Music enthusiasts who are drawn to creating and communicating with rock music have another option to pursue their music career as more prospective students begin looking for university online programs in music theory, history and composition. Many colleges and universities now offer online music classes that allow them to explore everything from the history of rock music to finding a job in the music world after obtaining a music degree.

But why study music? In an answer to that question, J. Terry Gates, associate professor of music education at the State University of New York at Buffalo, stated that the best reason to study music is: “it gives people a reliable, thorough, and efficient way of becoming expert at creating, communicating, and deriving meaning musically in the world of humans.” In other words, students of music become aware of music as a means of communication. They are thus better able to create songs that will carry the message they want to convey to their audiences. Whether you are in a band already or considering songwriting, musical knowledge is cultural power.

Here are some examples of the online classes that can motivate, inspire, and cultivate rock music lovers who are serious and passionate about studying music.

1. The History of Rock ‘n Roll (Valley City State University, ND)
This exploratory course traces the American popular music movement as it evolved from the 20th century. It focuses specifically on the rock genre by using recorded examples, historical footage,and some selected texts. Students will study important recordings, different artists, albums, musical and technological advancements in music, as well as learn about the social and cultural impact of the music.

2. Music Recording, Mixing, and Mastering (Valley City State University, ND)
This music production course gives students an overview on the techniques, hardware, and the software that is used in audio production. Students will learn about “mixing and mastering” through selected readings and by participating in a mastering project.

3. Pop and Rock Vocals (Berklee College of Music, Boston)
This class focuses on the “breath support and management” of singing and ways to bring out the emotional reaction that singers want from their audience. It explores ways to communicate and relate to the audience and how to use the “stage” to your advantage during a performance. Students are required to record “sing-along” track assignments for instructor’s assessment. They will also learn how to perform a variety of music genres while exploring the music of some of the greatest singers and songwriters including John Lennon/Paul McCartney, Janis Joplin, Robert Plant, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Madonna, and many others.

4. Rock Guitar Soloing (Berklee College of Music, Boston)
This class is for students who have learned how to play the technical aspects of  the guitar but do not possess the knowledge to apply the musical elements that make up a song. Students will learn to accomplish this task by using video, audio, class discussions, and diagrams to understand what makes a successful solo. Students will listen to various guitarists and explore their techniques and then learn how to apply those same techniques to their own playing.

5. Career Perspectives (Mary Pappert School of Music, Pittsburgh)
Now you have a music degree, so…what are your career options? This course helps student discover the ways and means to make a living in the world of music. It covers such topics as marketing, project developing, business skills, and recording. This course will help students feel more confident in their job search and discover what type of music jobs exist across the country.

It was Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher, poet, composer, and classical philologist, who said that “in music the passions enjoy themselves.” Surely for those who are sincerely passionate about music, this quote hits home as more and more students seek
careers in music education, online.


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