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Hamilton College Online Course On Jazz

Present course, ‘Jazz: The Music, The Stories, The Players.’ is offered by Hamilton College from edX platform. This 6-weeks course will emphasize on what’s unique about jazz (swing, improvisation, structure and expression) and get an insider’s view from celebrated jazz musicians.

The overall objective of this course is to address jazz from a listener’s perspective, but calls on professional jazz musicians to help us engage with this often mysterious aural experience. This MOOC starts on February 2, 2016.

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Course At A Glance

Length: 6 weeks
Effort:  3-4 hours/week
Subject: Jazz: The Music, The Stories, The Players
Institution: Hamilton College and edX
Languages: English
Price:  Free
Certificate Available: Yes
Session: Starts on February 2, 2016.

Providers’ Details

Hamilton is one of the nation’s oldest and most highly regarded liberal arts colleges. It is comprised of 1,850 students from nearly all 50 states and approximately 40 countries. The College is distinguished by a rigorous open curriculum, a need-blind admission policy, a deeply committed faculty who welcome close collaboration with students, and a focus on preparing students to engage with their communities and effect change.

This online platform edX provides online courses from the world’s best universities. edX can empower you to build innovative applications, services, and experiences.

About This Course

Innovations in music rank among America’s most significant contributions to global culture, none more so than jazz. From its humble beginnings as dance hall entertainment, jazz is now embraced as an art form, respected and imitated the world over.

This music course addresses jazz from a listener’s perspective, but calls on professional jazz musicians to help us engage with this often mysterious aural experience. This six-week course will enable interaction with the basic components of jazz (swing, improvisation, structure and personal expression) while providing an inside connection to the artists who perform it.

 Why Take This Course?

This is a free online course. This MOOC will be offered with Video Transcripts.

Content includes excerpts from the 300+ video interviews gathered with jazz personalities for the Fillius Jazz Archive, select scholarly readings and demonstrations offered by the instructor, a working musician. Students will engage in user-friendly activities that include listening, responding, counting, and internalizing the concepts that make jazz work. Rarely heard stories and anecdotes offered by our interviewees will stimulate the imagination and provide rich content for open discussion.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course you will have knowledge of:

-What makes jazz “swing”
-The form, feel and function of jazz
-How musicians balance creativity and freedom with theory, form and group dynamics
-The role of personal understanding in engaging with an art form
-The inside story from jazz artists regarding their choice of career and life style
-The role of jazz in America as art and entertainment


– Monk Rowe

Instructor of saxophone at Hamilton College

The Joe Williams Director of the Fillius Jazz Archive since 1995



How To Join This Course

  1. Go to the course website link
  2. Create an edX account to SignUp
  3. Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  4. EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  5. Once you sign up for a course and activate your account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org home page and type in your email address and edX password. This will take you to your dashboard, with access to each of your active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on your dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.) 

Detailed Information