With schools across the country now shuttered due to coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders, remote music education resources have seen a massive uptick as of late, with companies and nonprofits alike offering cheap and easy ways to learn music-making online.
The range of virtual programs that have sprouted up over the last several weeks aren’t just for kids. From professional webinars to online lessons, children and adults alike are being given access to complimentary and low-cost courses, mentoring sessions and free trials to music-learning apps. Many of these initiatives also serve as a lifeline for musicians who have been put out of work by the pandemic, offering them paid online teaching slots to help fill the gaps in their income.
Below you can find an extensive list of low-to-no-cost online music education resources currently being offered by a variety of companies, schools and organizations, from the Berklee College of Music to SoundCloud to Fender guitars. The list will be continually updated over the coming weeks as more programs and resources become available.
8 Til Faint’s Virtual Panel Series
8 Til Faint founder and Jessie Reyez manager Mauricio Ruiz curated an April 6 virtual panel for artist managers like Jordan Evans and Matthew Burnett (Daniel Caesar, Charlotte Day Wilson), Tyler Henry (PARTYNEXTDOOR) and more to talk strategy amid the pandemic. He says that more virtual panels will be announced soon.
AMP Music Virtual Summit
Slated to take place on May 6, the digital AMP Music Summit — entitled “Prepping for a Post-Covid World: Trailblazers & Thought Leaders Come Together for the Music Industry” — will include digital fireside chats, panels and workshops with a variety of experts and thought leaders from music, technology, finance, HR and more. The summit will feature a range of topics, including how to lead in tough times, livestreaming case studies and insights, marketing and monetization, the future of the live music business and tips for finding employment. You can register for free here.
This weekly series from the Association of Independent Music Publishers — free for both AIMP members and non-members — kicks off on July 7 at 12 p.m. ET with the first of two webinars presented by DDEX: “DDEX Standards Explained.” Hosted by DDEX Secretariat Mark Isherwood, the webinar will guide attendees on how to get the most our of their music metadata. Other upcoming virtual events include the second part of the DDEX webinar on July 14; “Learn How to Clear Publishing Efficiently with MDX” on July 16; and “Working with Music Catalogs in the 21st Century” on July 23, featuring Exactuals director of royalty administration Joe DeCanio, Round Hill Music COO/CTO Michael Lau and Entertainment One senior vp operations & innovation Bill Wilson.
The rights organization representing songwriters kicks off ASCAP Experience: Home Edition May 28 with an afternoon slate of programming, featuring ASCAP chairman/CEO Paul Williams, a conversation with Shaggy and manager Martin Kierszenbaum, a panel with “Stuck With U” songwriters Whitney Phillips and Gian Stone, a creative session with hit songwriter Priscilla Renea and more. Open to all, the free weekly series will be ongoing. For more information and register, go to www.ascapexperience.com
The new virtual arts education platform is hosting a free virtual concert and conversation series featuring musicians such as Grammy-nominated saxophonist Amy Dickson, composer and pianist Lucía Caruso, violinist Tatiana Berman and composer, multi-instrumentalist and NYU professor Dr. Pedro Henriques da Silva.
Brand marketing agency FYI Brand Group has launched a twice-weekly virtual Zoom series featuring panelists who are considered “cultural disruptors” in the worlds of entertainment, music, pop culture, fashion and more, discussing how to manage business during the pandemic. Click the above link for details on upcoming editions, and tune in every Tuesday and Thursday at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET here.
Girls Make Beats
The nonprofit Girls Make Beats has launched a free online masterclass series, with lessons on the touring industry, role of a music producer and more led by the industry’s top executives and artists. Roc Nation co-president Omar Grant, artist and philanthropist Madame Gandhi, and Live Nation senior tour director Candace Newman have all signed on as speakers.
Guild of Music Supervisors Panel Series
Following its successful spring series and summer series, the Guild of Music Supervisors will hold its GMS Fall Fundraising panel featuring 2020 Emmy nominees Aug. 25 at 3:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. ET. Sponsored by HBO, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and AMC, the session, moderated by music supervisor and GMS board member Jonathan McHugh, will include the following panelists nominated for outstanding music supervision: Nora Felder, “Stranger Things”; Thomas Golubić, “Better Call Saul”; Catherine Grieves, “Killing Eve”; Kier Lehman, Insecure; HBO
Jen Malone, “Euphoria”; Liza Richardson, “Watchmen”;
Robin Urdang, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Register here.
