Sometimes inspiration comes naturally, but most times, it’s a struggle, especially when you don’t have people you can share your work with. If you’re looking for accountability and feedback on your craft, Berklee Online has courses to help you create and collaborate remotely with other musicians during these socially isolating times. Here are our top 10 online music course recommendations:
You’ve heard lots of stories about songwriters getting “in the room” together. When that’s not a possibility, you can get in a virtual room with classmates from all over the world, and pair up to train your collaborative muscles. You’ll learn how to work creatively as a team and effectively combine the diversity of talents, skills, and backgrounds of your collaborators to create songs that never could be written by one person alone. You’ll also learn to write for different artists, genres, and television projects. In addition to the creative side of collaborative songwriting, this course also provides insight into the business aspects, such as coming up with legal agreements for cowrites, putting together a diverse portfolio, and how to find out what artists are accepting songs.
Composing and Producing Electronic Music 1 and 2
Whether you’re interested in producing high-energy electronic dance music or chill lo-fi beats, electronic music is a genre you can fully produce with just a computer, a DAW, a MIDI controller, and a synthesizer. In Composing and Producing Electronic Music 1, you’ll learn the history of electronic music while you explore and compose in different subgenres such as drum and bass, trance, dub, and house. You’ll learn even more techniques in Composing and Producing Electronic Music 2, focusing on adaptability for this ever-changing genre, while learning about techno, trip-hop, glitch, dubstep, and more.
You’ve always wanted to play guitar in a band, but making music with four of your musical friends in a sweaty 15’X15’ room (that you probably share with at least two other bands, meaning about eight other sweaty people regularly occupy that room) is likely hazardous to your health right now. Whether you’re already in a band or you’re looking to join one once this whole mess is over, your bandmates (or future bandmates) will appreciate you learning how to develop your phrasing, warmup techniques, time accuracy, and more.
Sometimes the best way to get creative is to use somebody else’s creative output as a catapult for your own expression. Remixing is an art in and of itself, and in this course, you will learn the basics of taking several different types of source material—stereo masters, a cappellas, breakout tracks (Stems), and multitrack sessions—and making them your own. You will learn not only the technical skills necessary to produce professional sounding remixes, but also how to hear a song’s possibilities beyond its original arrangement and musical style. These skills will translate seamlessly to many areas of your own musical endeavors, from producing original material to thinking of ways for an artist to reach new audiences.
If you’re looking to become a DJ, you’ll need to get some practice before you take your tunes to the club. Now is the perfect time to experiment with new software and hardware, to get yourself grooving. Worry about packing the dancefloor later. In this course, you will not only learn all of the creative possibilities of the Traktor Pro 2 software from Native Instruments, but you will also learn the concepts and techniques of the modern DJ.
You’ll get to know the history of the DJ’s role in music, and you’ll learn the methods that keep the club banging, like four-deck DJing, effects combinations, remix decks, stems, MIDI Mapping, Harmonic Mixing, BeatJumping, and even Ableton Link. You’ll receive both technical and musical guidance from your instructor and record your work to build a portfolio of original DJ mixes. Best of all, all styles of music are welcome and supported!
Producing Songwriting Demos with Logic
Whether you write your own songs or would like to produce someone else’s, in this course you’ll learn how to produce a song demo from start to finish using Logic Pro X. This course is perfect for the home producer, and if you’re not one already, you’ll learn how to get started with the Logic software as well as some basic hardware. By the end of the course, you’ll have ready-to-go demos that you can feel confident about sending out.
Even though the landscape of the music business will inevitably change after the pandemic and shelter-at-home advisories disappear, there are still fundamentals that you will need to know to be successful in your career. These two courses give you the lowdown on promotion, marketing, and day-to-day operations of the music business that you will need to achieve your goals. So, when you’re done making your quarantine album, you can be ready to market it right out of the gate!
Music, Self, and Society
As we miss out on the music events that bring people together, we can appreciate the impact that music has on society even more. In this course, you will reflect on your own personal musical preferences and how they shape your identity. After looking inward, the course delves into music as it relates to religion and rituals, politics and social change, retail and commerce, and fandom and geek culture. Even though talking about concerts, weddings, and political rallies is second best to experiencing them, analyzing these musical events with your classmates will help you to identify their cultural benefits.