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Thread: Musical U- anyone used it?

  1. #1
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    Default Musical U- anyone used it?

    Looking at an ad for Musical U- a 6 week online course for learning music basics in a different way. Not quite sure what way. Offers lots of extras and only $49 now. Anyone familiar with it?

  2. #2
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    If the traditional method isn't working with you, then a "different way" might be what you are looking for. But, what is "music basics"?
    IMHO, nothing beats in-person instruction with music. It's like learning a language, you need somebody to speak it with.

  3. #3
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    I'm not sure what specific course you are referring to, but I have taken several Musical U courses and they have all been excellent. They have a very supportive online community as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBWhite View Post
    I'm not sure what specific course you are referring to, but I have taken several Musical U courses and they have all been excellent. They have a very supportive on line community as well.
    "Foundations of a Musical Mind" is the one I am looking at.

  5. #5
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    Foundations of a Musical Mind will introduce to the Kodaly approach to music education - learning to identify and produce beats, rhythms, and pitches. This approach is most often used with children. Never having had any formal music training, I found this course to be helpful as it truly does provide foundational concepts in how to think about music (Musical U would call this 'building a mental model'). I worked through the course with a guitar, but you can use any instrument (including your voice). Parts of the course were very challenging - such as identifying the rhythm and melody of various tunes. If you have specific questions about the course, let me know, and I will try to answer them.
    Last edited by DBWhite; 11-28-2020 at 05:11 AM.

  6. #6
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    I saw their commercial on YouTube today. First time I ever watched a commercial through on purpose....
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  7. #7
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    Thanks DB and Nickie. Your input helped.
    I just watched the uTube commercial. I don't think their approach is what I want.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by flailingfingers View Post
    Thanks DB and Nickie. Your input helped.
    I just watched the uTube commercial. I don't think their approach is what I want.
    I've tried a few different music instructional methods in the past; and my son's also have been taking music lessons for many years. Here's a summary of how I feel about each:

    1. Regularly-scheduled private 1:1 in-person instruction. This works best for kids; but doesn't work well for casual adults in the long term (because it puts too much pressure). As a casually-interested-in-music adult, I don't mind going this route for 1-2 months then stopping. Kind of like using it as an in-depth technical workshop. Long term, like 6 months, however, puts a lot of practice stress on me. It is definitely worth the cost, if you are ok with the stress. Kids aren't stressed as much because parents just entice them to practice with some video game time.

    2. Regularly-scheduled private 1:1 online instruction. This model just doesn't work well for anybody above intermediate skill level; my son's doing it since March. The technical problems, poor sound quality, and lack of multiple camera angles makes hard for both the student to understand what the teacher demo/instructs and hard to teacher to see and hear what the student is doing (the nuance of movement and dynamics are just not there). This type of instruction is totally not worth anywhere near the in-person price. We (and likely many, many others) are paying it just because of established teacher relationship. I'm going to say, I might go for it if it is 25% of in-person price.

    3. Regularly-scheduled in-person, non-graded group instruction. This doesn't work well for kids, but works ok for very casual adults. There's no practice pressure. Other benefits: you meet other students with similar interests; and can performing in front of a group at every class (after all, music is about playing for others). The trouble is that the quality of instruction is generally low (I have experience with music schools and community centers). I don't think this type of instruction is worth the money or time for anybody who's more than a beginner.

    4. Regularly-scheduled in-person, graded group instruction. The instruction I'm referring to is offered by the music departments of your local university (like for me, it is the San Jose State University's Open University program) where the same college classes are opened to the public. This works great for casual adults in terms of instruction and cost; but it has the drawback of needing to work from home during the class days because classes are usually in the day. The instruction is good quality with well qualified professors; and your fellow students take things a bit more seriously. In fact, I formed a small band with some students (many are very advanced players); and we had public performances; which made music practice more purposeful so less of a chore. I.e. you get all the #3 (above) benefits without the low quality. I think, for casual adults, this is the best form of instruction.

    5. Computer-based, interactive, self-teach instruction. The hardest part about self-teaching is knowing if you've played something correct-enough to pass and move on. You can record yourself, of course, but if you are still learning, it is hard to make a judgement. Here's where the computer can help; it can check your timing and note pitches are correct; and give you a grade. Once your grade is high enough, you can post online to get feedback from others on forums. then you are in a better position to determine whether you've passed or not. I tried this with the ukulele (although I didn't post online for feedback since I already have some music background) and found it to be too boring to continue. I don't think it is worth the time after 2-3 months. Cost is minimal, so you can assume it is free.

    6. DVD and books, self-teach instruction. When I first picked up the ukulele, I used my old guitar books to learn it. After just a week, I know this method isn't for me. So I went to the computer-based instruction (#5 above). This is so boring and painful that it took all the fun of making music out of me. I'd definition don't wish this on any person I like; maybe for my enemies

    7. Youtube videos. I don't even want to call this any type of instruction or self-teach. These videos are good at teaching a few technical issues; but even then, one has to be very careful so as to not learn from somebody who don't know (i.e. learning it totally wrong). It is just not worth the trouble for somebody wishing to learn music.

    I've never tried any online instruction courses, but I'm thinking about signing up for one.

    Overall, I value highly in-person type when it comes to music education. I also value controllable, fun stress like the stress from needing to practice to perform for the public. And, of course, cost (in money and time)-to-quality ratio is important to me as well. So the above I'd rank the instructions as follows for a casual adult:

    1. University/college music department classes.
    2. Private 1:1 in-person
    3. Music school and community center group
    4. Interactive computer-based self-teach

    The rest I cannot recommend.

    Wow, I think this is the longest post I've ever made here.

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