Boston’s Berklee College of Music is now the latest school to jump on the online-ed bandwagon. Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, the college will be offering accredited degree programs in selected subjects to interested students for less than half the price of traditional degrees.
It’s becoming fairly common for colleges to add online coursework to their programs, but Berklee is one of the first music schools, and certainly the most prestigious, to embrace accredited online courses. This isn’t entirely new ground for Berklee, which has been offering various forms of online, non-credit instruction for over a decade now, but these programs are far more extensive than anything it has offered before.
We’re always excited by schools that look to improve access and cut costs by taking advantage of online courses, and this is no exception. We’re curious, however, to see how far the school will be able to take this. It’s long been clear that some subjects, such as math and computer science, are more suited to the online learning environment than subjects for which the classroom environment is more important, like lab sciences or humanities. Music performance obviously falls into the latter group. At the moment, Berklee’s online degrees are limited to music business and music production, which are better suited to the online format, but it will be interesting to see if the school will find a way to include music performance classes in its online offerings. After all, you can already find musicians giving classes in music performance over the internet.
Either way, Berklee’s online degrees will excite students who are interested in a high-quality music degree but disinclined (or unable) to pay the full price. It’s a new development that’s well worth watching.