Gupta Media Presents “The New Normal” Webinar
Beginning Wednesday (April 22), these webinars hosted by Bill Werde — director of the Bandier Program for Recorded and Entertainment Industries at Syracuse University — will bring in industry professionals to discuss how the music business will look after the pandemic. The first webinar, which you can pre-register for here, is set to feature RCA Records executive vp of A&R Tunji Balogun, Friends at Work founder and CEO Ty Stiklorius and The Davis Firm founder Doug Davis.
House of Blues Music Forward Foundation Industry Sessions
Aimed at high school and college students, these online industry sessions are slated to take place every Thursday at 2 p.m. PT for the foreseeable future. The sessions will include panel discussions with music professionals from companies including Live Nation, C3 and Columbia Records, on hand to share knowledge and insight on what it takes to make it in the industry. Full schedule here.
Laurie Berkner Music in the “Classroom” webinar
On May 13 at 6:30pm ET, children’s musician Laurie Berkner is hosting a free one-hour, live-streamed webinar on Facebook for teachers, parents, caregivers and librarians that will offer tips on using music in educational play and structured learning at home. An interactive Q&A will follow her presentation.
Let’s Dew Lunch
Digital Media Wire, which puts on the annual Digital Entertainment World (DEW) expo, is now offering a daily webinar series that covers a variety of issues related to digital entertainment, including the music business, live-streamed performances in the age of the coronavirus and more.
New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME)
The MOME will host a series of “Made in NY” talks in partnership with the Center for Communication via Zoom, bringing together local industry leaders in the media and entertainment business. The series kicks off on April 27 with “Careers in Music: Labels, Management, Live & Beyond,” featuring Atlantic Records senior vp Dionnee Harper, S-Curve Records’ Steve Greenberg, NYC Office of Nightlife head Ariel Palitz and more.
MIDiA: COVID-19 Impact on Entertainment Demand and Behaviours
MIDiA Research is mounting this free April 15 webinar that will offer entertainment professionals the tools and strategies “to help you respond proactively to consumer behavior and market shifts” in the wake of the pandemic.
Music Biz Live
The Music Business Association is debuting a new Zoom livestream interview series that will showcase the latest relief efforts available to people in need and offer guides on how to use available tools to weather the industry’s current challenges. Upcoming installments will feature Spotify vps and global co-heads of music Marian Dicus and Jeremy Erlich (May 11); Mechanical Licensing Collective CEO Kris Ahrend (May 12); Q&A co-founders Troy Carter, Suzy Ryoo and J. Erving (May 13); and Warner Records co-chairman & CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck and co-chairman & COO Tom Corson (May 14). You can register for upcoming webinars here and check out a backlog of previous installments here.
Music Tectonics Weekly Websdays
The Music Tectonics music tech conference is offering a weekly curated “music tech meetup” via Zoom featuring Q&As with industry thought leaders. Participants can ask questions using the hashtag #websday on Twitter.
Music Unites Virtual Musicversity
Music education nonprofit Music Unites and the Compton Unified School District have joined forces with the industry’s top executives and performers to bring their longstanding Musicversity education series online. Sessions will take place every Friday at 1 p.m. PST via Zoom through May 29, featuring speakers like Live Nation tour director Candace Newman, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert musical director Jon Batiste and Amazon Music head of hip-hop Timothy Hinshaw. Email email@example.com to register.
NAMM U Webinars
The National Association of Music Merchants’ educational vertical, NAMM U, is offering a slate of webinars about how to do business amid coronavirus for members and nonmembers alike. Topics include “Sales & Marketing In The Time of COVID-19,” “Virtual Music Making During COVID-19” and more.
Shesaid.so’s Community Streaming Sessions
Shesaid.so, a global network of women in the music industry, is holding a variety of community streaming sessions via Instagram Live, with topics including digital technology, radio, event management and more.
Sofar Sounds In Session
The global gig curating company is launching a free weekly discussion and education series exclusively for independent artists, aimed at helping artists work on their craft and learn how to grow their music career. Panelists include Sofar Sounds founder Rafe Offer, Paradigm Talent Agency’s Tom Windish, Death Cab for Cutie’s Dave Depper, Berklee College of Music faculty members and more. Register here.
