Every feel like you wish you could go back to school? Or… go to a different school?

Maybe you want to learn at CalArts, or Princeton, or Stanford, or Goldsmiths. Maybe you wish Robert Henke would sit at your side and teach you about Ableton Live. Or maybe Perry Cook would teach you synthesis. Or Casey Reas would talk to you about creative coding and Processing.

Digital learning gives us some of those chances – without running into campus security, that is. And so we’ve seen some great learning platforms, including iTunes audio courses from Stanford and people like Steve Horelick teaching Logic.

Kadenze promises to expand on this potential in a big way. It’s really two initiatives. Part of it is building a new electronic platform that makes it easier to learn interactively on a computer or tablet – the tools that help you navigate course content and (if you choose) get evaluated on assignments. And part of it is producing new content for that platform, finding a set of experts who can serve as compelling teachers.

Welcome to Kadenze from KadenzeOfficial on Vimeo.

Discover the future of education.

That sounds like something people would pay for, but the basic course content will be available free. And while there have been other efforts in this space, music and creative technology hasn’t seen the same level of engagement from heavy-hitting academic programs. That changes here: people like Dr. Perry Cook from Stanford are counted as co-founders.

This week, musicians got their first tantalizing glimpse of what they might get to learn. Robert Henke, aka Monolake, was announced as a guest lecturer in a new production course on Ableton Live, joining long-time friend-of-CDM Dr. Jordan . (See video, below.)

Sound Production in Ableton Live for Musicians and Artists from KadenzeOfficial on Vimeo.

Explore new worlds of sound with Ableton Live.


You can enroll in these courses free of charge and check out the videos. A subscription is just US$7 a month, adding assignments and evaluations (and with some discounts on software promised). Or, spend more, and you can enroll in many courses for credit from associated institutions, with evaluations to test that you’re learning.

It’s such a good deal, actually, that several friends I talked to missed that it really is free. But that Live course with Robert and Jordan is actually free with your subscription. Pay the monthly fee to do assignments.

Or spend US$600 only if you want credit. (That’s apparently the rate for the whole site, a measley $300 per credit hour.) You don’t necessarily have to be enrolled in an institution to get credit, either – CalArts, for one, will offer non-enrolled students credit, so you can think of this as extended education.

There’s also material the likes of which we haven’t really seen before. Jay LeBoeuf’s “Careers in Media Technology” connects you with the process behind tech from Sonos, Adobe, Smule, Dolby, iZotope, Universal Audio, and Avid, promising an unparalleled grounding in how to make new creative tech. Jay knows – he came from R&D and strategy at iZotope.

Careers in Media Technology from KadenzeOfficial on Vimeo.

Start your career in media technology Today!


Or here’s a course that teaches you coding through music, via ChucK (and Dr. Ajay Kapur at CalArts):


Learn how to program through the creation of digital music.



The interesting content really goes hand in hand with the platform that runs it – basically, the folks behind Kadenze appear to have gotten all this buy in from institutions partly because they built a really good platform. If you haven’t looked at these platforms before, you might not be as impressed, but you’ll have to trust me on this: a quick tour reveals a lot of wishes just got fulfilled. The platform is interactive and accessible and modern, not stuck in an archaic content management system, which makes life easier for students, teachers, and institutions alike.

Kadenze Virtual Tour from KadenzeOfficial on Vimeo.

Take a virtual tour of our Learning Platform.

I know there’s a lot more in the planning, not only for music technology but also around creative coding (Processing.js, anyone?), which is something that hasn’t been available before. We’ll be watching as this evolves. Let me know if you have questions for the creators, as we’re in touch.

And you can start learning right now, free. Maybe it’s time to brush up on your Ableton Live skills.