When considering music education, most people don’t immediately think of studying online. Music is something that lends itself to being learned and experienced in person, but the fact is that excellent online music education is available as well. Many will be amazed by the amount of high quality resources that exist. Full courses, lessons, sheet music, and artistic exhibits are all available to study online for absolutely free, and we’ve found the best of them. Read on and discover 40 incredible sources of free music education.
Browse MIT’s Music and Theater Arts course materials to find lectures, projects, multimedia content, and more for some of the very best in free online music education. Resources include Early Music, Schubert to Debussy, and The Supernatural in Music, Literature, and Culture.
- Exploratorium Science of Music:
Explore the science of music in Exploratorium’s exhibits, movies, and questions. The outstanding resources here will teach you to compose, mix, listen, and experiment.
- Berklee Shares:
Find free music lessons from Berklee College of Music in this incredible resource. It offers a collection of self-contained music lessons, including music business lessons, guitar chords, and voice lessons.
- San Francisco Symphony Keeping Score:
Explore the world of music in this amazing resource from the San Francisco Symphony. Peruse the site to find a wealth of online exhibits in music, TV, and radio.
Use the Kennedy Center’s Arts Education Network multimedia library to find music, lectures on music, and online exhibitions that will explore your musical education.
- Gresham Music Lectures:
Gresham College shares many of its past and current music lectures online. Check out their lectures to learn about music today, operas, innovation, and musical legacies.
- Open Yale Courses Department of Music:
There’s just one course available in Open Yale’s Department of Music at the moment, but it’s a great one: Listening to Music with Craig Wright. This course explores an understanding of Western music for novices and teaches how to listen to a variety of musical styles.
- Federal Resources for Educational Excellence: Music:
Explore resources in jazz, sheet music, blues, gospel, folk, even Civil War band music, thanks to the free federal website. Resources include films, material guides, and historic timelines.
- Library of Congress National Jukebox:
Find historical recordings from the Library of Congress in the National Jukebox. You’ll find featured artists, playlists, and gems from the jukebox including ragtime, opera, African-American recording pioneers, and even Hawaiian music.
- The Morgan Library & Museum:
Find highlights from The Morgan Library & Museum’s music collection. Of particular interest is The Morgan’s music manuscripts online, including work from some of the most influential composers of all time.
- Library of Congress Performing Arts Encyclopedia:
Explore the art of music with these resources from the Library of Congress. Find a reading room, online exhibitions, lectures, symposia, and more.
- Music at Kohl Mansion:
Visit Kohl Mansion’s Sounds Like Learning page to find musical enrichment activities for children. These activities offer interactive musical education for grades 1-5.
- Free Music Manuscript Staff Paper:
Check out this resource for free blank music sheets that you can use to write down your own compositions. You’ll find all kinds, from guitar tabs to piano staff.
- Bash the Trash:
Students can learn about recycling and music at the same time with Bash the Trash Environmental Arts. Check out their guides to find out how you can make musical instruments out of items that would normally be discarded as trash.
Incredibox is a totally fun way to mix and create music online. All you need to do is drag and drop effects, beats, melodies, and choruses.
- Blitz Books Music Theory Resources:
Here you’ll find a wealth of music books to download, including books on terms and signs, aural games, and cadence practice.
- Soundation Studio:
This incredible resource offers a tool for creating your own music online. Students can get an introduction into audio production, learning about effects and the basics of mixing their own songs.
- Making Music Fun:
Designed for elementary school students, Making Music Fun is a great resource for finding composer worksheets, practice charts, and sheet music, plus fun music games!
- Monkey Machine:
With the Monkey Machine online drum machine, you can create drum loops and rhythmic accompaniment for all types of musicians. You’ll find extremely accurate timing, more than 20 high-quality drum kits, and variable time signatures.
- Classics for Kids:
Designed for kids in grades K-5, Classics for Kids has lesson plans, activity sheets, books, and more for teaching school-age kids about classical music.
- The Open University Arts and Humanities:
Find resources for music theory and voice-leading analysis of music on The Open University site.
The ActiveBass bass community has great resources for learning to play bass online. Check out their site to find thousands of member-created lessons, plus lines, tracks, and "bassics."
- G Major Music Theory:
Visit G Major Music Theory for sheet music, music theory resources, and even music humor. You’ll find lessons on everything from the fundamentals to writing music.
- The Virtual Museum of Music Inventions:
This online museum offers a wealth of inspiration for homemade musicians. Find photos of musical instruments made by students, plus a great resource on how sound is made.
- BBC Learning-Music:
BBC has excellent music resources and online courses on their site, including advice on starting out in the music industry.
- TES Music Teaching Resources:
For ages 11 to 16 and beyond, you’ll find music teaching resources including lesson plans, activities, worksheets, revision, and teaching ideas.
With this EarMaster, you can find ear training software. The site’s Interval Examples Chart is an especially useful tool for learning how to identify intervals, plus a daily challenge will keep you on your toes.
- Hitsquad Music Software:
Find computer music resources through the Hitsquad Musician Network, including plenty of free tools for budding musicians.
MuseScore is free music composition and notation software, offering WYSIWYG virtual note sheets with an unlimited number of staves.
- Opus Music Worksheets:
Free music education worksheets are plentiful on the Opus site. Take advantage of this resource to get access to not only worksheets but also sheet music, flashcards, and even music business forms.
- Guitar Noise:
Check out Guitar Noise for guitar lessons, easy guitar songs, and even forums for learning to play guitar.
- Music Graphics Galore:
Visit Music Graphics Galore to find an extensive collection of music icons, graphics, clip art, symbols, staffs, clefs, and more.
- Wikiversity School: Music and Dance:
Wikiversity’s Music and Dance school is full of so many great learning resources for music students. Find education in composition, history, theory, and even ear training here.
- Free-Ed School of Performing Arts:
In this online school of performing arts, you’ll get access to several music classes, including music appreciation, instrumental performance, and vocal performance.
- Music Education World:
Music Education World is full of free and fun resources for music, including printable music posters for inspiration. Just print and laminate.
- Piano Discoveries:
Visit Piano Discoveries to find teaching aids and activities that not only test knowledge, but develop musical skills as well. Activities range from beginner concepts to major and minor.
- Folk of the Wood:
Folk of the Wood offers beginner to advanced violin lessons, including holding and tuning the violin, and even beginner to advanced melodies.
With this open source software, you can record and edit music and sounds. Audacity’s full featured tool allows you to record live audio, convert into digital recordings, cut, copy, splice, mix, and more.
- Piano Technicians Guild Piano Learning Center:
A great resource from the Piano Technicians Guild offers plenty of great tools for teaching students the joys of playing the piano.
- Music Education Worksheets:
These worksheets are designed for kids in grades K-6, great for a private studio or even classroom environment. Find clef music worksheets and more, with more than 500 pages available on the entire site.