I’ve been working on a couple of educational ventures lately!
Coursera.org has a series of online courses that you can take for free (it’s also possible to take the courses in another form, where you pay for them and get official certification for having completed them). The courses change every few weeks. It’s not like tutorials on YouTube, where you can watch the videos at any time. For most of the courses, the lectures appear once a week, and there is the option to take quizzes, do peer-graded assignments, and participate in a forum discussion group. The degree of participation is totally up to you.
I have started “Introduction to Music Production”
With the recent introduction of high-quality-low-cost software and hardware, the tools of music production are now available to the masses. Albums are made in bedrooms as well as studios. On the surface this is liberating. Anyone can make an album for the low cost of a couple pieces of gear and a software package. But, if you dig deeper, you will find that it is not so easy. Producing music requires knowledge, dedication, and creativity. Knowledge is where this course comes in. No matter what kind of music you are making, there is a large set of tools that you will need to use.
I’ve also been watching some videos over at Lynda.com. This is a site with paid membership. Caution, once you have signed up, they will keep dinging your credit card every month until you specifically ask them to stop! And they will nag you to upgrade your membership to the costlier version so that you can take advantage of their downloadable homework material. But other than that, I am very happy with the site. The video tutorials are clear and professional; every single one I’ve watched has been high quality. I do love YouTube tutorials, with all their quirky individuality — but the quality is very uneven, and it’s hard to find tutorials that systematically cover a large swath of material by breaking it into manageable chunks.
So, thumbs-up to the folks at Lynda.com and Coursera!
So far my problem with these courses is that after each lecture I’ve said “Wow, that’s really cool! I always wondered what —– was”. But then several hours later I’ve already forgotten the new terminology. Also, I get to a certain point in the lectures where the material gets more difficult / technical, and I… switch over to a new course.