionally, the school will also offer introduction to music production and introduction to songwriting.

Nearly 80,000 people have registered for the classes since enrollment opened Sept. 19. The five-to-six week long courses will allow musicians and music students to study from Grammy winning faculty members.

The classes will rely heavily on pre-recorded lectures and peer-review to assess students' progress. It remains unknown whether or not Berklee will expand the available classes next year. While the idea of online music education may seem strange, the school began offering distance music courses decades ago with correspondence courses.


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