Songtradr Happy Hour
Music licensing platform Songtradr is hosting this virtual panel series that will bring together industry leaders to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the music business. The next panel, “Hip-Hop Deconstructed” on Oct. 1, features hip-hop artist Murs and artist-producer Havoc, who will “deconstruct the genre, its true meaning and their approach to its authentic creation.” The 40-minute panel will be followed by a 20-minute audience Q&A. RSVP here.
SoundCloud’s Creator Office Hours
SoundCloud’s artist team is providing “virtual professional-grade advice” on Instagram Live via real-time discussions, interactive workshops, AMAs and more.
Splice TV is a daily music education series that streams for free every weekday from 2-3 pm PT/5-6pm ET via Twitch. The series offers exclusive tutorials and product demos from production professionals including songwriter-producers Jason Evigan and KSHMR, as well as recurring features including “Weekly Rhythm” with Splice’s Nick Chen and 343 lab’s Level Up series. You can follow @Splice on Instagram for programming updates.
SyncSummit’s Sync Cafe Chat
The music licensing summit is hosting a free daily “sync chat” at 1pm ET where participants can talk about “music, business and life.”
The Panel By Q&A
Troy Carter, J. Erving and Suzy Ryoo‘s music and technology company Q&A is hosting virtual panels to “discuss the state of music and other industry insights” every weekday on Zoom. Speakers have included Motown Records president Ethiopia Habtemariam; Live Nation Urban president Shawn Gee; Capitol Records senior vp global creative Amber Grimes; Warner Chappell A&R president, U.S. Ryan Press and more.
UJA Federation New York
During a UJA Federation New York webinar slated for Wednesday (May 6) at 1:00 p.m. ET, Glassnote Records president and founder Daniel Glass will interview SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein about how SiriusXM is programming during the shutdown. Greenstein will also offer his thoughts on the future of audio entertainment, with a Q&A to follow. Register here.
Women In Music
The nonprofit working to educate, empower and advance women in the music industry is hosting virtual panels open to the public on Instagram Live and Zoom. Topics have included a virtual demo of Pandora’s artist marketing platform hosted by Pandora executives, a discussion about staying creative amid a pandemic featuring Betty Who and more. Check Women In Music’s Instagram and Linktree for updates.
Working Wardrobe “Rebuilding Careers” Video Workshops
Orange County, California career development nonprofit Working Wardrobe has launched Rebuilding Careers, a series of free video workshops that will help people hone their skills so they can be “workforce ready” during the pandemic. Held every Tuesday and Thursday, the workshops will cover a range of career development topics, including job search strategies, resume-writing, job interview techniques, tips on creating a personal brand, professional networking instruction and more. Register for a workshop here.
Virtual Music Education:
Chicago-based artist development and consulting company Artist Collective is offering a free month-long trial of its online courses, including videos that teach artists how to connect with fans during the quarantine.
Ausounds’ Lil’ Maestros
Starting March 30, headphone manufacturer Ausounds began holidng a free, five-week course of virtual music lessons in guitar, piano, percussion, music theory, improvisation and more for kids and parents. The program airs weekdays at 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST on the Ausounds YouTube channel and at this link. No instrument is needed — participants are invited to download from a list of free music-playing apps listed on the Ausounds site.
As always, The Berklee College of Music is offering free massive online open courses that enable prospective students to sample the “Berklee experience” for free. Instructors include vibraphonist Gary Burton, producer and engineer Prince Charles Alexander, songwriting professor Pat Pattinson and entertainment lawyer John Kellogg. You can browse a list of free courses here.
Music monitoring and metadata company BMAT is launching a series of videos and shareable PDF documents to help artists navigate doing business amid the pandemic. The first episode — an introduction to the series — can be found here, and forthcoming episodes will be shared on BMAT’s Instagram and Twitter.
The online music-learning platform offers live, low-cost music lessons online from Care2Rock-vetted teachers, as well as free instruments to students who make a six month learning commitment (free trials are also offered). The service additionally provides music lessons to foster youth free of charge.
