Coursera music courses

The mother of all courses

A long long time ago, in a company far…from being far away, my manager, a wonderful lady that cares a lot for her managee was showing me several possibilities to get some nice trainings that could help in my professional development. One of the places was Coursera, which offers a wide range of free courses for programming, management, music, arts and what-not1.

I checked out some courses then, but couldn’t find one that sparkled amidst the humongous offerings of the site. Hence I simply forgot about it and went on with my life.

Until quite recently, when I was extremely bored and thought:

Hey! Why don’t I try to do a music course!

Roberto Cano

And started googling2 around to find a nice course. I was even willing to pay for it!

As usual, Google delivered, and I found a very nice online school called Berklee. I would learn later on that this is one of the most important music schools in the US, but by then, I had no clue of what was it. Just that I mistook it by the Berkley university.

So I checked out the prices and, to my surprise, the courses were quite expensive! Don’t get me wrong, from what I’ve learned since then, the prices are really worth it. In the end you are paying for the equivalent of a master in music, but that was not what I had in mind.

Nevertheless I kept digging and searching, and crawling the web, and couldn’t help but try to search something similar to Berklee. So I started using search terms like similar to Berklee. And then Coursera popped up. And bite me! They had some Berklee courses!

Berklee is currently offering the Modern Musician specialization through 3 different courses:

  • Developing your musicianship: Introductory course about harmony, intervals and chord structure of a song
  • Introduction to music production: Introduction to a DAW3, filters, equalization, recording, etc…
  • Songwriting: To learn how lyrics are written to achieve different effects, prosody, stability and instability

You can enroll in these courses completely for free, and you can actually do it at your own pace if you are not interested in the peer review process, or doing the assignments. However to earn the Modern Musician certificate you must enroll in the Signature Track offered by Coursera that authenticates your submissions and gives you a completion certificate after each course. The Signature Track costs 43$ each course. Once the 3 courses are finished you can enroll in the Modern Musician Capstone which is the final course to earn the Modern Musician certificate.

I got to the Music Production course a little bit late and I had missed some of the lessons and assignments, so I decided to just follow the course at my own pace, without submitting my assignments and just get a taste of the courses. I really liked it, and although I, having 18 years of amateur experience in music, knew most of the concepts explained in the course, felt it was worth it.

Recently Berklee has opened a new round of courses, and now I’ve enrolled in the Songwriting course, meaning I’m kind of doing the courses in the wrong order, though it does not really matter, as I’m not a complete beginner in music.

If you are interested in music, I strongly recommend these courses. Maybe not the paid version, as these are just introduction to the most important concepts in music writing and production, but definitely worth doing.

And if you are NOT into music4, there are plenty of other courses, specially for programming, that can help you power up your skills, or just give you lots of fun while learning. Check them out!! There are lots and they are free!!


  1. The what-not courses are simply amazing! Check them out!

  2. Should I write googling with a capital G? Is it trademarked?

  3. Digital Audio Workstation

  4. What are you doing reading my blog?

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