About this Specialization
100% online courses

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Students may want to have some knowledge of basic music notation and will need access to an instrument, preferably a keyboard or piano.

Hours to complete

Approx. 6 months to complete

Suggested 3 hours/week
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Ukrainian, Portuguese (European), Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish, Lithuanian, German...

What you will learn

  • Check

    Aurally identify musical intervals, chords, and chord progressions

  • Check

    Write and practice major and minor scales in a variety of keys

  • Check

    Compose a 12-bar blues with a melody

  • Check

    Define and discuss harmonic function and modal interchange

Skills you will gain

ScalesMusicChordJazzMusic theory
100% online courses

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Students may want to have some knowledge of basic music notation and will need access to an instrument, preferably a keyboard or piano.

Hours to complete

Approx. 6 months to complete

Suggested 3 hours/week
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Ukrainian, Portuguese (European), Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish, Lithuanian, German...

How the Specialization Works

Take Courses

A Coursera Specialization is a series of courses that helps you master a skill. To begin, enroll in the Specialization directly, or review its courses and choose the one you'd like to start with. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. It’s okay to complete just one course — you can pause your learning or end your subscription at any time. Visit your learner dashboard to track your course enrollments and your progress.

Hands-on Project

Every Specialization includes a hands-on project. You'll need to successfully finish the project(s) to complete the Specialization and earn your certificate. If the Specialization includes a separate course for the hands-on project, you'll need to finish each of the other courses before you can start it.

Earn a Certificate

When you finish every course and complete the hands-on project, you'll earn a Certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network.

how it works

There are 4 Courses in this Specialization

Course1

Developing Your Musicianship

4.8
473 ratings
137 reviews
Learn the basic concepts and approaches needed to understand, create, and perform contemporary music. If you have a passion for music and are curious about how it works, or if you are a musician who learned to play by ear without formal study, this course will provide you with an engaging introduction to key concepts and approaches needed to understand, create, and perform contemporary music. Taught by Berklee College of Music professor George W. Russell, Jr., the course includes six lessons that delve into harmony and ear training—two areas of intensive focus for every entering Berklee student. The course will teach you the major scale and minor pentatonic scale, and how they are constructed. You will learn what intervals are, how to sing them, and how to find them in music. The course explores tonal centers and how to find the key a song is in, in addition to common time signatures such as 4/4 and 3/4. You will learn how to build chords—major and minor triads, and major and dominant seventh chords—and how to build a common chord progression—the I IV V. You will also learn how to recognize the blues and AABA song forms, and write a basic chord sheet to express your song ideas. In addition to the video lectures, each lesson features Berklee student performances and interviews. The students share their musical journey and offer advice for those wanting to study music. The course culminates with an assignment that asks you to compose and perform a riff blues tune using the minor pentatonic scale. Above all, the course is designed to share the joy of creating music and sharing it with others. Samy Elgazzar, a graduate of Berklee College of Music and a successful composer, will be your Teaching Assistant (TA) for the course....
Course2

Musicianship: Chord Charts, Diatonic Chords, and Minor Keys

4.9
233 ratings
56 reviews
After a tremendous response from learners on Coursera, Berklee Online has created a Developing Your Musicianship specialization, and this course is the second course in the series. If you have a basic knowledge of music theory or if you have completed Developing Your Musicianship I, this course will continue to help you understand key musical concepts, enabling you to create and perform contemporary music. Taught by Berklee College of Music professor George W. Russell, Jr., the course includes four lessons that delve into the next level of harmony and ear training. The course will introduce you to new key signatures, including minor tonalities, and how they are constructed. You will train your ear to hear minor intervals and 7th chords. You will learn how to build 7th chords, and how to build common chord progressions. You will also learn the major pentatonic scale and how to construct melodies using this scale. The course culminates with an assignment that asks you to compose and perform an 8-measure composition using popular chord progressions and the Major pentatonic scale. Just like Developing Your Musicianship I, the course is designed to impart the joy of creating music and sharing it with others....
Course3

Musicianship: Tensions, Harmonic Function, and Modal Interchange

4.8
178 ratings
44 reviews
After a tremendous response from learners on Coursera, Berklee Online has created a Developing Your Musicianship specialization, and this course is the third course in the series. If you have a general understanding of music theory or if you have completed Developing Your Musicianship I and II, this course will continue to help you understand musical concepts, enabling you to create and perform contemporary music. Taught by Berklee College of Music professor George W. Russell, Jr., the course includes four lessons that delve into an intermediate level of harmony and ear training. The course will introduce you to new key signatures, and explore how they are constructed. You will continue to train your ear, learning to differentiate between the various intervals and chords that were explored in Developing Your Musicianship I and II. You will learn how to borrow chords from parallel tonalities (modal interchange), and how to write more common chord progressions. The course culminates with an assignment that asks you to compose and perform a composition using popular chord progressions. As with Developing Your Musicianship I and II, this course is designed to share the joy of creating music....
Course4

Developing Your Musicianship: Final Project

4.7
43 ratings
24 reviews
This course will guide you through the final project for the Developing Your Musicianship Specialization. This course will continue to help you apply the musical concepts you learned throughout the specialization, enabling you to create and perform a 36-measure composition. Taught by Berklee College of Music professor George W. Russell, Jr., the course includes four videos in which George models each stage of the project. Through peer feedback and discussion, practice, and applying what you’ve learned, this final project will hone your skills as a musician....

Instructor

Avatar

George W. Russell, Jr.

Professor
Harmony/Piano

About Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than half a century, the college has evolved to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. Berklee serves distance learners worldwide through its award-winning online extension school, Berklee Online....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes! To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress.

  • This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.

  • This Specialization doesn't carry university credit, but some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more.

  • The whole specialization will take 18 weeks to complete. The breakdown is as follows:

    Developing Your Musicianship - 6 weeks

    Musicianship: Chord Charts, Diatonic Chords, and Minor Keys - 4 weeks

    Musicianship: Tensions, Harmonic Function, and Modal Interchange - 4 weeks

    Developing Your Musicianship Final Project - 4 weeks

    The specialization may be completed sooner or later than the recommended 18 weeks depending on your pace of learning.

  • While it would be helpful to have some familiarity with musical notation (such as the staff, note values and names, etc.) it is not required. Developing Your Musicianship I provides resources for students who are not familiar with musical notation at the start of the course.

  • Yes, we recommend taking them in order. Each course builds on the knowledge you learned in the last.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.