The venerable concert venue in New York City has made its Musical Explorers curriculum, designed for families with young children, available for free online. It has also introduced a resource hub for music educators that includes professional development resources, lesson plans and more. Teens can take advantage of NYO-U — a free online series of “mini-master classes” written and produced by members and alumni of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America — as well as free videos offering an in-depth look at Carnegie Hall’s in-person workshops and masterclasses. Most recently, it launched the free online series Learn with Carnegie Hall, which offers a range of musical activities for families created by the Weill Music Institute. Programs are available via carnegiehall.org/learn as well as its Facebook and Instagram channels.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
The museum is bringing weekly Songwriter Sessions and its flagship education program, Words & Music, to Instagram Live. The Songwriter Sessions — featuring Q&As with the writers behind hits for Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Sam Hunt and more — will take place Tuesdays at 8 p.m. CDT; while virtual songwriting course Words & Music at Home will air Thursdays at 2 p.m. CDT.
While it is temporarily closed to the public, the museum will release educational content and lesson plans via its website and digital platforms, along with digital exhibits and never-before-seen video interviews with artists and industry professionals from its archive.
GRAMMY Music Education Coalition and David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation
The David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation, a nonprofit started by the Megadeth bassist, has partnered with the GRAMMY Music Education Coalition for the “School’s Out” initiative, which provides free music lessons and one-on-one mentoring sessions with via videoconference with rock and metal artists including Ellefson, Anthrax’s Frank Bello, Five Finger Death Punch’s Chris Kael and more.
Guitar Center is now offering live, one-on-one online lessons for guitar, bass, drums, piano and more instruments, plus DJ and vocal lessons.
In response to the pandemic, the online music-learning platform, which hosts over 1,000 music teachers, just launched GO classes, a new format that offers weekly group classes on a sliding scale, starting at free.
Loog Guitars — a line of 3-string guitars designed to make it easier for kids to learn how to play — has launched #LoogFest, an online “festival” that will offer educational music content for kids and families every week via Instagram Live. The upcoming lineup includes Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones, JHS Pedals founder Josh Scott and guitarist Daniel Donato.
Music and the Brain
This non-profit program, which offers a music literacy curriculum and classroom keyboard instruction to schools with underserved students, has launched Music and the Brain @Home, a free online learning platform that adapts the Music and the Brain program for educators who have been forced to teach students remotely during the pandemic. The @Home platform offers comprehensive music instruction including rhythm lessons, instructional audio and video recordings and an on-screen virtual keyboard.
This recently launched online instrumental music education service offers video tutorials on 14 instruments by world-class musicians and teachers, including members of the Seattle Symphony, the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra and more. The service, which was launched early to accommodate music education needs during the pandemic, is waiving its $9.99 monthly fee until September 2020 and has also discounted its rental instruments.
The Sennheiser Sound Academy is offering a variety of free audio training webinars covering topics such as wireless microphones, audio for video and more at 1:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m ET daily. Full list here.
The Illinois-based music education site is offering free passes to a range of its music production and transcription courses online for schools that have undergone coronavirus-related shutdowns.
TED-Ed creates free, video-based interactive lessons for all ages, built by a network of 500,000 educators. Lessons range from “How to Read Music” to “Beatboxing 101” to “Getting Started as a DJ.”
Women’s Audio Mission
The nonprofit catering to underserved women, girls and gender non-conforming individuals free virtual classes on various music-related topics. It is also offering a collection of the organization’s online training modules for free.
Yousician For Teachers
Music education platform Yousician — which provides interactive learning for guitar, bass, ukulele, piano and voice — is offering teachers a free premium subscription for the remainder of the school year.
Music-Making Apps & Tools:
The software developer is currently offering a 90-day free trial of its Ableton Live 10 Suite DAW.
Amped Guitar partnership with Gibson
Through a partnership with Gibson Gives, Sweetwater.com and Amped Guitar Learning, guitar maker Gibson is offering new users three free months of Premium Access Membership to online guitar learning platform Amped Guitar.
The guitar maker is offering new users three free months of guitar lessons via its online learning platform Fender Play.
The educational music publisher is offering extended free trials for several of its online music-learning resources, including the online music education platform Noteflight Learn (free through June 30 for any school or district with closures) and the cloud-based teaching tool Essential Elements Music Class (now offering a 30-day free trial). The company’s subsidiary Sheet Music Direct is additionally extending a one-month free trial of its PASS subscription program — which offers unlimited access to 10,000 Hal Leonard choral titles — to all choir directors, students, and members worldwide.
Logic Pro X DAW
Apple is offering a free 90-day trial of its Logic Pro X DAW.