Get a Free Music Education Online

July 1, 2009

Nowadays, it is easy to get an online music education without spending a dime. Universities, colleges and other online sources offer dozens of free courses and lessons for energetic self-learners. Here are 15 free online courses that almost any music student would enjoy:


Introduction to Music – Wikiversity offers free music education through its School of Music and Dance. This introductory music course provides instruction in musical concepts, rhythm, melody, timbre, structure, and texture.


Creating Musical Sounds – This course from the Open University teaches students about the sounds that come from different instruments. The course contains six sections to help students understand the waves and frequencies of different instruments. 


The Fundamentals to Scales and Key Signatures – The U.S. Army Element School of Music teaches students to write and identify all the scales and key signatures in music in this free music education course. Course topics include major and minor scales, chromatic, whole tone, and pentatonic scales. 


Music Composition – This free online music course from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) teaches students how to compose and perform their own work. The course includes audio files, composer notes, and sample projects completed by MIT students.


Harmony and Counterpoint I – Harmony and Counterpoint I is a two-part MIT course that explores the formal practices of classical music. Students are expected to study tones of figuration, simple counterpoint, and diatonic harmony. 


Sound for Music Technology – This Open University course focuses on the physics of sound. Students study the pitch and loudness of music in relation to amplitude and frequency. 


Voice Lesson – Berklee provides several free online music lessons to self-learners, including this voice lesson. The lesson includes video, practice exercises, and other study materials.  


Organ Performance – Brigham Young University offers this free music course with an emphasis on organ performance. The course includes 16 lessons as well as assignments. 


Musical Analysis – This MIT course focuses on rhythm, harmony, and line relationships. The course includes assignments and other study materials.


Free Violin Lessons – offer a variety of acoustic lessons separated into three categories: from beginner to advanced. 


Composition and Improvisation in Cross-Cultural Prospective – Students in this Open University course study the basic principles of music through video, music structure, and memory. 


Blues Basics – This free music lesson, also from Wikiversity, introduces students to playing the Blues. Topics include chord progression, scale, and twelve-bar blues. 


Bass Lessons – offers free interactive bass lessons for students of all levels.  There are more than 8,000 lessons available in all. 


Free Guitar Lessons – offers free video lessons to music students who want to learn to play the guitar. The site currently hosts more than 150 free lessons. A new lesson is added each week.


Free Piano Lessons – offers free video piano lessons for beginner and advanced students. This course includes seven lessons along with quizzes and an exam. 



Guest Post from Karen Schweitzer who writes about online college education for