Music Education in America
Keep music education going during the pandemic
With schools across the country in virtual mode due to coronavirus, remote music education resources have seen a massive uptick as of late, with companies and nonprofits alike offering cheap and easy ways to learn music making online.
The range of virtual programs that have sprouted up over the last year isn’t just for kids. From professional webinars to online lessons, children and adults alike are being given access to complimentary and low-cost courses, mentoring sessions, and free trials to music learning apps. Many of these initiatives also serve as a lifeline for musicians who have been put out of work by the pandemic, offering them paid online teaching slots to help fill the gaps in their income.
Billboard.com has compiled a list of low-to-no-cost online music education resources currently being offered by a variety of companies, schools, and organizations, from the Berklee College of Music to TED talk to the Grammys. Take a look and see if anything catches your eye. With regular lessons from your guitar teacher combined with these resources, you are sure to grow your guitar playing skill and knowledge even from the confines of your own home.
The Berklee College of Music is offering free massive online open courses that enable prospective students to sample the “Berklee experience” for free. Instructors include vibraphonist Gary Burton, producer and engineer Prince Charles Alexander, songwriting professor Pat Pattinson and entertainment lawyer John Kellogg. You can browse a list of free courses here.
The venerable concert venue in New York City has made its Musical Explorers curriculum, designed for families with young children, available for free online. It has also introduced a resource hub for music educators that includes professional development resources, lesson plans, and more. Teens can take advantage of NYO-U — a free online series of “mini-master classes” written and produced by members and alumni of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, as well as free videos offering an in-depth look at Carnegie Hall’s in-person workshops and masterclasses. Most recently, it launched the free online series Learn with Carnegie Hall, which offers a range of musical activities for families created by the Weill Music Institute. Programs are available via carnegiehall.org/learn as well as its Facebook and Instagram channels.
The museum is bringing weekly Songwriter Sessions and its flagship education program, Words & Music, to Instagram Live. The Songwriter Sessions — featuring Q&As with the writers behind hits for Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Sam Hunt, and more — will take place Tuesdays at 8 p.m. CDT; while virtual songwriting course Words & Music at Home will air Thursdays at 2 p.m. CDT.
While it is temporarily closed to the public, the museum will release educational content and lesson plans via its website and digital platforms, along with digital exhibits and never-before-seen video interviews with artists and industry professionals from its archive.
Through its Lincoln Center at Home initiative, the historic venue is hosting daily pop-up classrooms for families via Facebook Live every weekday at 2 pm ET.
TED-Ed creates free, video-based interactive lessons for all ages, built by a network of 500,000 educators. Lessons range from “How to Read Music” to “Beatboxing 101” to “Getting Started as a DJ.”
The nonprofit catering to underserved women, girls, and gender non-conforming individuals free virtual classes on various music-related topics. It is also offering a collection of the organization’s online training modules for free.
These are only a few of the great resources you can find online to grow and enhance your music education. These sessions, combined with your lessons from a quality guitar instructor will lead you on the right path to guitar success.