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  • OT: CreateLIVE and Music Education


    From the comfort of your bed or home office, you can enroll in workshops about fashion photography, launching an online business, or the ins and outs of public relations, taught by best-selling authors, Emmy-nominated directors, and other esteemed professionals. Every course is live-streamed in real time and completely free.


    we're not strangers to 'online education' on teh informatron super-haiways and have learnt many tricks of various trades but not all artists are forum oriented. there's guides written specifically for n00bs but many would-be students have asked for video in addition to written materials

    the new tools seem to have affected the quantity of expression at the expense of quality. wether its giving the next generation the info they need to succeed artistically or a seasoned pro looking tips on how to use a new piece of gear, can we improve the resources available or does the internet make everyone stupid ?

    i'd like to start a discussion on the nature of education and the roles of forums, live streamed lectures, podcasts, youtube, and other online mediums vs texbooks, classrooms and apprenticeships.

    is it the quality of the resources ? for example can people actually learn how to play an instrument through youtube tutorials vs conservatory teachers ? learn to play live competently ? or should the internet stick to fostering gear talk ? is teaching the music business a stretch ?

    anyone have any thoughts on this ?

  • #2
    I think that a music performance student requires direct observation and feedback from a teacher. That may be possible with advanced two-way video conferencing, but in my experience on technical projects, interacting with people using this method does not work as well as face-to-face. You are also not going to get an interaction like one my former piano teacher used to illustrate proper forearm and wrist motion where I was required to put my hand on her wrist and feel the way it moved as she played.

    On the other hand, I think that Music theory, history, and other subjects that comprise what is essentially a lecture followed by Q&A are probably just fine provided that there is a way for the student to get interactive help as in office hours with a prof or TA. When I was a grad student I worked as a TA sometimes and also taught an entire session of intro to circuit analysis during the summer sessions. I made myself available to help with homework or lecture material at specific times or by appointment. I don't know how that would work in an online class - probably also with online video conferencing or email and skype or something like that.

    I attend webinars for technical subjects every once and a while and they can work pretty well. Ones with voice and slides over internet and questions taken via text messaging (there are systems online that handle it all) work pretty well. The best ones I have attended were run by at least two people with one giving the lecture and the other gathering and sorting questions for the Q&A time.

    I have thought that it would be fun to go back and revisit a basic music theory class and then take some more advanced stuff. As an engineering student it was all engineering and math classes after Freshman year. I have a classmate who is an architect and is doing that with guitar and using band in a box.

    ...Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity.

    G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).


    • #3
      here's an interesting talk about artists and creators getting direct feedback

      it gets a little emo at the end but overall very good chat

      here's bret's platform in action (available, open source at github under the khan cs platform) in computer science:


      (you can watch the intro video for an explanation)

      more in depth information on the platform here:


      it would be amazing to apply something like the khan cs platform to teaching beginners music theory. everything from what notes, rests, counting, etc look like to chords, and advanced concepts in harmony and whatnot.

      just a thought, and if you read ejohns blog prolly very difficult to implement !

      *edit: posting this hasn't been very smooth ! anyways the vid didn't pop up for me so here's a link incase it doesn't work for you either: http://vimeo.com/36579366

      and here's more on khans academy for the uninitiated: