I ended up liking this course

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I ended up liking this course

Postby Audrey » Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:27 am

Overall, in the end, I wound up liking this course. The best part was having to create a new song in five weeks and it was also awesome listening to all the different versions that my fellow students came up with. I was amazed at how many are really quite good.

I love Pat Pattison's course, and still prefer it, but the one drawback is the short time-frame we are given in which to write a song and record it. I can't sing anything well until I've had sufficient time to learn it first and then get used to singing it. Like my songwriting, it seems to take me forever. I know it must sound weird that I have to learn to sing something I've created myself, but it's true. Maybe it's because I fiddle around with so many alternative versions of each musical phrase until I settle on the one I want to keep, that I can forget which one I'm using. My Sibelius sheet music sets it in stone for me, and I learn to sing it from there. I love Sibelius, and it has improved my sight-reading incredibly, especially of the bass clef. But I ramble... :oops:

I think this FL course would have been quite difficult for someone with no knowledge of music theory. There was a lot to take in. As for myself, I did learn a few things here and there, and I ended up thinking that maybe I know more than I thought I did, which is a good thing. The things I did learn will, no doubt, help in my goal to finally write a really good song.

I've decided I need more work in understanding how the different chords work together, beyond the I, IV, and V chords. I still can't seem to figure out how to write a song in a minor key. The I, IV, and V chords don't seem to work the same way in a minor key, at least not for me. I have a lot of piano sheet music, and I'm going to try to study and figure out the chord progressions of my favourite songs to see if I can learn what makes them work. I'll look especially at songs in minor keys.

Tom Veitch
Posts: 852
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:20 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: I ended up liking this course

Postby Tom Veitch » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:18 am

Hi All,

I liked the course too but it was probably the least demanding of the MOOC courses I have taken.

Of course I learned a lot as well, this course was more about producing a tune than the lyrics and my personal feeling is that this is where I need most to improve.

Martin Simpson is one of my guitar heros so I particularly liked his contribution and I would have liked them to have included a TAB of his version of the song.

This was my first FutureLearn course and I agree with Anne that their structure does not allow interaction between students via the forums as easily as either EDX or Coursera does. Hopefully they have taken that on board and will upgrade their forums.


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Anne Elder
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Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:36 pm
Location: Mainz, Germany

Re: I ended up liking this course

Postby Anne Elder » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:04 pm

Hi Audrey and Tom (and all ;)),
I'm also glad that they had the course. The team really did a great job setting up the course and they were very engaged. :)

They covered so much stuff, it's great to have an overview, but I'd really like to have more detailed class on e.g. meldody and harmony. And I need more homework :oops: To practice, to let the material sink in deeper and to be told if I got it wrong or right.

And I guess I'd have been lost if this course had been my first encounter with songwriting. I'm really glad I did several classes on music and music theory during the last year. IMO, Pat's class is better for absolute beginners. For the Sheffield course you at least need to know some basic music theory and it's probably better if you play an instrument. And there's not even a detailed description how to use a DAW or Soundcloud like in Pat's class. I think the class is great if you play (at least) a bit of guitar/piano maybe sing and have covered songs for a while.

I also guess they knew about the Coursera SW class and tried to make a unique class that is not competing with Pat's class. So they did anything besides lyrics.

I'm frustrated with my version of My Town. The version would have been OK in week 4 maybe, but since I'm using a loop, I can't change the harmony let alone the arrangement. I probably post it anyway within the next days. I never really could connect with the lyrics which did not make it easier.

Audrey, I also need to practice singing my songs :). I don't notate the melody but I also sing around a lot to make the melody consitent throughout the verses.


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