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

1,123 ratings
356 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

Apr 13, 2020

Hands down the best music theory course I've ever taken. I had trouble with understanding theory in the past, but this course has made it so incredibly easy. I'm so happy with the results!

Jul 5, 2020

This course has been extremely helpful for me to get started on learning music theory. The course material is top quality (video, study guides, assignments etc.) Highly recommended!

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26 - 50 of 356 Reviews for Developing Your Musicianship

By Kaizad N

Jan 12, 2021

I joined this course having played music by ear for over 15 years - guitar, singing, ukulele, keys, synths, music production. And yet, I would find it so difficult to sit down and just... jam with musicians I loved. As a result I would just focus on composing at my own pace, in my own space. Not ideal, but I still loved it.

I wanted to develop a core understanding of what I was doing by ear, so that I could just jump right in at jams, shows etc. I loved the pace of this course. I had no trouble keeping up, and yet was never bored as the pace allowed me to take everything in, imbibe it into my hands, and then move along. Can't wait for part 2!

By Tamerlan K

Apr 12, 2020

Professor George Russell is one the greatest music teachers I've ever had and I only regret that these lessons were online – I can only imagine how awesome they would be if I could actually interact and communicate with him!

This course is exceptional in encouraging you to experiment, practice and be creative with everything you learn from the very first steps, so you dive in into the world of music right ahead, without spending months on simply learning and memorizing bunch of abstract stuff. This is extremely valuable.

It's a perfect course for the beginners, best start possible and I recommend it to everybody!

By João P B

Jun 23, 2020

Very good and practical course. Very straight to the point and clear for those who want to improve the technique of teaching music. As a professional musician and teacher for almost 10 years, this course helped me to have more didactics to teach. Super recommend this course for everyone!

Curso muito bom e prático. Muito direto ao ponto e claro para quem quer aperfeiçoar a técnica de ensinar música. Como músico profissional e professor há quase 10 anos, este curso me ajudou a ter mais didática para ensinar. Super recomendo este curso para todos e todas!

By Felipe C

Sep 5, 2020

Me encantó, aprendí muchísimo. El uso de la escala pentatónica menor definitivamente me hará progresar mucho en mi instrumento y también me ayudará a construir mis propias canciones. Algo que siento que faltó fue como tal explicar de dónde salían las escalas, los acordes de séptima, etc. Pero como el mismo George aclara, hay cursos más avanzados. algo muy genial es ver los vídeos de las presentaciones de los estudiantes de Berklee, muy mptivante y genial. 5/5 por mi parte.

By Ritik M

Jul 5, 2020

Thank you very much to the concerned professor George Russell sir. I am very much impressed with your great knowledge and charming nature. Thanks for granting us with these cheerful and marvelous sessions; we learned a lot and will always try to implement your advises pertaining to this music field. Thanks BERKLEE COLLEGE for this wonderful course. This course made my holidays very fruitful and fantastic. Always love BERKLEE COLLEGE...


By Dr. B N (

Apr 18, 2020

I loved this course. There were so many great things taught.

I would like to recommend that there be a way (if there is, I am not aware of it) to refute some feedback. I had to re-do my last project because I was graded incorrectly. The person that offered feedback did not follow the lesson correctly. This was frustrating for me but if there was a way to eliminate that element I think it would be better for us students learning with Coursera.

By Zani M

Aug 25, 2020

LOVED IT! Loved the pace of the lessons. The style of the professor. He totally enjoys teaching this course and his constant smile, positivity and enthusiasm are inspiring.

I'm a beginner in terms of musicianship and I really learned a lot in this course. I feel like I have a solid foundation regarding the fundamentals of music theory and a good basis from which to continue my studies.

I highly recommend this course! Sad it's over!

By Bill H

Sep 29, 2020

I enjoyed this course and learned quite a lot. I had some background knowledge coming in, so I was able to move through at a faster pace. I made a few mistakes, though, too, and so it was definitely good to slow down and review! Perhaps most importantly from my point of view as a musician, I learned what I still need to work on in practice in order to develop. This kind of formative feedback is the most valuable thing of all!

By Paula J W

Oct 16, 2020

The course was excellent. I enjoyed all of the subject matter; I had some difficulties with the ear training lessons but I just used a keyboard to assist me. The other areas I enjoyed was formulating a C7, 12-bar blues, the pentatonic scale and Cmaj and Cmin scales along with being exposed to a blues ending.

