I’m a huge fan of MOOCs (massive, open, online courses). So I’m especially excited about the handful of classes being offered for free on Coursera by one of my alma maters, Berklee College of Music.
The Introduction to Improvisation course, taught by legendary vibraphonist Gary Burton, looks particularly interesting. Improvisation is a valuable and rewarding skill, regardless of what style of music you typically play. If you’re a musician who currently doesn’t do much of it, this course should be right up your alley. Of course, there’s always something more to learn in the world of music, so I’d expect that those of you who are already experienced improvisers will still pick up a thing or two. (I’m also curious to see Burton’s approach to presenting a subject that isn’t always easy to teach.)
The course opens
Monday, April 22nd. I’m enrolled… maybe I’ll see you there!
Did I mention that it’s free?
UPDATE: The launch of the course has been delayed one week to Monday, April 29th.
They’ve just announced the workshop line-up for this year’s Leavenworth International Accordion Festival in June, and it looks pretty good!
I try to keep up with the news of the various conferences and festivals that pop up each year, even though I have yet to attend any of them. Leavenworth has always been at the top of my list because it just seems like so much laid-back fun. Heck, I’m a sucker for faux Bavarian villages, so I’d probably visit Leavenworth even without an accordion festival.
One of these years, when I have the dollars in the travel budget and the courage to fly commercial with an accordion, I’ll make it out there. (Something tells me the former will be easier to come up with than the latter.)
Main street, Leavenworth. Photo by David Morgan-Mar, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license