Recently, I’ve found the great online education platform Coursera.org that partners with top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Browsing the Music category of their course offers, two online courses by the well-reputed Berklee College of Music jumped off the page, and I immediately enrolled in the 5-week Introduction to Improvisation course hosted by the great vibes player Gary Burton. According to his website 39,000 other people had the same idea.
A little more than one week into the course, I find the experience inspiring. Burton provides weekly video clips on the basics of improvisation interspersed with quizzes and blog postings. However, the challenge lies in the weekly assignments. For the first weeks, all students were supposed to record one or more choruses on the jazz standard “What Is This Thing Called Love” and submit it for peer review. Below you can listed to the rendition that I submitted:
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There’s also a flourishing group on SoundCloud dedicated to people posting their improvisation recordings for everyone else to listen to and comment on.
I’m anxious to see what Gary Burton has in stock for us in the remaining 4 weeks!