Great Passions

I recently enrolled in a few Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from Coursera and Berklee College of Music. I’m currently enrolled in Developing Your Musicianship, Introduction to Ableton Live and Introduction to Guitar. All of my classes just started this week and so far I’ve spent some time watching the current lesson in Musicianship and a few minutes of Ableton. This weekend I’ll finally have some time to really get my hands dirty with them.

It’s pretty exciting and a little intimidating to get back into music studies. I’ve written lyrics and melodies, since I was pretty young, but I’ve never made a song by myself and recorded it, let alone put it online for others to hear and critique. Still, it should be a great learning experience. – I don’t want to stress too much about the quality of the music I create just yet. Right now, I’m focusing on learning how to use the tools to make music. Success will mean diving in and learning the tools well enough to feel comfortable playing with them and creating new art beyond the courses themselves.

I first learned of Coursera from my Ableton email subscription, when they shared the news about Berklee offering the Ableton MOOC. I looked into it more to see what other classes they offer. Coursera also has Specializations, which are a series of their MOOCs and a final project to showcase what you learned. Berklee offers the Modern Musician Specialization, so I signed up! You just verify your identity when you sign up, and I think before taking quizes and stuff too, and then at the end of your Capstone project, you get a Verified Certificate. How cool is that? There’s also some cool incentives, like the opportunity for the top students to earn a scholarship to Berklee Online and books from Berklee Press.

A poster depicting a singer, woman playing guitar and a piano player. "Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things." – Denis Diderot

“Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.”
– Denis Diderot,
French Philosopher

Recently deciding to get back into music studies was the inspiration for this design, which I made today! I used Canva, a super simplistic but robust design tool. This file is missing some blur effects on a few images, which seemed to have been lost in the conversion from Canva to PDF download, but it seems worth sharing. It was a lot of fun to make!

I just discovered and learned to use Canva today. It’s a great app because it has a lot of visual assets for professional designers to just let loose with and get creative but it’s not difficult to use for novice designers. I was pretty pleased with the level of customization the app allows, and I can see Canva gaining improvements to the editing features and growing with its community of users.

Check it out and take it for a test drive and let me know if you make anything fun, I’d love to check it out!

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