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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Developing Your Musicianship by Berklee College of Music

1,205 ratings
389 reviews

About the Course

Learn the basic concepts and approaches needed to understand, create, and perform contemporary music. If you have a passion for music and are curious about how it works, or if you are a musician who learned to play by ear without formal study, this course will provide you with an engaging introduction to key concepts and approaches needed to understand, create, and perform contemporary music. Taught by Berklee College of Music professor George W. Russell, Jr., the course includes six lessons that delve into harmony and ear training—two areas of intensive focus for every entering Berklee student. The course will teach you the major scale and minor pentatonic scale, and how they are constructed. You will learn what intervals are, how to sing them, and how to find them in music. The course explores tonal centers and how to find the key a song is in, in addition to common time signatures such as 4/4 and 3/4. You will learn how to build chords—major and minor triads, and major and dominant seventh chords—and how to build a common chord progression—the I IV V. You will also learn how to recognize the blues and AABA song forms, and write a basic chord sheet to express your song ideas. In addition to the video lectures, each lesson features Berklee student performances and interviews. The students share their musical journey and offer advice for those wanting to study music. The course culminates with an assignment that asks you to compose and perform a riff blues tune using the minor pentatonic scale. Above all, the course is designed to share the joy of creating music and sharing it with others. Samy Elgazzar, a graduate of Berklee College of Music and a successful composer, will be your Teaching Assistant (TA) for the course....

Top reviews


May 20, 2021

This course is a incredible one to kick start as a musician , it allows one to grow and learn basic musical chords and notes, it gave me deep knowledge about the harmony, ear training and song form.


May 30, 2021

Wonderful course! The instructor is great and the lessons are very well planned and with attainable learning goals. So much fun! I loved it so much I enrolled in the 4-course Specialization.

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351 - 375 of 390 Reviews for Developing Your Musicianship

By 15451

Sep 14, 2019


By Paulo D G S C

Sep 3, 2019


By Ayasa K

Jul 23, 2019


By James C W L

Jan 8, 2018


By Kurt S

Jan 15, 2021

I'm only giving 4 stars here for a couple reason. First though - let me say that the specialization is well worth the time if only for more practice and exposure to something you might not have had yet and the instructor, materials, and references are great. However, I think the structure is lacking for an overall experience. This course focuses more on giving you a fast track system for popular/jazz based experience touching topics early students shouldn't even be seeing and missing many they should. For instance, early on they cover the major/minor scale then push into pentatonic scales (something I feel should be left until after you understand harmonics well). No real mention of Harmonic rhythm or progression is given outside of a few popular chord progressions. Cadences, sequences and non-chord tones aren't even a topic yet they introduce modulation and only to make it a bit spicy. They cover 7ths and tensions but don't cover voice leading and melodies have like 1 week the entire course. I would recommend the specialization to someone getting back into music after a long break but not for anyone else. It's either to easy for intermediates or to hard (and potentially damaging) for brand new musicians/composers.

By John E P

Sep 3, 2019

A good review. I was glad to see the major/minor pentatonic scales. Voicing with 7-3-5 was very satisfying. I did not enjoy the pop quiz where you have to find the precise answer or you fail. I was quoting the instructor and still got the answer wrong. No matter, I knew my answers were right so I skipped through the pop quizzes, We didn't talk about leading notes but maybe that was for a later segment. I enjoyed the instructor, George. He obviously absolutely loves music, it's contagious. Thank you George.

By Joshua L E

Jan 6, 2017

This course was a good use of time for me as I didn’t have much back ground in music theory.

I now know how to construct a major and minor scale with any root. I’m also able to use those scales to build a number of chords to help guide improvisation.

I found the ear training exercises to be a fun way to develop my musical awareness. I found them a little annoying because when I would go back to try them again my answers from the day before were still there.

By Melisa Z

Jul 16, 2020

It was a good course for learning basic things but it could be better at sharing our knowledge with different activities. The coursera system is not sufficient for music courses. I love the teacher most, he is so fantastic and sweet, i would like to take courses from him in reality :) To sum up it is a good course to take in your free time !

By Jorge A D

May 22, 2019

El curso bastante bien pero ofrecían un descuento para los cursos de Berklee Online y resulta que es solo para los que toman por primera vez, al inicio envían un correo diciendo que se les dará un descuento especial pero no especifican esa parte. Eso deja mucho que desear pero en el contenido y todo lo demás bastante bien.

By Nuno M

Jan 11, 2021

Good course. Although I already knew much of what was presented it was helpful to solidify the concepts and, of course, you always learn something new. Really made me want to enroll in Berklee and go all the way to a PHD, but you know... life. Remember everyone, music is hard, this is why we should do it!

By Chris

Sep 27, 2021

T​he course went a little too fast, not a lot of practice exercises, quiz and test. I think there should be more of those in order to gain better understanding and have solid foundation to start the next course. But overall, it is good. This course require a lot of practice on own time.


Oct 5, 2020

Es muy divertido. Los ejercicios son relativamente difíciles si nunca antes has tenido un acercamiento a la música de manera académica como yo. Sin embargo, les puedo asegurar que son muy útiles y les ayudarán a dar primeros vistazos del divertido mundo que es la música.

By Marc S

Aug 10, 2017

Good introductory course for someone with little to no musical knowledge or background but it still seems a little light on material for a 6-week course. On the plus side, George is an amazing instructor with a wonderfully memorable and infectious attitude.

By Meghan G

Apr 21, 2022

t​his was a very good course on music theory. However, it is NOT a class for beginners. It is an intermediate level class. Coursera should change the level. Also, an insturment, preferably a piano or keyboard, is required for the class.

By Joshua W

Sep 19, 2019

Great course! Explained a lot of the foundations of music (including scales, chords, and song forms). I only wish it was a little bit more in-depth. But hey, it's only the first part of a specialization, so I'm still excited!

By Maximo M A Z

Nov 11, 2021

Es un curso muy entretenido y con lecciones divertidas e interactivas, cumple con los objetivos de aprender conceptos de armonía básica y poder utilizarlos, y te ayuda en tu entrenamiento auditivo.

By Erik P

Mar 3, 2018

i do not own a printer, which made this class a bit of a challenge at first to get the sheet paper submitted.. but I liked the course content and the teacher has a great energy to him and his work.

By Francis L G P

Sep 19, 2016

This course whet my appetite for some more Berklee courses. Definitely recommended to musicians who would love to improve their craft. Thanks, Coursera and Berklee!

By Kaveesha S

Jul 2, 2020

Great course and I learned Lots of things in music theory and got a chance to train my ear as well. Most of all had lots of fun. Thank you Berklee.

By Rufina P

Aug 14, 2020

The professor is super fun and engaging! A good beginner friendly class. The video feels like it's getting outdated, but the material is timeless.


Nov 22, 2018

Was a good introduction to ear training and basic chord progressions. Good recap for intermediate-level musicians and great pace for beginners.

By Kam K Y

Nov 7, 2017

This course works for me.

I had classical background but wanted to learn more about how to make use of chords and combination of chords.

By Beatrice W

Aug 3, 2020

Excellent course! The exercises were challenging, this course definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone...

By Somnath P

Jul 8, 2017

clefs werent clearly explained.

and easy reading and writing techniques could have been taught

By Arpit A

Sep 13, 2018

It was a good course, and I think it was a good introduction to music theory.