If you are at all interested in Jazz Improv the you definitely need to take this course.
This is the course which I have probably learnt the least from, but that is just because the level of my accordion playing isn’t yet at the recommended level to take part in the course. Nevertheless it was not time wasted by any means. I did learn about some of the basics of Jazz Improvising and what potential it has to create amazing music. It also introduced me to the different modes and listed them from brightest sounding to darkest sounding, so this is something that I can play around with when composing on the piano. It’s also taught me the importance of learning scales.
If you’re really good on your instrument and have even the slightest interest in Jazz Improv then I would definitely recommend this course. The videos lessons don’t take up much time and are packed full of useful information. This is one course which I might consider taking again in the future when I’m a bit more versed on my instrument.
The next session starts on 28th April 2014, so go ahead and sign up. It’s free!
Jazz Improv – https://www.coursera.org/course/improvisation
So the classical music course I’m doing at the moment is going well. I’ve learnt lots and have still got lots to learn. But classical music is pretty restrictive, even the course leader mentions this in one of the first video lessons. He shows the notation for a chord and mentions that it is pretty common to see that type of chord in jazz music, but that a classical composer would look at it and say it was wrong, and then they’d correct it. However, I don’t actually want to write classical music, I just thought it was a great place to start, and it has been. But there are now a few other music courses on Coursera that I think are quite relevant to me.
The first of which is “Introduction to Music Production” which teaches the different stages of recording and producing music. This is obviously very handy as it’s one thing being able to write music, but it’s a completely different thing recording and producing it, so that’s a skill I’ll definitely need along the way.
The second course is “Jazz Improvisation“. This is pretty much a direct contrast to the classical music course, but that’s exactly what I want. This way I can learn what there is to know about classical music and jazz music, and then take what I like from both and apply it to my own music. At least that is the plan anyway. I know that improvising with chords will be pretty difficult, but then that’s what the course is for. If I can learn it, then it’ll be a very handy skill to have.
Lastly there is “Songwriting“, another handy skill to have. This is the one I’m least interested, but still feel there could be some valuable lessons to learn.
The trouble with these courses is that they all start on the same day, 27th January, run for 6 weeks and need 5-8 hours work per week each. So add this to the classical music course I’ll still be doing for another 3 weeks and the work load will probably be a bit extreme. But I think I’m going to try it for the first week and then come the second week I’ll have a better idea of which courses I’ll want to carry on with.