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Berklee College of Music

Modern Musician Capstone

Berklee College of Music via Coursera

This course may be unavailable.


Important update: the Modern Musician Specialization will close for new learner enrollment on May 23, 2016. If you are interested in earning a Specialization Certificate and have not pre-paid for the Specialization, please upgrade or apply for Financial Aid by May 22, 2016.

This Specialization will continue to run until May 23, 2017 to allow current students to complete their coursework, however it will be closed to new enrollment after May 23, 2016. Berklee is developing many new MOOCs that will be offered on Coursera and we plan on offering specializations in each of the areas that are currently covered in the Modern Musician Specialization.
Learn the basic concepts and approaches needed to understand, create, and perform contemporary music.

The music industry is undergoing enormous change, and as a result, musicians increasingly need skills in a number of different areas in order to succeed. The Modern Musician Specialization is designed to provide you with a foundation in music theory, music production, and songwriting, arming you with the tools you need to write and produce your own music.

After successfully completing the three prior courses of the Modern Musician Specialization, this capstone experience is your chance to use your talent and accumulated knowledge to create and submit a finished, fully produced song. As you go through milestones, you will develop a song and vision for the finished product. You will then plan and execute its production, including recording, editing, mixing, and posting the finished product. All along the way, you will receive feedback from the peer review process, allowing you to tweak and refine your finished song.


Song Development and Simple Recording
Welcome to Week 1 of the Modern Musician Capstone project. This week, you will focus on writing the song you will work with for the the next four weeks.

Create a Production Plan
Now that you have written the song, the next step is to prepare to convert your idea into a recording. How will you realize your vision in the production phase? The best way forward is to make a detailed three part production plan and schedule.

Create a 'Rough' Bounce
This week you will complete the execution of the production plan through an initial "rough" bounce. Remember as you go through this process that a wonderful feature of contemporary production software is the ability to change your mind!

Mix and Master
This is the last step in our Capstone project. You’ll commit to any last changes in your arrangement in response to the constructive expert and peer review from your last assignment, and then do a final mix, and post the result.

Taught by

Peter Bell


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