Feb 20, 2024

20 Free Music Courses for Beginners to Take During Quarantine

20 Free Music Courses for Beginners to Take During Quarantine

With the COVID-19 quarantine causing people all over the world to remain in their homes now more than ever before, virtually every field has been affected, and music is no exception. Fortunately, in today’s world, the internet has empowered aspiring and beginner musicians with exciting options for at-home study.

Now, you can practice your instruments and hone your musical talents with new, freely accessible music courses even during the quarantine. The following is a list of 20 beginner-friendly courses and course locations to give you an idea of what is available. Even at the height of COVID-19 lockdowns, the gift of music is one that keeps on giving!

Music Theory Courses

Fundamentals of Music - MIT OCW

MIT Music Courses

One specific course on offer on MIT’s site is the Fundamentals of Music course from 2007. In it, one of the big aims is to help acquaint you with being able to read sheet music, grasp the fundamental mechanics of music, and much more. You can freely download the materials, and the online course offers both written assignments and activities plus extra resources.

Getting Started With Music Theory by Bruce Taggart

Coursera Music Courses

This Coursera course is a great choice for beginners as it helps introduce music from a conceptual as well as a technical basis. You will quickly pick up both how music works and why different music works in the way that it does, giving you new ideas as well as familiarity.

Fundamentals of Music Theory by Dr. Michael Edwards

Coursera Music Courses

Straight from the University of Edinburgh, this course is designed to teach you all about the basics of music itself, as well as just what chords, notations, and scales are and how they all fit together. It focuses primarily on Western-style musical notation, making its contents instantly familiar to many potential students.

Musicianship Courses

Developing Your Musicianship by George W. Russel Jr.

Coursera Music Courses

For beginners looking to break through with contemporary music production, this course on Coursera is great for teaching you a few critical skills. You can pick up the basics while also getting a hang of things like scales, majors, chords, and chord progression.

Musicianship: chord charts, Diatonic Chords, and Minor Keys

Coursera Music Courses

Also by Russel Jr, this course is a great choice for beginner musicians that want an intermediate challenge and have gotten a hang of some of the other basics first. Its primary focus is on chords, as well as with practice on the playing and writing of the various musical keys.

Classical Music Course

Introduction to Classical Music - Yale

Coursera Music Courses

Created by Craig Wright, this course is perhaps the penultimate access point for any beginner musician interested in getting acquainted with the basics of classical music. You are able to access this Ivy League-tier resource free whenever you want to, and it is an absolutely invaluable treasure to be able to have free access to.

Music Production Course

Music Production Specialization - Berklee College/Coursera

Coursera Music Courses

This nifty programme is a series of courses that aim to introduce you to several skills needed in producing modern music. It explores a comprehensive array of skills and helps you hone them, such as audio recording, editing and production, songwriting, music mixing, and more.

Songwriting Course

Songwriting: Writing The Lyrics by Pat Pattison

Coursera Music Courses

Based on Pattison’s book of the same name, this course is a heavily detailed look into the fundamentals that go into great usage of lyrics in song creation. With this course, you will be amongst the best equipped to start practice composing your lyrics from imagination into reality.  It is a great choice for beginners and any musicians that thrive on detail-oriented learning. Pat Pattison also maintains a dedicated website of various resources for learning and advancing musical and writing skills.

Guitar Courses

Step by Step Free Beginner Guitar lessons on Guitarlessons.com


This Step by Step course offers a series of 11 different lessons in all! They comprehensively cover the basic fundamentals of acoustic guitar playing. You can progress at your own pace from the intro to holding the guitar, knowing its parts, how to tune, and so on. They are offered as videos, so you can pause and rewind whenever you need to.

Guitar for Beginners by Thaddeus Hogarth

Music Courses on Youtube

One great thing in particular about this free course is that it aims to help you learn how to play both acoustic and electric guitars. It can teach you things like lead sheets, notation, chords, and how to pluck and strum.

Blues Music Course

The Blues: Understanding and Performing an American Art Form

Coursera Music Courses

With how popular the Blues continues to be in modern music, this course is a great choice for exploring not just genres of music but some common music mechanics. Hosted on Coursera by the University of Rochester and produced by Dariusz Terefenko, this course can teach you about general musical skills, how to work with chords, as well as Jazz and Jazz-related topics.

General Music Courses

MIT Open Courseware for Music and Theater Arts

MIT Music Courses

Not just one course but a free compendium of several, this repository is created and maintained by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It covers numerous different topics that will interest any brand new musician. Each course is comprehensive yet easy to follow, and many if not most of them do not require previous formal training.

BBC Learning - Music

BCC Music Course

With BBC Radio Three being one of the single largest commissioners of original music in the world, it is no surprise that the BBC is one such great source for materials for beginners to learn all about music. They have extensive coverage of a wide variety of musical topics that are all easily accessible at any time of the day.



Courtesy of the Kennedy Center Arts Education Network, this library has many different resources on offer for those willing to explore. Artsedge hosts recorded music lectures, online exhibitions, and archived music for academic analysis.

Berklee College of Music - MOOCS

MOOCS Music Courses

Similar to MIT in Boston, Berklee offers its own large resource of online courses for aspiring musicians. MOOCS stands for massive open online courses, meaning that numerous people can explore these courses freely from the comfort of home. You can expect to find many great starting points, such as courses covering musical theory.

Introduction to Classical Music by Kevin Korsyn

This course can be found on the website Springboard which is quite easy to navigate and explore for additional musical courses. The course consists of a series of video lectures and features assignments and interactive elements as well to help apply what you learn at your pace.

Introduction to Musical Composition - MIT OCW

MIT Music Courses

If as a musician you desire to compose your own original songs, this course can give you a great overview of how melodies and indeed entire songs are made. On top of what some other courses on the MIT site offer, this course also has exams, listening materials, readings, and other similar resources on offer.



Soundfly is a fun and free platform anybody can easily access for a great variety of different lessons and courses about music for beginners and experienced players alike. They cover numerous different disciplines and instruments, so there is really something for everyone!

The DIY Musician Specialization

Coursera Music Courses

Provided by the Berklee College of Music, this Coursera course specifically is a great choice for beginning musicians looking to be entirely independent in their productions. It aims to teach you how to master writing songs, develop a unique musical identity, achieve high audience outreach for your work, and explores various production tools available to musicians.


As you can see, the possible options for you to explore with furthering your musical development during the quarantine are full to bursting! We hope this list is of help to you, and that your music is able to evolve and thrive from the safety and comfort of home.