Online and blended courses are a new experience for a lot of students here at Berklee. Check out the following interview to gain perspective from a fellow student, Rachel Sumner. She took the blended classes Basic Keyboard Techniques I and II and shares her thoughts on the experience.
Rachel Sumner is a 7th semester Professional Music major. She has worked for the PULSE Music Method as a workstudy for more than 2 years expanding the teacher training program and is currently interning in the Film Scoring department as music contractor for Berklee’s resident orchestra, the Scoring Sessions Program (SSP). Although flute is her principal instrument and composition is her concentrate in the Pro Music program, she is very active in the Boston bluegrass scene with her guitar and voice.
Digital Learning Department (DLD): How would you explain a blended course to someone?
Rachel Sumner (RS): A blended course is made of two parts. One part is physically being in class and the other part is going at your own speed, online and learning on your own. The online portion is all of your homework and all of the materials you don’t get in class. These are the things that you need to take a little more time with and go over. In the Keyboarding class I took, these materials included keyboard technique and learning the proper fingerings for scales. It was really efficient because the teacher didn’t have to teach each individual person. You could watch a video of someone doing the techniques and then practice it on your own.
DLD: What course did you take and when did you take it?
RS: I took ISKB 211 and 212, Basic Keyboard Techniques for non-piano majors. I took them Spring 2012 and Fall 2012, respectively.
DLD: How did you learn differently in this blended course as opposed to one in the classroom?
RS: There wasn’t too much of a difference. It was mostly the time-frame that was different. The teaching was still the same quality that you would get from one that was all in-class time. Each week you had to record yourself and listen to it before sending it to the teacher. It allowed you to make your own mistakes and discover them, which was really excellent. I think that is one of the best things you can do when it comes to learning music.