Your Guide to Berklee Online’s Most Popular Courses
As the longer-term reality of social distancing sets in, many have begun to look for new opportunities to use their homebound time well. Some are brushing up on languages, others are learning to bake, or painting, or writing novels. But if you’ve begun to eye that guitar in the corner of your living room, or that microphone, or those recordings you’re not sure how to finish or to distribute, or you’re entertaining any other musical aspirations these days, this overview of some of Berklee Online’s most popular courses is for you. If you’re safe at home and suddenly in possession of more free time, perhaps it’s the right time to make some space in your life for music.
What you’ll learn: This course offers a great starting point for anybody interested in producing music. You’ll learn all the basics, from setting up audio interfaces and microphones to working with digital audio workstations (DAWs), MIDI instruments, and drum machines. The course covers the whole production cycle of a piece of electronic music, from the moment you plug in to mastering and distributing your track.
Go deeper: If you’re already versed in the basics of electronic music production, check out Berklee Online’s courses in specific DAWs including Logic, Pro Tools, and Ableton Live, or our class on Sound Design for the Electronic Musician.
What you’ll learn: If you’ve ever wanted a firmer grasp of the fundamental building blocks of music, this class is for you. Following a tried-and-true syllabus designed by long-time Berklee professor Paul Schmeling, the interactive weekly lessons cover rhythm, pitch, scales, intervals, chords, harmony, and more.
Go deeper: You can follow the increasing complexities of music theory all the way up to Music Theory 301: Advanced Melody, Harmony, Rhythm. (Take all three music theory courses—101, 201, and 301—and you’ll earn a professional certificate.)
Go deeper: In addition to more courses geared specifically toward lyrics, such as Lyric Writing: Tools and Strategies or Lyric Writing: Writing from the Title, you can also explore songwriting courses on harmony, melody, and writing hit songs.
What you’ll learn: Basic ear training is at the heart of interacting with other musicians and understanding how a piece of music is put together. In this class you’ll learn to identify rhythms, time and key signatures, tonal and harmonic relationships, and other musical features in contemporary popular songs, and you’ll be able to apply those lessons to your own playing.
Go deeper: If you’re interested in building on your ear training, you can pursue a five-course Advanced Professional Certificate in Theory, Harmony, and Ear Training.
What you’ll learn: For independent artists or entrepreneurs, here’s a crash course in how to build an audience and turn a profit in the music business. Students create their own personalized marketing plan and timeline during the class—so if you’ve been looking for an opportunity to get serious about breaking into the music industry, this could be a great first step.
Go deeper: Get to know the industry on a deeper, structural level, and learn where it might be headed in the future in Music Business Trends and Strategies.
Go deeper: Berklee Online offers plenty of other guitar courses from Guitar Scales 101 all the way to Advanced Jazz Guitar Improvisation and Steve Vai Guitar Techniques. Berklee Online was even the first institution to offer an online bachelor’s degree in guitar.
What you’ll learn: Hear what seasoned record producers hear when they listen to music. You’ll learn to identify and analyze every aspect of a song, including the form and instrumentation, the emotional timeline, the groove, and the mix, and come to understand how these elements come together to create a well-crafted record.
Go deeper: If you want to hone your producer’s ear even further, Critical Listening 1 zeroes in on the features of a well-balanced professional mix.
What you’ll learn: Your voice is an instrument, just like any other. That means that good practice, technique, maintenance, and instruction can make a significant difference in the power, range, and expression of your singing. This class provides an introduction to the key principles of using your voice as an instrument, including breath management, developing a vocal sound, singing melody and harmony, and vocal training.