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The Contemporary Music Course Review by Nancy Mayes

Clive Cochburn
The Contemporary Music Course LTD

Music has maintained a tremendous stronghold on my family for generations. Our family tree could almost be identified with instruments instead of names. There are vocalists, pianists, flutists, guitarists and many more. Many of my family members also write their own music and compose their own songs. My own mother was concert pianist material and gave up a full ride scholarship to a prestigious music school to “go to bible college and have babies,” as she so eloquently professed. As much as music notes course through the veins throughout my family members, I somehow was left behind. I am not in any way musically challenged, I’m just not proficient at any instrument and lack the ability to compose. This was never a problem for me until I had babies of my own that seem to share the same affinity for music as others I know and love.

Of my six children, three are grown and gone. One has mastered piano and transfers that knowledge to any instrument that she is able to get her hands on. She seems to be able to fumble her way to proficiency in a short period of time with every instrument that she has tried. Another learned piano but has never really had much interest in instruments yet excels vocally. The third one is a bit more like her Momma. Of the three younger adolescent children still at home, one has taught herself piano and seems to be gifted with the same ability as her older sister that can pick up just about anything.

Another has been writing her own songs since she could talk, literally. She would stand at the piano and gently play various keys and make up her own lyrics that always followed a rhythm and made sense. The last child, and our only boy, has seemed to have a knack for drums. When he was three, we purchased a cheap five-piece toy drum set and he never just beat on them, there was always a steady pattern and logical rhythm to his play.

I love the gift of music that my family has been given and I’ve often longed for a way to nurture their growth and further strengthen their talents. Unfortunately, we have never had the means to afford costly lessons for our children. The older two are the only ones that ever received any such luxury. Although lessons seemed out of reach, I never gave up on the hopes of finding great programs that can offer the same level of teaching for them.

Finding The Contemporary Music Course was a blessing for us. Our fourth child, the self-taught pianist, had expressed a desire to continue learning more and wanted to compose her own pieces. This program gave her the foundation to be able to do exactly that. The Contemporary Music course has hours of video lessons walking individuals through music theory and composition. The program is online and subscription-based so a student can go as slow or as fast as desired.  Lifetime subscriptions are available for individuals and annual subscriptions are available to music teachers with groups of students participating.

The website breaks down the lessons into eight different modules including The Language of Music I and II, Chords and Harmony I and II, Drums and Guitar, Orchestral Harmony, Two Part Harmony and Counterpart, and Rock Musicians: Session Project. Clive Cockburn, a well-versed musician, song writer and composer in the film and television industry, breaks down each step of musical progression. Video lessons are short and concise and there are worksheets included for some of the lessons enabling the student to put the lessons into practice. Both novices and more advanced students can appreciate the detail in his lessons. Our daughter celebrated every time Mr. Cockburn broke something down or presented an old concept in a new way for her, helping her to have a greater understanding of music. She has dabbled in each of the modules but has focused her serious practice on the first module, of which she has almost completed.

She is thrilled with The Contemporary Music Course, as we all are, and I anticipate us getting a lot of use out of this program for years to come!

-Product review by Nancy Mayes, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018