It’s come to a point of time where many of us are feeling restless from being at home all day. If you’re not working from home or still enrolled in classes, you may be feeling antsy from the lack of activity going on. If you’ve somehow run out of shows on Netflix or you’ve been struggling to find something to do, here are a few free options for you to explore.
For The Musicians
If you’re not familiar, the American manufacturer has been producing musical instruments and equipment since the 1940s, but they’re most well-known for their guitars. The company launched the Fender Play app a few years back, and it has expanded from not just providing online guitar lessons, but also bass and ukulele, in a variety of styles.
Each pre-recorded video lesson is taught by a pro, and lesson plans are customisable to your skillset and interests. Unlike similar music lesson apps, there isn’t a specific lesson sequence that students are required to follow. If you’re an absolute beginner, there are lessons that simply cover basic guitar anatomy. Have you previously dabbled with the instrument? Try your hand at playing specific chord patterns. Been playing all your life, but can’t seem to perfect that one technique? Fender Play probably has a tutorial on that.
Fender Play is currently offering a free 3-month trial to the first million users who sign up — they originally offered it only to the first 100,000, but overwhelming response resulted in them extending it to 500,000 users, and they then doubled that number!
To get started with Fender Play, visit try.fender.com.
Berklee Online via Coursera
For those who are more interested in the theoretical side of music, Coursera has plenty of courses available that are offered by Berklee College of Music. Coursera is a online learning platform that was founded by two Stanford professors back in 2012. Since then, they have offered massive open online courses (MOOC), specialisations and even degrees.
One course that is great for beginners is Songwriting: Writing The Lyrics. Within just 6 weeks, students will learn the art of writing song lyrics, from finding inspiration for a song to setting finished lyrics to a melody. Taught by Berklee professor Pat Pattinson, this course may get you started in writing an entire EP!
Enrolling in a Berklee course provides students with a couple of options. Some courses are available completely free of charge — this means that you have full access to all course content except for graded quizzes and assignments. There are some courses within specialisations that require payment, but there is a slight loophole to taking it for free — if a student opts to audit the class, access to content is granted without any payment needed — again, with the exception of graded content.
Check out more Berklee College of Music courses on Coursera here.
For The Tech-Savvy
Probably one of the most popular computer science course sites around, you’ve most likely heard of Codeacademy someway or another. The site provides various courses across categories such as web development, data science and design. No idea where to start or even what CSS means? Take their sorting quiz to gain some insight into what aspect of programming might be the best fit for you.
Get started at codeacademy.com.
HarvardX via edX
An entry-level course and one of Harvard University’s most popular programmes, CS50: Introduction to Computer Science is available for free on edX, a MOOC provider created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Similar to the classes available on Coursera, CS50 is free to take, but payment can result in additional graded materials and a Verified Certificate upon passing the class.
Taught by Harvard professor David J. Malan, the 12-week course covers an introductory level of various topics such as abstraction, algorithms, software engineering and web development. Also taught are languages including CSS, HTML and Python. If you want to develop an basic understanding of computer science, or you simply want to experience an Ivy League class, this is definitely the course for you.
Check out CS50: Introduction to Computer Science at edx.org.
For The Closet Vloggers
Final Cut Pro X
If you’re an avid YouTube user, there’s no way you haven’t heard of Final Cut Pro X by now — many professionals use the editing software religiously. If you’ve always wanted to start your own YouTube channel, but you’ve been using the lack of software as an excuse to put it off, think again. Apple is officially providing a free, 90-day trial of the programme — for a software that usually costs almost $450, that’s a pretty good deal.
The software is pretty much all a beginner needs to perfect post-production — it’s basically your one-stop shop for all video editing, from colour-grading and motion graphics to 360° video editing and even VR headset playback. 90 days is plenty to get comfortable with the software and take it for a test-drive, so be sure to make the most of it!
To sign up for a free Final Cut Pro X trial, visit apple.com.