Listen to Music Like an Expert With Juilliard's Open Courses

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 08:10 AM

'Music Theory 101,' which teaches the fundamentals of how music works, is one course being offered by Juilliard. "Music Theory 101," which teaches the fundamentals of how music works, is one course being offered by Juilliard. (Eric Mann)

In recent years, platforms like Coursera, Udacity and Khan Academy have given curious minds access to comprehensive courses without setting foot in a classroom. You can learn about everything from genetics to game theory, earning credit from institutions including MIT and Yale. Now Juilliard has joined in, partnering with edX to launch their own open source system for the musically inclined.

Currently, they are offering four courses. While you’d expect them to cater to the kind of world class musicians they already serve — which some certainly do — there are opportunities for the casual or novice music fan to deepen their appreciation. Music Theory 101 is ideal for those of us who have a favorite piece of music, style or composer, but can’t exactly pinpoint why. A basic grasp on how exactly music works can be mind-blowing; once you figure out what’s going on, a whole new world of music exploration opens up before you.

If you’re not exactly looking to dive into the structured world of theory, you might find some enjoyment in How to Listen to Great Music for Orchestra. Thankfully, the Juilliard powers that be left no ambiguity in the course title; you know exactly what you’re signing up for. In this course, you’ll get to sharpen your ability to identify stylistic markers of orchestral music, instruments and — perhaps most importantly — know what to listen for. Orchestral music can be a massive and intimidating beast (hello there, Bruckner), but we’d imagine a course like this can make your music listening so much more pleasurable.

There are two other courses offered up as well, both approaching music from a performance aspect. For “advanced beginner and intermediate” piano players, Sharpen Your Piano Artistry will assist you in developing skills at the instrument, while Conquering Performance Anxiety teaches the psychological techniques one should use to quell those pre-show jitters.

Enrollment has already begun, and classes start in May and June 2017. While these are the only courses offered at the moment, Juilliard says that more will come in the following years.


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Comments [6]

Alfred Duckett from HOME

When I was young, I complained to my mother about everything under the sun. I made special complaints whenever she, on occasion, forgot to do something for me. Well one day she responded with something that I will never forget. She said, "good thing I taught you to read,to think, and to do. Now show me you learned, go do it for yourself." No more complaining!

I'm always glad to read one of Mr. James Bennett II's stories, always incisive, on point, and informative. A special thanks for information about the EdX Juillard open course collaboration. I look forward to other institutions offering courses in the future.

Mar. 23 2017 02:11 AM
BdeMello from NYC

I'd love to "beta test" them!

Mar. 19 2017 11:09 PM
john from NJ

$497 per course. Intro is misleading: Coursera, Udacity and Khan Academy are all free.

Mar. 18 2017 04:42 AM
BB from Burlington, NC

JSC, I agree wholeheartedly that the link should be part of the story! Thanks JSC for doing the detective work and sharing it with us!

Take Note WQXR -- the link should be with the story!!! But also, thanks for sharing this amazing opportunity with us!

I just signed up for Music Theory. Don't have the tuition just hanging around, but I can't stop smiling! Can't wait to start! Wait until my family finds out I'm going to study at Juilliard!!

Mar. 15 2017 12:45 AM

It would be helpful to include the link in the article to save folks from having to go Googling.

Mar. 14 2017 04:59 PM
Marlene Birnbaum

Thank you for posting this information. I am going to the Juilliard website to sign-up!

Mar. 14 2017 01:19 PM

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