Coursera – Developing Your Musicianship Lesson 2
Yesterday, the 2nd lesson for Coursera’s Developing Your Musicianship class started. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, its a 6 week, 6-session, online beginner’s music theory class. I have mixed feelings about Lesson 1. I don’t think it really went into detail about any of the topics it covered. It seems more functional to me than theoretical, which is probably fine, but even in that regard, it hasn’t felt like there was a lot of guidance. Of course, that might be the nature of having a decentralized online class with no real two-way video interaction between the students and teacher.
Here’s the first part of the Announcement for Lesson 2:
Hello, and welcome to lesson 2! This week, we are going to continue our exploration of intervals, focusing on the perfect 4th and perfect 5th intervals. We are also going to dive into the world of triads—specifically major and minor triads, and how they are constructed. Finally, we are going to look at the I IV V chord progression. I am sure you will recognize it instantly, as it appears in countless songs.
Professor Russell goes on from there to say that he has enjoyed reading our messages in the discussion forums and loves how we’re sharing music from our cultures, our tips for learning music and our passion for music. I wish he’d compound that by answering some of the posts/questions on the forums. Its really been the other students driving the questions and answers there, so that lack of true guidance concern really extends outward from just the lessons.
I understand that its a free online class, but I’d have liked to have seen something like an FAQ or other document that at least takes questions from prior offerings of the class and answers them. My hope is that Berklee would have the resources to comb through this information and codify it. Of course, its possible that these issues are actually resolved in their paying classes, and this could be a way to get input about that for minimal cost. Nothing in life is truly free.
Like with the first lesson, I’m familiar with the concepts that this session will be covering. I know what triads are, although I’m no expert, and I have an understanding of what a I-IV-V progression is. I haven’t blogged about it yet, but I’ve been playing with them a little more during practice at night via the Cycle of Fourths. I’ll see if I can post about that a little more later this week.
Here are the titles for the videos in the 2nd lesson:
Lesson 2: Major & Minor Triads
- Berklee Faculty/Student Spotlight What’s Your Story (3:00)
- Review (2:18)
- Perfect 4th and Perfect 5th Intervals (5:37)
- Interval Practice: Major 2nds, Major 3rds, Perfect 4ths, and Perfect 5ths (4:55)
- Building Major and Minor Triads (8:44)
- I IV V Chord Progression (5:00)
- Lesson Review and Assignment Overview (4:00)
- Berklee Student Performance: “Najat 1958” (9:33)
The videos total about 43 minutes, so this lesson is roughly the same in length as the first one. I’ll post about the videos after I’ve looked at them. My hope is that its more detailed than Lesson 1 was.
[edit 02.20.15] Here’s some info about the homework from other students that I reviewed: