So the core idea of educating people regardless of their means is exactly what we’re about.”Biss tells me he designed the syllabus “for everyone”: from those who may have played all 32 Beethoven sonatas to those who had never even bashed out a C-major scale. “This was such a new venture for me, for Curtis, and for Coursera, which has never partnered with a music conservatoire. Ah, September: eternal month of new pencil cases, clean textbooks and butterflies in the tummy.
edX offers a course on “I expected maybe 500 people to sign up,” Biss, himself an alumnus, tells me from his home in New York. One of the things about the internet is, if you choose to, you can be truly anonymous, so there’s a safety in this model that is specific to the culture of the web.”As anyone who has ever read an online comment thread knows, that very anonymity means that there sometimes lurks, in the so-called ‘bottom half of the internet’, the very worst of humanity. “And what we’re already seeing in the comment threads for the course, which are yielding some amazingly intelligent discussions, are that those with more knowledge are sharing that with those who have less.” Later, I check and see that almost a thousand people have posted comments so far; there is not a single troll among them.One of those students is Lauren Hirsch, who learned the piano from the age of six to sixteen but has had “a 25-year hiatus”. Mooc-sceptics like Time magazine’s Andrew J Rotherham Moreover the online model, Biss reckons, addresses one of the most depressing things about the perceived elitism of classical music: the supposed barriers to entry. But we all have a tendency towards shame at what we don’t know, and that might make someone reluctant to take a course if their lack of knowledge was at risk of being exposed. “But sometimes the best too!” Biss counters.
Read about our approach to external linking. One of the world’s most elite music academies is offering courses online – and thousands of people of different musical abilities are signing up. Few recent trends have caught on quite like online education, which is rising at a staggering rate. Hirsch too has been struck by the “sheer number of people taking the course who don't know anything about classical music other than Beethoven's name. "It adds: "The current generation of music learners can explore any era or kind of music at any time. “It breaks my heart a little bit every time I hear someone say ‘oh, I love hearing classical music, but I don’t understand it’”, he says. It says there is a risk this "disconnect" means current teaching methods may become outdated.
The report also says that the focus of music education should be ensuring every child is supported to take music further.
"This is not about one replacing the other, but about bringing together the best in technology to work alongside and challenge acoustic music-making to create more relevant contemporary practice. “There’s no denying that the audience is not there in front of me in studio, but you learn to imagine the audience.”Last week he posted on the course forum that he’d be in Philadelphia’s Café L’Aube at noon on Thursday and anyone local was welcome to join him. Udacity currently offers only courses in business, computer science, design, mathematics and science. “So I have been absolutely floored.”To date, more than 35,000 people have signed up for his five-week Beethoven course. “My dream student,” he admits, “was someone who has heard the music and been in some way turned on by it, but who has never had the opportunity to delve any deeper.” The tens of thousands of students who have signed up appear to come from widely diverse backgrounds, and are a range of ages, nationalities and levels of musical experience.All this seems to fly defiantly in the face of the common refrain that interest in classical music is on the wane and that audiences are aging to the point of no return.
"The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sitesFace coverings will be needed in more places, but shielding and workplace advice remain the same.
“We’re so used to hearing that the sky is falling in, so this incredibly redemptive,” says Ludwig, who will teach a Coursera course later this autumn on the Some commentators are less convinced. That is almost ten times the number of Curtis Institute students there have ever been since the school was founded in 1923.
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