Developing Your Musicianship Specialization

Starts Apr 03

Developing Your Musicianship Specialization

Develop your skills as a musician

Deepen your understanding of music theory to develop your skills as a musician.

About This Specialization

Nurture your love for, and understanding of, music with this specialization. Learn the fundamentals of music theory, including major and minor tonalities, chord scales, song forms, and chord qualities. You’ll also practice training your ear to hear and recognize various intervals, chord progressions, and chord qualities. For the Capstone project, you will directly apply the knowledge you’ve gained to write and perform a short musical composition. This specialization begins with the basics of music and builds to more advanced concepts, providing you the knowledge you need to improve your skills as a musician.

Created by:

courses
4 courses

Follow the suggested order or choose your own.

projects
Projects

Designed to help you practice and apply the skills you learn.

certificates
Certificates

Highlight your new skills on your resume or LinkedIn.

Projects Overview

Courses
Beginner Specialization.
No prior experience required.
  1. COURSE 1

    Developing Your Musicianship

    Upcoming session: Apr 3 — May 22.
    Commitment
    7 weeks of study, 3-5 hours/week
    Subtitles
    English, Ukrainian, Portuguese (European), Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish, Lithuanian

    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.
  2. COURSE 2

    Musicianship: Chord Charts, Diatonic Chords, and Minor Keys

    Upcoming session: Apr 3 — May 8.
    Commitment
    4 weeks of study, 3-5 hours a week
    Subtitles
    English

    About the Course

    After a tremendous response from learners on Coursera, Berklee Online has created a Developing Your Musicianship specialization, and this course is the second course in the series. If you have a basic knowledge of music theory or if you have completed Developing Your Musicianship I, this course will continue to help you understand key musical concepts, enabling you to create and perform contemporary music. Taught by Berklee College of Music professor George W. Russell, Jr., the course includes four lessons that delve into the next level of harmony and ear training. The course will introduce you to new key signatures, including minor tonalities, and how they are constructed. You will train your ear to hear minor intervals and 7th chords. You will learn how to build 7th chords, and how to build common chord progressions. You will also learn the major pentatonic scale and how to construct melodies using this scale. The course culminates with an assignment that asks you to compose and perform an 8-measure composition using popular chord progressions and the Major pentatonic scale. Just like Developing Your Musicianship I, the course is designed to impart the joy of creating music and sharing it with others.
  3. COURSE 3

    Musicianship: Tensions, Harmonic Function, and Modal Interchange

    Current session: Mar 27 — May 1.
    Commitment
    4 weeks of study, 3-5 hours a week.
    Subtitles
    English

    About the Course

    After a tremendous response from learners on Coursera, Berklee Online has created a Developing Your Musicianship specialization, and this course is the third course in the series. If you have a general understanding of music theory or if you have completed Developing Your Musicianship I and II, this course will continue to help you understand musical concepts, enabling you to create and perform contemporary music. Taught by Berklee College of Music professor George W. Russell, Jr., the course includes four lessons that delve into an intermediate level of harmony and ear training. The course will introduce you to new key signatures, and explore how they are constructed. You will continue to train your ear, learning to differentiate between the various intervals and chords that were explored in Developing Your Musicianship I and II. You will learn how to borrow chords from parallel tonalities (modal interchange), and how to write more common chord progressions. The course culminates with an assignment that asks you to compose and perform a composition using popular chord progressions. As with Developing Your Musicianship I and II, this course is designed to share the joy of creating music.
  4. COURSE 4

    Developing Your Musicianship: Final Project

    Upcoming session: May 8 — Jun 12.
    Commitment
    4 weeks of study, 2-3 hours/week
    Subtitles
    English

    About the Capstone Project

    This course will guide you through the final project for the Developing Your Musicianship Specialization. This course will continue to help you apply the musical concepts you learned throughout the specialization, enabling you to create and perform a 36-measure composition. Taught by Berklee College of Music professor George W. Russell, Jr., the course includes four videos in which George models each stage of the project. Through peer feedback and discussion, practice, and applying what you’ve learned, this final project will hone your skills as a musician.

Creators

  • Berklee

    About Berklee

    Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than half a century, the college has evolved to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. Berklee serves distance learners worldwide through its award-winning online extension school, Berklee Online.

  • George W. Russell, Jr.

    George W. Russell, Jr.

    Professor

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