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Music skills are notoriously tough to pick up — be it singing, playing guitar, sound mixing or understanding the music business. Lately though, thanks to more time at home during Covid lockdowns, many aspiring musicians have started (or re-started) the learning process through online education platforms.
One such learning platform is Skillshare, a website with video courses on a range of skills, including music, from users and professionals alike.
According to data from the website, the pandemic’s first twelve months saw a 124% increase in the number of premium Skillshare members watching music classes. Engagement skyrocketed as well, with the number of hours watched in music classes up 180%. In short, the pandemic has lead far more people to make use of Skillshare’s music content.
Of course, Skillshare isn’t the only video lecture platform out there: MasterClass, Coursera and Udemy offer similar services. But Skillshare does have some unique benefits that make it great for certain musicians. Read on for our complete review of Skillshare’s music courses, including how classes work, how much it costs and who should sign up.
What Music Courses Are On Skillshare?
Skillshare’s library of music courses is massive and diverse. You’ll find classes on singing, music mixing, Ableton Live, guitar, piano, songwriting and much more. Some of Skillshare’s most popular music courses include “Singing Made Easy,” “Learn How to Mix Music with Young Guru” and “Learn Piano in 30 Days.” Plus, there are even courses on the academic and business sides of music, such as “Music Business Fundamentals” and multiple music theory classes.
Most courses on Skillshare are targeted at beginners. There are some courses for higher-level students, but these can be hard to find and are often prefaced by beginner-level classes.
In general, courses take one of two forms: user-created courses and Skillshare-produced courses (Skillshare Originals, as they’re called). The former — classes made by users — aren’t approved by Skillshare, but they’re typically well-produced. In other words, you’ll be hard-pressed to come across any dud courses.
As far as instructors, most are experts with a few recognizable names sprinkled in. One of their big-name instructors, for example, is music mixer DJ Young Guru, who collaborated with the likes of Jay Z, Kanye West and Beyonce.
Still, Skillshare certainly doesn’t carry the star-power of MasterClass or the prestige of real professors (like on Coursera), but that might be a good thing. We found many instructors on Skillshare to be passionate and present — two qualities you don’t always get with A-list celebrities and accredited professors on web learning platforms.
What Are Skillshare Music Courses Like?
A typical Skillshare course runs like this: you watch a short lecture (typically 2-10 minutes), work on the material (maybe figure out a guitar chord or practice a breathing exercise for singing) and then move on to the next lecture. The number of classes in each course varies drastically with three videos in some, and fifty classes in others. In general, though, most courses are about ten lectures. These bite-sized lectures make it easy to jump in and out of a course as your schedule permits, or to sample a few before committing.
Finally, there is usually a project that can be shared and commented on by other students or even the instructor. If you’re experiencing difficulty at any point of the course — or just want to share an experience — there’s also a discussion section for students to interact with peers and teachers.
It should be noted that this peer and teacher interaction doesn’t always happen. Before jumping into a course, we suggest taking a look at the discussion board to see if the students and the teacher are actually active. You can also see reviews for any course, which often give valuable insight on things like teacher engagement and class formatting.
Is the Skillshare Website Easy to Use?
Despite the surplus of content and features on Skillshare, the website is easy to navigate. While browsing, you can quickly see the length of each course and how many students have taken it. Once you’re in a course, navigation is intuitive and all information is well laid-out.
How Much Does Skillshare Cost? Pricing, Subscription
Skillshare currently offers only one membership type. This costs $13.99 per month, or $167.88 per year, and gets you access to the whole course catalog. New users can also take advantage of Skillshare’s seven-day free trial before any billing.
Is Skillshare Worth It? Honest Review, Verdict
Skillshare has a lot to offer, satisfying just about every musical pursuit from digital to instrumental to business. Of course, with user-generated content, not everything on Skillshare is worthwhile. But the overall experience is extremely personable and accessible — perhaps more so than MasterClass, for example. Good instructors, who are easy to find, are entertaining, informative and engage with students in a useful way. If you’re new to music and want to squeeze lessons into a busy schedule, Skillshare is certainly worth trying.
Head to Skillshare.com to start your seven-day free trial.