Education Disruption

Have you seen this? It’s a six week course in music production created by Louden Sterns and in association with Berklee that is free. Yes FREE!. The syllabus looks like everything you’d need to learn when starting out, a fantastic opportunity that I would have jumped at when younger.

It’s delivered through, a new platform for education that is threatening to disrupt the traditional educational model, not just online but elsewhere too. Coursera offers large scale (MOOC) classrooms, it actually looks like ANYONE can register to participate. There is a tutor assigned to the course and there is interaction between tutor and student. How it works is unclear at the moment but i’m going to dive in and take a look – who knows you might see me in the classroom at some point over there.

So where is this all heading? It reminded me of something Bob Lefsetz said recently in one of his letters –

Courses are gonna be online, you’re going to be able to learn from the best professors on the planet. So, unless you’re a star, you’re HISTORY!

He’s implying that in the future, if you like someone like David Guetta, you’ll be able to learn from someone like David Guetta. Popular artists and producers will have an opportunity to reach out to their fans and pass on knowledge (if they choose to) Where does this leave regular tutors with no industry experience? I’m not sure, perhaps it’s best to try and get some releases out eh? Seriously though, what’s the point in learning Dupstep from a producer who doesn’t actually make it? I had to teach a Dubstep course a while back and I tried my very best to deliver a high quality course to the students but I feel it could have been better had I been from the scene.

My own feelings are that in the future, most educational material (ie videos, lesson text) will become free and open to everyone. If there is a revenue stream through education it will be from the actual tutoring and mentoring. The web has facilitated a higher level of basic education for all, you can learn so much already for free. What most people want is proper guidance, how to apply the techniques they have questions about in proper practical ways that relate to the style they want to make. People will pay for the mentoring service and people will pay to use actual facilities – therefore the actual schools will still have a place.

What is clear is that online schools as they are will need to change and adapt. Nothing stays still, anyone who does runs the risk of becoming obsolete.


3 thoughts on “Education Disruption

  1. I’ve just taken a look and it’s pretty good – the video content is very lecture based and covers solid grounding. The funny thing though is that right away you’ve got experienced producer/instructors diving in and offering their own services. This will be a challenge for instructors – I don’t envy Louden’s job!

  2. Yup it’s decent so far, I took the free intro to sound design it was ok. could have used a little more on the practical side but the history and synthesis vids were nice. I would have liked to see the prof show us how he get’s sounds but I suppose that would be in a later course or some experimentation on my part.. Louden’s course does look decent though.

    1. I took the Intro to Digital Sound Design course as well, partly because Coursera is a hot topic at where I work (a public university in the states), and partly because I wanted to see what the quality of the material was like. I also seem to accomplish more in the studio when I have some structure. In the end the first class was okay, I was able to give insight at work, even got a solid chunk of education renewal units for a professional certification I have, but the class had flaws.

      Loudon’s class was immediately a different beast, he’s a very engaged instructor, and his weekly assignments have given the class an added value for me. I now have some instructional videos of my own, which are not exactly groundbreaking, but I can use them to both help out some friends, as well as put them as instructional examples if any opportunities open up where I work. The class is also a great foil to the first one, especially with how it’s engaging the students (well, those who want to participate, there is a lot of complaining on the class forums, but those people should just audit the class and not worry about assignments if they make them uncomfortable or they can’t carve out a little time for them), how the instructor is participating a lot, how the class has branched out to additional social media, and honestly, it is probably a good promotional vehicle for Berklee.

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