Juilliard Brings Online Music Education to the Masses

Juilliard eLearning will enable anyone with an internet connection to learn from the nation's most talented musicians.

As school music programs dwindle under severe budget cuts, a generation of kids is growing up without music education. If they can't afford private lessons, students can always head to YouTube to learn how to play the piano, but the quality of the instruction is hit-or-miss. Now The Juilliard School, the nation’s most prestigious college for the performing arts, hopes to change all that by offering its world-class music courses through Connections Education, an online education provider.

The content for the classes, called Juilliard eLearning, will be developed by the school’s staff and alumni. The first classes—which will be offered this fall to K-12 students as well as adults interested in building their musical skills—will align with national music standards.

Juilliard has yet to announce details about specific classes—or how much they’ll cost—but administrators say students will be able to learn how to sing, read music, and play an instrument through virtual music demonstrations, instructional videos, and animation from Juilliard’s faculty and Connections Education’s teachers. Eventually, the program will also offer classes in music theory and music history.

Perhaps virtual classes can't replace the presence of full-time music teachers in every K-12 school, but if Juilliard eLearning proves to be a high quality—and reasonably priced—option, students may yet receive the music education they deserve.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user cwwycoff1