Stanford to use Warner Music artists for online creativity course

Indie rock duo Tegan and Sara are among the musicians slated to participate in Stanford University's new online creativity course.
Indie rock duo Tegan and Sara are among the musicians slated to participate in Stanford University’s new online creativity course.
(Warner Music Group)

Stanford University is bringing Warner Music Group’s stars from the concert hall to the (online) lecture hall.

The California private school has teamed up with the music company for a free online course that will teach creative problem solving to anyone who wants to sign up.

The six-week class will feature appearances from Warner Music’s artists, including Josh Groban, Jason Mraz, Tegan and Sara, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Fun.'s Nate Ruess.

Stanford and Warner Music will officially announce the class Thursday.


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According to its webpage, the course will use music as a “tool for unlocking creative potential,” and each session will focus on a different aspect of creativity. It’s not necessarily for musicians.

“All of the projects in this experiential course will deal with some aspect of music, including listening, creating and sharing,” the course description reads. “No musical talent is required -- just an interest in exploring the role that music plays in our lives.”

The course, dubbed “Creativity: Music to My Ears,” begins on April 2 and is open for registration through Stanford’s website. It includes a series of weekly projects that should take around five hours to complete.


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“The music industry is in a state of constant evolution,” Cameron Strang, chief executive and chairman of Warner Bros. Records and Warner/Chappell Music, said in a statement.

It’s a business that requires “the skills to both adapt to a rapidly shifting landscape and to forge exciting new creative paths,” Strang continued.


By partnering with Warner Music, Stanford is hoping to broaden the appeal of its online education offerings, which it first launched in 2011 as affordable and accessible alternatives to in-class learning.

Some other titles for the university’s Internet-based courses include “Cryptography I,” “Technology Entrepreneurship Part 1" and “Game Theory II: Advanced Applications.”

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To deliver such online options to the masses, schools have partnered with Internet education companies such as Coursera, Udacity and NovoEd, which is hosting Stanford’s “Creativity” class.


The course is taught by Stanford engineering professor Tina Seelig, who is the executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program.

“Creative problem solving is crucial for those who will tackle the challenges of this century,” Seelig said in a statement. “Music crosses borders and languages, so it is the perfect lens for unlocking creative potential on a global scale.”

Seelig has previously taught two online Stanford courses through NovoEd, for which a combined 70,000 people signed up.



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