Writing the scale chart was fun too. Thank you Prof. Russell for all that you taught me.

By Muhammad H

Jun 5, 2020

It was a great course. I learned about many things that I was aware about but never knew the logic behind. I learned about what is Major Scale and how it's constructed. I also got to know about the Major and Minor Triads and how to form Major chords. I also learned a very new thing called Minor Pentatonic Scale. Lastly, I learned about 7th Chords and their theory and construction.

By Spyridon P

Jan 24, 2021

Very nice course to act as a basis for music theory. Information given and the supplemental material is very useful. Only slight improvement I could think of is to give more information regarding intervals (e.g. how to figure out quantity/quality). It feels like the intervals are just jumping out of the blue in the discussion a bit.

Otherwise, it's a great time investment.

By Abdulrahman H A

Oct 8, 2020

It was a great experience that I will not limit it to that course; the way I was taught in that course and the fun I had practicing and solving quizzes did make me more passionate about playing the piano. I'm going to finish the whole specialization and go deeper into more advanced ones to be the musician surgeon that I always dreamt of!

By bao l

May 11, 2020

I discovered this course 5 years ago when there was only Develop Your Musicianship I. However, it is recent months when I‘ve decided to take the course II, III & IV. Finally I find myself fulfilled: composing songs with the music theories and skills taught by the magnificent Prof.George W. Russell, Jr. :D

You will not regret it!

By Leah L

Oct 12, 2020

I went into this course wanting to increase my knowledge of music theory and came out with so much more! I learned the basics of music composition, a new appreciation for blues and discovered the amazing teachers and students of Berklee. Thank you for a musical experience that has been both interesting and enriching.

By Abby M

Oct 27, 2020

Just completed first module - can’t recommend enough! I have studied music in the past but I have never experienced such high quality positive teaching! I really like the interactive peer group learning as it’s really helpful and encourages me to keep going and other people help you figure things out. Go for it!!!


Apr 27, 2020

Great course! It has significantly increased my ability to recognize different chords, intervals and many more about music. I am very thankful to the Berklee team and especially my instructor George. His teaching technique is absolutely brilliant and I have definitely improved a lot as a musician. Thank you.

By Kevin M H

May 31, 2020

Excellent course for those with limited to moderate music theory knowledge. The professor introduces concepts in a clear and concise manner, and the topics are varied enough that you remain engaged. The course also features well designed in-video quizes and assignments to ensure the material is sinking in.

By Mary P L

Jul 19, 2020

Hats off to Mr.George my music teacher, who made my learning as easy as possible, he's the best teacher ever i learnt from. Thank you sir, now wish to pursue more into music. I really enjoyed for the first time learning music, as Mr. George always tells, it's mandate to have fun while learning music.

By Angie P R G

Jun 4, 2020

This is the first time that a take a music course, of course I know read sheets and some chords (the basics), but I didn't know about the scales or other chords, I know how to read a song, but I want to improve and play my own songs, this course is perfect to start to know more about music theory,

By Jazmine

May 3, 2020

Absolutely loved this course and suggested it to my friends to take. I appreciate the school providing quality material and a quality instructor for many to learn from, free of cost. I learned so much, genuinely enjoyed myself, and am excited to take the other three courses in this specialization!

By Leo A

Apr 5, 2017

George Russell is a beyond phenomenal teacher. I would fly to Boston just to take classes with him.

What a blessing of a human being. I never played piano in my life and thanks to him and his amazing personality, am becoming proficient!

Thank you for being you Mr. Russell!

Leo Arias

By Samit

Jun 7, 2020

Very well paced course. George is an absolutely awesome teacher and he builds the concepts taught right into your sub conscience effortlessly. You'll have to practice a lot outside the course to see the real application of the concepts being taught but he lays a great foundation.

By Gabriela E P G

Nov 26, 2018

excelente formación para profesionales en música y personas que quieren dedicarse a ello, en mi país hay carencia de educación musical, por lo tanto estos cursos son excelentes para ordenar el conocimiento empírico y al académico que levemente se puede accesar.

By Alexander A

Oct 10, 2018

This course has really opened op my creative potential and built my confidence in playing and songwriting/producing. Anyone who sees me taking the lessons or hears how much I'm enjoying what the course offers wants to take the course themselves!

By Vladimir H

Sep 23, 2016

This course is a great introduction to music theory. I have been playing by ear for a long time and i now finally understand some of the things that i did before. I recommend this course to those that one to get a good foundation in music.