My brother was pestering me about taking some online courses over at Coursera. They have classes through major universities including Berklee College of Music, which sounded interesting. So I signed up for a songwriting course. It's a six week course which includes online videos, quizzes and assignments. I've written a few songs over the years, but never really put much effort or thought into it. So why not give it a shot?
Pattison toured with an obscure band called featherrain in the 70sand began teaching at Berklee shortly thereafter. He seems like a genuine guy, with good ideas about song structure and storytelling and has written a number of popular books on the subject. Pattison has also worked with a wide range of many pro musicians and producers including John Mayer and Brad Whitford of Aerosmith. Plus he has a cool leather jacket.
The course had over 65,000 participants the first time around and the latest edition has just started July 19. So there's still time to get in on the action. Best of all, the course is FREE! There are also free courses on Jazz Improvisation and Music Production.
I'm not sure I understand Coursera's business model, but I'm not going to argue with a free course from Berklee.