Berklee College of Music has launched Berklee Shares. This groundbreaking new program provides free music lessons and encourages musicians to share and distribute these music lessons online. The Berklee Shares lessons are available at no charge and are made up of a growing catalog of MP3s, QuickTime movies and PDF files derived from curriculum developed at the college by its world-renowned faculty. The lessons are available for free download on Berkleeshares.com, affiliate partner sites and peer-to-peer networks including Limewire and Kazaa
Like MIT and its Open Courseware Initiative (ocw.mit.edu), Berklee is committed to providing music education that is widely available to the music community around the world. The Berklee Shares program is designed to create an open exchange of ideas for musicians everywhere as well as evangelize the Internet as a means to gain unprecedented access to quality education. Berklee believes that digital distribution networks will have a significant impact on the future of music and music education.
"Berklee Shares was born out of Berklee College of Music's commitment to furthering music education through innovative means," said Dave Kusek, associate vice president. "Offering free education on the Internet and through file sharing networks underscores the college's core belief that these channels are an effective way to openly distribute meaningful educational content to a global audience. It also serves as a powerful promotional platform for artists to market, distribute and sell their music."
The Berklee Shares program launches with over 80 music lessons spanning instrument performance, music production and technology, song writing and arranging, music business and careers, music education and music improvisation. The number of lessons offered will expand over time. The Berklee Shares music lessons can help musicians around the globe to play better, write their own songs, teach better, use music technology on personal computers, and further their career aspirations.
The project will use licenses provided by Creative Commons. The Berklee Shares content will thus be marked with technology that signals, in a human and machine understandable way, the freedoms that go with the content. "Berklee College of Music will prove to many the innovation and education that can be supported through a more balanced system of rights," said Lawrence Lessig, chairman of Creative Commons. "We are honored to help Berklee College of Music spread educational content broadly."–Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen